HARRISONBURG — As a high school student, Karl Gabb started his own media company filming Facebook commercials for area businesses.
He said his passion grew when he received his first GoPro camera. He expanded his collection over the years to include a drone.
“I’ve always loved filming,” said the 18-year-old Broadway resident. “I have quite the arsenal of cameras now.”
In the fall, Gabb plans to attend Bridgewater College to study digital media and web design to help him expand his business.
Gabb was among 225 Broadway High School seniors to receive their diplomas Saturday afternoon during the school's annual commencement ceremony, held at James Madison University’s Convocation Center.
Principal Donna Abernathy acknowledged the students for receiving a record-breaking $3,273,650 in scholarships.
She told the students that it seemed like only yesterday they were headed into school as freshmen.
She told them to embrace the time they have and to use it wisely.
“Time tends to slip away so quickly,” she said. “Take each day and live it to its fullest, as time is something you can’t get back.”
Rockingham County Public Schools Superintendent Oskar Scheikl introduced the school’s four valedictorians: Randolph Brownell, Eliza Johnson, Jacob Minnick and Abigail Olmstead.
Olmstead, who is also the senior class president, encouraged her classmates to embrace who they are as individuals.
“We are about to embark on a journey,” she said. “We are responsible for our own wishes, dreams and desires ahead.”
Dan Horton, a 2009 JMU graduate and teacher at Memorial Early College High School in Texas, served as the commencement speaker.
Upon graduating college, Horton began his career at BHS, where he taught history, worked with the marching band and coached the forensics team.
Horton taught some of the students in the graduating class.
“I’m flooded by emotions,” he said, adding that his former students are in for one last lecture. “Like it or not, I’m here to give one last history lesson.”
He told them to look at the leaders in the American history who brought about positive change, including Martin Luther King Jr. and Susan B. Anthony.
Horton said the students might have doubts about whether they, too, can make an impact, but told them they can.
“You can, in fact, change the world, but you have to make that conscious choice to stand up,” he said.