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Stonewall graduation candidate: ‘High school is what you put into it’

Stonewall Jackson HIgh School senior Abbigail Simon, 17, of Mount Jackson, will be heading to the University of North Florida this fall to continue her education toward a business degree and a minor in American sign language. Rich Cooley/Daily

Abbigail Simon will think of success and the hard work required during the past four years as she walks in Stonewall Jackson High School’s commencement ceremony on Friday. She is one of 122 graduation candidates this year.

“These four years have been such a phenomenal transformative experience for me,” Abbigail said about her growth as a person.

The 17 year old added that she has tried to engage with, talk to and find something in common with all of her fellow students.  Most of her friends are juniors who have looked up to her and solicited her advice.

“I want them to know high school is what you put into it. The last four years, I worked so hard to make a difference,” she said.

Believing everyone deserves respect, Abbigail helped launch The R-Word campaign – a day spent raising awareness among those at Stonewall Jackson about the damaging impact of the use of the word retard- even as a joke.

Abbigail credits her attendance at the Biomedical Services Academy for her leadership skills and becoming more secure in her problem-solving ability and in delegating to others to help achieve a final result.

During her high school career, she has run cross country, track, was a cheerleader, and the team captain of the softball team her sophomore year.

She will travel to Europe after graduation for two weeks in a program affiliated with the schools. After that, she is scheduled to move to Jacksonville, Florida, where she will attend the University of North Florida.

Abbigail plans to study business administration with the goal of continuing to be a role model and leader.

“One of the mottoes I live by is by Steve Jobs, who said, ‘The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do,’ she said.

GRADUATION

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Where: Stonewall Jackson High School, 150 Stonewall Lane, Quicksburg, in the new gym.

Graduation candidates: 122.

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