2008 Graduate – David Cothran
The Piedmont area of South Carolina prior to its settlement by European and American immigrants was inhabited by the Cherokee Indians. This area was granted to three Revolutionary soldiers, Joseph Brown, Charles Clemments and Christopher Williman. It became the town of Belton.
From 1785 until the mid-1840’s, the area developed a rural agrarian economy yet was isolated from the main centers of trade both within the state and the nation. Belton is a city in Anderson County, in the Anderson metro area.
A meeting of citizens from the area in 1845 was of major importance to the future development of Belton. The group formed “The Greenville and Columbia Railroad” and set as its goals to connect the Piedmont Region to the existing rail system from Columbia to Charleston. The direct route proposed by the chief engineer for the railroad was and this followed the natural ridge west of the Saluda River where Belton was to develop. One tradition says the community was named for Judge John Belton, railroad president; another says it was named for Belton O’Neal.
No matter who gets the credit for having the town named after them, please meet one of Belton’s finest residents. This young man is the pride of Citizens’ high School. He is David Cothran. David graduated from Citizens’ last March. He completed a year and a half’s worth of academic study in just one year. He proved to be a disciplined young man by sticking to a schedule of study.
David did spend time in a public high school. David discovered that the principle and teachers treated students differently if they were not playing sports. He also found that preferential treatment was awarded to students from the upper-class families. David decided that the best thing for him was to complete the requirements for a high school diploma from his kitchen table.
He earned a respectable GPA and his diploma from Citizens’ High School. Shortly after receiving the diploma he headed off to the Marine Corps recruiter. David is now serving in the corps and attending advanced training. Of course it goes without saying that he is earning good grades as a Marine.
David discovered a form of discrimination while a public school student. Instead of succumbing to it or escaping from it through drugs, he chose a righteous alternative. David Cothran has made us all here at Citizens’. He has earned our respect and deserved of all our prayers. He has voluntarily put himself in harm’s way for us, including those that discriminated.
David Cothran is Citizens’ High School
“Graduate of the Month” for February 2008