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Discovery Academy's First Graduates
Discovery Academy's First Graduates
Posted on 06/12/2018
A graduate of the Nesbitt Discovery Academy accepts a diploma from Principal Nathan Allison.Article / Photography By: Benjamin Rickert, Communications Dept.
(View our full graduation photo gallery on Facebook.)

The Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. Discovery Academy is a family, and this was never more evident than at the school’s historic first graduation ceremony held on June 10, 2018. The warmth of friendship filled the staging room underneath UNCA’s Kimmel Arena where the seniors prepared their caps and gowns, helped one another look their best, and reminisced about shared milestones of the past four years. The 91 students earned their place in the Class of 2018, and were proud to be the first to hold a diploma from Western North Carolina’s premier high school of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

TNathan Allison accepts a special signed gift from his graduating seniors.he ceremony began as the graduates entered the arena to the “Pomp and Circumstance,” performed by student Daniel Ben-Ami. Senior Tristan Rice then took the microphone and led the audience in singing the national anthem.
“Whose school is this?” asked the academy’s inaugural principal, Mr. Nathan Allison, as he stepped to the podium to welcome the graduates. It was a question he had asked before, and everyone knew the answer.

“Our school,” the auditorium reverberated, understanding that Nesbitt is more than a place to learn - it is a place to grow together and support one another during a pivotal time in life.

During the ceremony, seniors Yevgenia Zavyalova and Megan Lemmons shared inspirational messages about remembering roots and looking forward without fear of failure. Everyone was captivated by senior Danielle Matthews vocal performance of the popular Lee Ann Womack song, “I Hope You Dance,” with the opening lyric, “I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.”

The students surprised Mr. Allison with a large framed photo of the Asheville skyline featuring signatures from each graduate and decorated with the phrase, “This is our school. It is about pride. We are a family.”

Discovery Academy graduates prepare to enter the Kimmel Arena.The graduates and teachers then laughed together as they watched a special video presentation prepared by senior Logan Morton. Student narrators featured in the video talked about important memories made since their freshman year, and the graduates loved seeing the photos and footage of their younger peers, busting with laughter throughout.

Finally, the students approached the stage to receive their well-earned high school diplomas, where they were greeted by Principal Allison, Mr. William Thrasher, Ms. Felicia Carter, and Superintendent Dr. Tony Baldwin. When Mr. Allison invited the class of 2018 to move their tassels to the left, they received a standing ovation from the many teachers, friends, and family members who filled the arena.

Buncombe County Schools congratulates the Nesbitt Discovery Academy Class of 2018! May there be thousands who walk in your footsteps.

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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