A-A grads look forward to future

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
The graduating class of 2018 of Alta-Aurelia. / Pilot photos by Elijah Decious

Alta-Aurelia High School held its graduation ceremony for the class of 2018 on Sunday, marking the annual bitter-sweet moment that most graduates look forward to from the moment they start high school.

“Today’s the day you’ve been looking forward to for a number years,” said Tom Ryherd, principal. “It has been an honor to work with you. I wish you success as you embark on the next step of your life.

“Success. That’s what we all want, right? That is what all of us want for you, hoping we’ve prepared you to go out in the world. Regardless of how much we’ve prepared you, or how prepared you feel at this point to success, there will be times that you fail,” he cautioned.

A graduate hugs his mother after receiving his diploma.

“There will be incidents in your life where things don’t go the way you want them to go,” he continued, telling graduates that their success will not necessarily be determined by what happens to them, but rather how they respond.

“Are you going to give up? Say it isn’t for you? Ignore the doubters, the ones that say it’s easier to change your dream. Listen to your own voice, the one that tells you that you can bounce back, and refocus on your goals,” the principal said in encouragement.

“We finally did it,” said Gracie Meier, one of the student speakers from the graduating class. “High school was a confusing, crazy, fun-filled time, and I, like most people, took it for granted. Never again will I have this much love and support from my community,” she said in a melancholy speech reflecting a realization of everything she took for granted as she prepares to navigate life on her own.”

The choir hugs their choir director and teacher, Natalie Bradburn.

“Our class has made so many memories together that it’s hard to acknowledge them all,” said Amanda Dunson, another graduating senior. Dunson her classmate Elizabeth Hill reflected on the class of 2018’s embarrassing moments throughout the year: running into mail boxes, arguing whether water was wet and suffering awkward, week-long romances.

“And yet, through all these occurrences, embarrassing moments, drama and a major case of senioritis—which some of us have had since freshman year—we still managed to get to this day,” Hill said.

“Without your unwavering support, we would never have been able to achieve this,” concluded Peyton Robbins on behalf of his graduating class. “It is with your continued buttress that we will make our first steps into adulthood using the tools that you gave us to explore this new frontier. While some of us may be scared, terrified and saddened, we are all ready to face the challenges that await us.”

“Anything worth attaining is going to require work and perseverance. Remember: failure is not the opposite of success. Rather, it is a key component of success,” Ryherd concluded in congratulating them.