Umbrellas dotted Panther Stadium as commencement ceremonies opened Monday evening, but a light rain shower didn't dampen the festive occasion. This was the moment the 2019 graduates -- and their parents -- had been working toward for the past 12 years. So while the skies were gray, the mood was bright and sunny.
After the presentation of colors and the national anthem, salutatorian Claire Corbasson addressed the gathering. She shared a story of a petit prince who learned to take time to enjoy the little things, take comfort in the stars and thank the ones who love you.
The message from valedictorian Caleb Frazier was just as polished as you'd expect from a seasoned member of the high school speech and debate team. Promising a speech with "multiple messages and no thesis statement," he wove together quotes from Tonya Harding and Frankenstein, from "Of Mice and Men" and "Call of the Wild."
"People are always getting ready for tomorrow," he quoted, "but the present moment is all we have and this is our moment."
Student body president Jenna Sutliff introduced the guest speaker, Sandi Spika Borchetta, a 1978 Delta High School graduate.
"Don't let a small town upbringing keep you from dreaming big," she said. Since graduating from DHS, she has fashioned a successful career in the music industry and is currently senior vice president of creative for the Big Machine Label Group based in Nashville, Tenn. "You don't just fall into it, you have to work up to it," she said. "So where did it start for me? I made my three sisters dance around the living room so we could put on a show for our parents. I told them what to wear and where to stand. I'm not a singer or actor but I found my niche helping others in the business." She shared video clips from some of the performers she's worked with -- Lady Antebellum, Demi Lovato, Justin Bieber and Sheryl Crowe, to name a few.
"You really have to believe in yourself," Sheryl Crowe shared with the graduates. "You need a clear vision of what you see yourself doing. Stick with it and every time you hear the word nor or can't, use that motivation to keep trying, to keep working."
Sandi opened her talk with a music video that featured the 2019 graduates of Delta High School. In her closing remarks, she urged the students to start dreaming. "Dream first, then determine what's do-able," she said. "You're already one in a million so you've got nothing to lose."
After a guest performance by Saveria, diplomas were presented by school board members Pete Blair, Ron Germann and Jill Jurca as registrar Cheri Reece read the class roll and counselor Jessica Schneider shared each graduate's plans for the future.
As dusk settled over the stadium, senior class president Blake Naranjo led his classmates in the time-honored tradition of turning their tassels from the right to the left side of their mortarboards and the graduates filed out of the stadium with a mixture of emotions.