NORWAY — One Hunter-Kinard-Tyler High School graduate held a huge diploma of which she seemed very proud of as she rode on a sports car with enough balloons affixed to the back that it seemed as if it might float away in the HKT graduation parade held in Norway recently. Jermijah Aviana Derricott won first place in the parade co-sponsored by the town of Norway, including a laptop.
Derricott was dressed in a white dress, pearls and a graduation cap as she held a giant diploma. Some of her other fellow graduates rode atop or in various decorated vehicles during the parade. Over 100 family members, friends of the graduates and citizens lined the sides of Savannah Highway to show their support for HKT graduates.
Derricott, the daughter of Savonya Jefferson and Jermaine Derricott, has two siblings, Emoni Simmons and Jermaine Derricott II. In her free time, she enjoys shopping, taking pictures, watching Netflix, and spending time with family and friends. Derricott plans on attending Claflin University, majoring in political science, and going on to law school to become an attorney.
Her life motto is: "Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."
"I strive to be the best person I can be and always keep God first," she said.
"What a beautiful occasion for a group of beautiful, talented, and worthy students," Mayor Tracie Clemons of Norway stated. "We wholeheartedly send congratulations to all HKT Class of 2020 seniors and lots of love to all the HKT faculty and staff.
“For the last four months, our entire nation has experienced the coronavirus pandemic that impacted all citizens globally. Additionally, we are now in the middle of the George Floyd protest in these United States of America. It is this time that we must unite and support our fellow citizens more than ever, which brings us to this day, where we get to celebrate our HKT class of 2020 seniors,” Clemons added.
“As the mayor of this great town of Norway, I have declared that we will host a HKT Senior Parade every year under my tenure. Go Trojans," Clemons said.
Lauren Garvin, who won second place, received a mini-fridge and microwave. Garvin was dressed in a formal gown as she rode in a horse-drawn carriage down the parade route.
Garvin has made many accomplishments during her high school years. She was crowned Miss HKT. She was on the cheerleading squad and the volleyball team. She participated in Drama Club, Beta Club, and National Honor Society. She was also on the track team and was in Junior ROTC for two years.
"I am planning on going to the National Guard and attending college," Garvin said. "My major will be digital design because I love doing logos and flyers, and I plan on expanding my business. I've been accepted by 13 colleges."
"COVID-19 came about during my last track season," Garvin said. "It's very saddening to feel as though I worked so hard and balanced maintaining grades while being an active student and trying to find a part-time job."
"I am in high hopes for a big turnaround because this is not how I expected my last year in high school to turn out," she said.
The third place prize winner, Zaniyau Brimfield, won a $100 gift card. All prizes were donated by Bushy Pond Baptist Church.
The Town of Norway sponsored a banner with all of the graduates’ photos, which was posted in front of the town hall.
Clemons said the banner will be donated to HKT High School.
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