Three hundred and thirty graduation candidates are expected to be handed their high school diplomas during Louisa County High School’s commencement exercises May 17.
Five of them have already received an associates’ degree from Piedmont Virginia Community College and many others have accumulated college credits that they can transfer to a four-year university.
“They’re the first class to be in the brand new building all four years,” Lee Downey, high school principal, said. “That’s a pretty awesome fact that they’ve been here in this building and they were here to open it.”
They are blithely unaware of what it was like to attend school in trailers like their predecessors after the August 2011 earthquake destroyed the previous high school building.
Downey said this group of students is a symbol of the community’s ability to overcome adversity and referred to them as the “silver lining.”
Reflecting on the past four years, Downey shared what makes the Class of 2019 special to him.
“For me, I love the personality of the class and the amount of respect that they give,” he said. “Overall, I’m just very proud of the class as a whole. It’s been a true pleasure to be here and go through this educational process with them. I’ve loved it.”
He’s especially enjoyed getting to know the students through regular senior class talks, something that was started in an effort to connect with students and hear their thoughts and ideas.
“That’s important to me and I think that’s important to them,” he said. “They’re a caring group of kids and I think they’re going to do great things in the world. I’m excited to see what that is.”
In his fifth year as principal at Louisa County High School, Downey said he is amazed with the amount of hard work, dedication and perseverance the students have put forth to succeed.
(Article by Deana Meredith)
This is a partial article. Read the full story in The Central Virginian’s May 16, 2019 issue.