Diplomas were awarded to 125 graduates at Delta High School's 115th commencement ceremony, held Friday, May 24.
After the processional and presentation of colors by the JROTC Color Guard from Delta High School, senior choir members sang the national anthem.
Senior class officers Thomas Duran, Josh Lindsey, Soraya Luna and Erin Zunich extended a warm welcome to everyone gathered at Panther Stadium. Among those seated on the stage were school board members Cheryl Hines and Kathy Svenson, who awarded diplomas at the conclusion of the ceremony, school superintendent Caryn Gibson, assistant superintendents Todd Markley and Kurt Clay, DHS principal Derek Carlson and assistant principals Kelly McCormick and Gregg Hawkins.
The Class of 2013 boasted four valedictorians and three salutatorians, all of whom gave brief addresses to friends, family members and school staff gathered for the momentous occasion.
"Seven speeches? Are you kidding me?" salutatorian Grace Kathrein said. She went on to give thanks where thanks is due — first to God, then to family members and the staff at Delta High School — the "epitome of dedication." Patti Chapman and Soraya Luna also shared their thoughts. "No matter what path you choose, I know you will do great things," Luna said. Chapman encouraged her classmates to appreciate the little things. "Most importantly appreciate this moment," she said.
Commencement speaker Kurt Clay, who is now a member of the schooldistrict's leadership team, was an assistant principal at Lincoln Elementary School when he first met the graduates. As third graders, he recalled, they were all eager to please. Then came Delta Middle School, where Clay was their principal two out of three years. The cute, innocent fun-loving kids were gone, he said. But then they moved on to high school — as did Clay — and he was amazed at how in four years they matured into beautiful young adults ready to enter the world of unknown.
"So how will you know where to go and what to do?" he asked the graduates. In response he read a book he enjoys sharing with his own three children at bedtime. In the book "Love You Forever," the mother sings to her son, "I'll love you forever; I'll like you for always; As long as I'm living my baby you'll be." Clay imparted a musical lilt to the lyrics as he read the short book to its conclusion. The answer to his question is easy, he said when he finished the touching story. The answer is love. Love yourself for who you are and what you stand for. Love what you do. Love your neighbor.
For their address, valedictorians Cleo Whiting, Clarissa Whiting, Ashlee Sunderland and Thomas Duran chose four traits they value — learning, helping others, passions and friendship.
Cleo Whiting said the the most important lesson the graduating class has learned is how to learn. "There's so much more room to grow," she said. "Keep asking questions, even if there aren't answers yet."
Sunderland focused her message on caring and compassion. "May we always help others out when they are in need," she said.
"Class of 2013, you need to go ... " Clarrisa Whiting said. "Most specifically you need to go after your passion. If you ignore your passion you ignore what makes you happy in life."
Duran encouraged his classmates to thank those who have made high school memorable, from friends to mentors to teachers.
As Joe Mock read the class roll and the diplomas were presented, counselors Shawna Magtutu and Holly Teyler-Crowder announced each student's future plans — military, the workforce, college. The Class of 2013, they shared, received scholarships totaling $302,950.
Closing comments were made by senior student council officers Jade Astin, Jaden Cowley and Skylyn Webb. As the high school band played the recessional, the graduates formed a line extending from one end of the football field to the other, then threw their mortarboards joyously into the air.blog comments powered by Disqus