The stands of Elizabeth High's football stadium were filled to capacity with relatives and friends of approximately 168 seniors during the May 25 commencement exercises. Attendees braved a chilly …
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The stands of Elizabeth High's football stadium were filled to capacity with relatives and friends of approximately 168 seniors during the May 25 commencement exercises. Attendees braved a chilly wind, with remnants of snow on the field, to watch their graduates make the move from students to adults.
Principal Bret McClendon encouraged students to take full advantage of their newly earned right to vote, and make their own difference in the world.
“Vote. It is the single most important responsibility you have as young adults,” said McClendon. “Too many people pass this responsibility off to others. It's your responsibility now, don't waste it.”
The choir sang “The Road Home” followed by an instrumental presentation of “Moana,” before the school's 10 valedictorians were recognized, and each one addressed the crowd with stories of high school, hopes for the future, and words of advice.
Valedictorian Lindsey Johnson encouraged fellow students to “go out and do everything you want to do.” Tessa Smith delivered words of inspiration about following dreams.
“Society can no longer tell us what to do,” said Smith. “Your dreams become your reality as soon as you start chasing them. I suggest you buy good running shoes.”
Other valedictorians addressed the changing world where hate and judgment have become a standard, and encouraged graduates to remain compassionate toward others.
“I've admired my fellow students who make people feel they belong,” said Brandon Kohrt. “I hope we don't lose our compassion or bravery.”
Elizabeth seniors received $1.6 million in combined scholarships, and recipients were recognized, along with those headed off to serve in the military. Superintendent Douglas Bissonette wrapped up the ceremony with thanks to the parents of students, and the residents of the Elizabeth School District for supporting the passage of the 4A mill levy override last year.
“You're never too old to thank your family,” said Bissonette. “It is because of their support that has made all of this possible. I want to thank the Elizabeth community for their support on 4A, which was the strongest level of support anywhere in the state.”
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