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Piedmont High School seniors get ‘graduation’ surprise

Piedmont High School seniors, from left, Katie Glover, 17, and Amber Kelly, 18, show off their Trace Adkins T-shirts, given shortly after students were informed that Adkins would be their commencement speaker. The T-shirts were given to all seniors to commemorate the school’s 50th graduation day.

Piedmont High School graduating seniors got a real treat Wednesday, (May 19, 2010), when they found out that their graduation speaker is none other than country music star Trace Adkins.
Adkins, whose song “You’re Gonna Miss This,” has hit number one on the charts, has agreed to speak for free at the school’s June 14, 2010, ceremony to be held at Cabarrus County Arena.
Based on the squeals of excitement and applause from the approximately 210 graduating seniors upon hearing the news, the decision is a good one. “I think it’s awesome that he’s the speaker, and that he’s doing it for free,” said senior Kristin Keesler, 18. “It’s actually a real big treat for our school’s 50th graduating class. I’m a real big country music fan, so to have him is really awesome.”
Dillon Helms, 18, is also a country music fan and said he’s excited about Adkins’ presence at their big day. “Since it’s our 50th graduating class, I think it’s pretty special to have him as a speaker. We’re a country school, so to have a country music star here is pretty big. Country music is very big at Piedmont.”
It all began when Piedmont High School senior Ashley Price wrote Adkins, stating how much it would mean to the senior class of 2010 to have him speak. Jackson Hargett, another senior at the school, assisted in the effort.
While announcing the news, Piedmont High School principal Jonathan Bowers told the seniors they are about to become part of the school’s history, and will make history by being the 50th graduating class at the school.
“That’s something that will stay with you for the rest of your life,” he said. “It’s important that we identified someone who could bring a lot to the table and give you a message that you could walk away with, someone who could speak about the importance of tradition and history.”
Adkins, who has raised more than $750,000 for charity, is a long-time supporter of the US military and has traveled overseas for two USO tours in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. He has used his music to raise more than $100,000 to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization providing extensive support to soldiers who have been severely wounded in combat.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: May 20, 2010 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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