CHS graduates 101, Sturgeon – 31
Between them, the faculties and administrations of Centralia R-VI and Sturgeon R-V awarded high school diplomas to 132 graduates the weekend of May 14.
Sturgeon held their graduation the evening of May 14, Centralia the afternoon of May 15.
Both were held at their high schools.
At Centralia, Ava Stephens and Annamarie Stone were the commencement speakers.
They shared messages of optimism and enthusiasm with thier fellow graduates.
I would like to congratulate each and everyone of you on graduating and would like to welcome you to the big kid world,” Stone said from the podium as more than 500 listened. “I know that the next steps we are going to take might be together or we might end up on completely different edges of the world. So while we take our next steps I encourage you to remember the things we learned throughout the past 13 years of our life. Whether it was trying to pass a timed test or waiting till the last minute to write your paper, each and every day you were encouraged to work hard and always do your best.”
Stone advised her listeners to work with and trust the systems they had spent the last 13 years studying.
“Next I encourage you to trust the process. Two years ago each of our lives came to an immediate halt. We were sent home to an unknown future eagerly awaiting just a little bit of guidance. Turning on the news at exactly 2:59 to hear what the governor had to tell us about the world that was just simply outside of the door. But look at us now, because we trusted the process our class will now go down in history as the first class to have a normal graduation
after a pandemic. So whether you’re awaiting a call back from a job or simply just awaiting a grade back from a really hard test, I want you to trust the process and believe that everything will work out for good and will happen like it is supposed to.”
Stone concluded with some advice:
“While you might not have had fun in school I hope you find things that you can enjoy and have fun doing. So as we prepare to walk across the stage, throw our caps, and walk out of the doors for the final time as students, I encourage you to remember the simple basics we have learned, work hard, trust the process, and do not forget to just have fun.”
Stephens, for her part, reminded her classmates of the practical and humorous , as well as academic benefits of their time with the district.
“While the Class of 2022 has gained a great deal of academic knowledge over the past 13 years, I think it’s safe to say we’ve gained a fair amount of practical wisdom, too–the kind of stuff that will keep us alive and save us money and help us find romance.” Stevens said. “For instance, in kindergarten, we learned that if you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll want a glass of milk to go with it, and in eighth grade, we learned that if you give Griffin Anderson a random key, he’ll find the door that goes with it in less than five seconds flat. Speaking of doors, our class learned that not all doors are meant to be opened, and neither are all windows, for that matter–especially in this school. And that sometimes, when you force a window open, it falls out of the exterior wall and shatters all over the classroom floor. Just ask Caitlin Ward.”
Some of that learning might have occurred off the school grounds.
For example: “Last year,” Stephens said, “we learned that an entire can of house paint won’t ruin the finish on your car if you speed to the nearest cop’s house and get it under a garden hose as soon as possible. We also learned, during a separate experience with the cops, that when you get pulled over while joyriding with your friends, the FitBit smartwatch will actually congratulate you on your killer cardiovascular workout based on the rapid heart rate you maintained for a solid thirty minutes.”
She also addressed the somber side of things, with a small side of humor.
“All jokes aside, I hope I speak for the entire class of 2022 when I say I am grateful to have been a part of this class and a part of this community. Thank you, Centralia High School, for giving us the opportunity to be musicians and actors, artists and athletes, future farmers and future business leaders, decision makers and mistake makers. We are a group of authentic young adults, eager to set out on new adventures, to find our way and meet our people. Looking out at my fellow graduates, I see aspiring nurses, welders, teachers, salesmen, ranchers, service members, filmmakers, and engineers. More importantly, though, I see a generation of young people intent on making positive contributions to society, to do their part, each in his or her own way, to improve the lives of the people around them, and I am proud to have taken this journey with all of you.
My final message for you today, Class of 2022, is this: as you head out into this big, crazy world, don’t you ever, ever let anyone tell you that something is impossible. If this ol’ girl can graduate in the top ten of our class believing she could get pregnant from eating deep-fried bull parts, literally anything is possible.”
Approximately 48 hours earlier and seven miles west, Liberty Stone and Grace Thomas were the student speakers for Sturgeon’s class of 2022.
Liberty Stone’s was short and sweet.
“Thank you to the people in the community that give without expecting anything in return. Thank you to the parents, the ones that raised us at home, and the ones that welcomed us into their home to ransack the fridge,” Stone said. “Thank you to the teachers, who encouraged and supported us, even when we struggled. We wouldn’t be as successful in our endeavors if it wasn’t for you.
When I started to write this speech, I wasn’t sure what to say. But I think the best thing to say is that we’ve done it.
Many of us started in kindergarten together, walking the elementary school hallway that always seemed so big. We would take naps, sometimes when we weren’t supposed to, and throw pencils across the room when we were supposed to be napping. And at our kindergarten graduation when we said what we wanted to be when we grew up, we all said the same thing as the kid in front of us…”
Others have joined along the way, whether it be during the rough middle school years, or even in high school. We’ve learned so much over those years, when it came to our education, when it came to each other, and when it came to life. This school helped us grow and become the graduates we are today.
Together, we’re walking the stage tonight. Tonight marks the ending of our time together in high school, and even though our path won’t be the same as the kid in front of us, we’ll still have this foundation to connect us.”
Thomas had this to say. “Good evening, first I would like to thank all of you, from family, friends and staff for being here tonight. You have all played an impactful role in each student graduating today.On behalf of the graduating class of 2022, We thank you all for the individual efforts that have prepared us
for this day. To my fellow classmates, where do I start?
Most of us have been here since kindergarten but we have gained a few along the way.
We have definitely made some memories to say the least. Something I won’t forget is Sheldon accidentally impaled Shanes hand with a thermometer and it got stuck in his hand. Or Nathan puking on me during a choir concert in 5th grade. Jacob splattering a whole ketchup packet on the wall in middle school. You would think going online would limit us from these moments but they didn’t. Cameron still slept on the zoom meeting just like he does in every class.
It all went by fast just like our parents said it would. So I hope all of you cherished these precious moments we spent together. Even though we say we can’t wait to be out, one day we
will wish we were back. But the hard truth that we have to face is that everything ends eventually. I’ve never been one for endings. The last day of summer, the final chapter of a good book. But endings are Inevitable, leaves will fall and you’ll close the book.Today is one of those days for us all.Today we say our goodbyes. But as Winnie the Pooh always said “how lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” Thank you.”