Cleveland High recognized former outstanding graduates by inducting them into the Hall of Fame at a special ceremony in the school’s media center.
The group of distinguished alumni inducted into the Hall of Fame are coach and educator Bruce Coats, Former U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, celebrated author Margaret Maron, and North Carolina Poet Laureate Shelby Stephenson.
“We all understand that while the Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made a name for themselves, it also highlights the greatness that has and will to continue to come out of the Cleveland community,” said senior student council member Hannah Adams, who was the originator of the Hall of Fame concept.
Student leaders of the school’s Student Council Association spent nearly a year and a half organizing the event.
“Ninety years after the first Cleveland High School opened its doors, we gather to honor several extraordinary graduates, and to inspire future Cleveland students to excel in all that they do,” said Student Council President Garrett Lee in his opening remarks on the goal of the school’s new Hall of Fame.
Current students led the alumni in the singing of Cleveland High’s original fight song before each honoree spoke to the crowd of students, teachers, family members, and the community.
Honorees spoke about the influence of the others on the community and themselves.
Coats spoke about his career as a coach and compared. He compared his influence in the community to the flight of a baseball saying that a person never knows how far a baseball will go.
Former U.S. Rep. Etheridge spoke on the importance of receiving a quality education, and Maron spoke about finding education through experiences. Stephenson commented on how the history of each honoree is connected and important to one another.
“Excellence must always be rewarded and remembered,” said Student Council Representative Abinave Katuru. “The Cleveland High School inductees utilized their resources in their high school years and have gone on to forge meaningful and successful lives.”
Cleveland High plans to make Hall of Fame inductions an annual event to celebrate the school’s contributions to the community.