As the school year comes to a close, we are very happy to give a standing ovation to this year’s Fernandina Beach High School’s Class of 2019, which includes six Eagle scouts, a half-dozen collegiate-bound athletes, a National Merit Scholar, aspiring military service women and men, with one headed to West Point Military Academy, and of course, many training for important vocations or headed to college. Congratulations Class of 2019!
“It’s a stellar class,” says FBHS Guidance Counselor Sarah Coombs. “It has been an honor and privilege to serve this group and watch them blossom into the outstanding, special and unique individuals, scholars, athletes, musicians, performers, and citizens they are today.”
If you talk to a few of the graduating seniors, they are just as fond of the FBHS staff and the education they received. “FBHS has prepared me for the next step by providing me with a firm learning foundation,” says Annabelle Rowland, who will study at Ole Miss this fall. “I had the opportunity to meet and interact with many diverse people, which has matured my social skills.”
Cole Strain agrees with Annabelle, praising the school for the opportunities it gives students to prepare for the next stage of life. “There are numerous events that help students find jobs, and there are also a ton of scholarships. I’ve also been able to get some college credits thanks to the AP classes the school offers.”
Speaking of scholarships, Shelbea Holland is one of the Class of 2019’s athletes who is taking her talents to college. “After graduation, I will attend Tallahassee Community College on a softball scholarship and study nursing.” Shelbea credits FBHS for helping her learn accountability and to balance after-school activities with academics.
Cole, who will attend University of California, Los Angeles to study computer science and engineering, is grateful to his teachers the past four years. “Ms. Julianne French is one of the nicest people that I’ve known, and she’s taught me art skills that I didn’t know I had! On the academic side, I’ve probably never seen a teacher who loves his subject more than Dr. Glackin does math. He personally helps anyone that’s having trouble, even during his lunch breaks.”
Annabelle echoes the accolades for the staff, particularly Mr. Durr, who she still visits every single day to say hello. Meanwhile, Shelbea thanks Mr. Monaghan for being considerate to all students and working with each one to help them be their best.
The trio looks back at the last four years and reflects on the fun they’ve had. “My lunch table sophomore year was the best because my sister, Ashlyn, was there, too! There was never a dull moment, and we were always laughing,” smiles Annabelle.
“My favorite memory is probably performing in the hilarious escapades skit as part of homecoming week,” laughs Cole, “even if we did have to wake up super early some mornings to practice!”
And Shelbea has a bunch of favorite memories from the dugout. “The best was junior year, going into extra innings and almost beating Yulee!” That’s just one more lesson from FBHS—learning that losing can still be a valuable opportunity for growth. Go Pirates!
At the end of the day, FBHS Class of 2019 isn’t amazing because of the accomplishments of any one person, but because the sum is even greater than the individual parts. “This class hosted the first FBHS Dance Marathon and raised over $2,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network,” Sarah shares as an example.
Once again, let’s have a round of applause for the Class of 2019, not just for their accomplishments, but for their future successes as well!