EAST BEND, N.C. -- A Yadkinville native is taking over the role of senator for the state of Massachusetts.
William Maurice Cowan will replace John Kerry, who has been named the nation's new secretary of state.
"I accept this temporary post, confident in the knowledge and perspective that I've acquired working closely with you and the lieutenant governor," Cowan said.
"I though, wait a minute, 'I know him,' Debra Ashe said. "He went to Forbush and I remember him!"
Ashe and Deborah Motsinger remember their student fondly as they look over old Forbush High School yearbooks.
"I remember him being an exceptional student," Motsinger said. "He was extremely articulate."
Cowan was a standout student; a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, Spanish Club and an active choir member.
"He was really active with chorus and the music program here," Ashe said.
In his senior yearbook, Cowan thanks his mother for having the greatest impact on his life and being vital to his success. Cowan's father passed away while he was a student at Forbush.
"He was just a totally outstanding student, fantastic personality, hard worker," Ashe said. "He set high goals for himself and attained those goals."
His teachers said Cowan always loved classroom discussions and got along with everyone. They said it is just unbelievable to see what amazing things their students go on to do.
In class they showed their students the video of Cowan accepting his new role as a Massachusetts senator.
"You really for the feeling that he was destined for big things," Motsinger said. "Even at that young age."
Cowan will be Massachusetts' second African American senator.