Lincoln Countyâ€™s brightest graduating seniors had a lesson in biology Tuesday night.
â€œSitting on top of your shoulders is this marvelous thing called a head and that head contains a brain,â€ said John Crow, the key speaker at the 25th annual Academic Achievement Awards Banquet.
â€œYou seniors, youâ€™ve demonstrated that youâ€™re very capable of using your brain.â€
Crow addressed the top ten students from East Lincoln High School, West Lincoln High School and Lincolnton High School as well as students awarded scholarships at the banquet.
The banquet was put on by the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce and cosponsored by the Lincoln County Board of Education.
Crow, a graduate of Lincoln County, talked to students about their hands, mind and heart.
He said he didnâ€™t need to tell students anything about getting good grades, since they had clearly already succeeded at that.
Simply achieving academically, however, was not enough for Crow, who also works as a minister.
â€œWe have to develop passion and compassion, and it doesnâ€™t come natural, and you have to work on it,â€ said Crow. â€œYou canâ€™t wait to start working on it. You have to start early.â€
The students who gathered in the James W. Warren Citizens Center had ambitious plans of, doctors, engineers and business leaders.
Many had received large scholarships, and nearly all those present planned to move on to prestigious four year colleges.
Although Crow admired these achievements, he reminded students where their focus should lie.
â€œCompassion has to be practiced, and it has to be worked on so when times really get tough you can work through,â€ said Crow. â€œI hope you become all that you are capable of becoming.â€
The banquet also included the presentation of seven scholarships.
Â· Graduating senior William Andrew Bess received the Robert Bosch Tool Corporation Free Enterprise Scholarship. Bess plans to study horticulture at NC State University.
Â· The Business and Professional Womenâ€™s Organization Scholarship went to West Lincoln student Sarah Broome. Sarah plans to become a bilingual dentist.
Â· The Pilot Club Scholarship went to Carrie Reynolds. Reynolds, a West Lincoln High School student, plans to go to Western Carolina University where she will study to become a high school math teacher.
Â· Cole Wilson, a West Lincoln High School student, received both the Wal-Mart and the S. Ray Lowder Scholarship. Wilson plans to attend Elon University.
Â· The Lincoln County Homebuilders Association Scholarship went to graduating senior Joseph Gaye.
Â· The Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Scholarship went to West Lincoln High School student Adam Beard who plans to go to NC State University to study animal science. by Sarah Grano