Keynote speaker Janna Sisson, who is also the VHS nurse, told the junior class during a recent ring ceremony, “to give less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”
The quote, she said, is one from Steve Prefontaine, famed American long distance runner who had one leg longer than the other and was told to give up his dream of running.
“Always give your best at whatever you do,” she said. “This year. Next year, as seniors, and in your life after you leave this school.”
She spent several minutes encouraging students. Each day of one’s life is a gift, she said. Everyone, she said, also has a special gift. She encouraged each to use their “gift” to help others. She made reference to the class and the work they have done in the community already including helping in the tornado aftermath.
“You will be seniors next year. Leave a legacy of the class of 2018,” she said. “Don’t sacrifice the chance to have a positive impact on others and have precious memories that will last a lifetime.”
Held in the high school cafeteria, class president Chase Lewis served as the emcee. He talked about how speakers chosen were representative of the entire class. Also, he said it is the first time in forever that four males were the class officers. Introducing Mrs. Sisson, he touted her praises.
He also introduced the other students who spoke including Wyatt Milliken, Talyn Lawrence, Kaitlyn Weaver and Dawson Frazier.
Laughter filled the room when Wyatt, addressing his peers, said he didn’t want to advance past seventh grade when he learned there would be no recess. On a serious note, he encouraged his peers to strive for a “winner mentality.”
“Push hard and finish the race,” he said. “You will receive the prize you are due.”
All of the speakers had light as well as serious moments. Kaitlyn cracked a joke or two. She talked about the current status of her peers as well as the future.
“We are basically seniors now,” Kaitlyn said. “How crazy is that. I remember kindergarten like it was 12- years-ago.”
Talyn also joked. She told her peers that the past 12 years should not be the best 12 years of their life.
“When we graduate, we will lose some friends and when that happens, I will say good riddance. I was tired of you anyway. Just kidding—kind of,” she joked, and added. “I love my class of 2018.”
Dawson thanked his peers for allowing him to speak. Born deaf, he said, he never thought he would be “up here speaking to y’all.”
He took students on a stroll down memory lane from elementary to the present time talking about events that he enjoyed.
In conclusion, he said, “As we become seniors, we must remember that we have people watching us. I don’t mean our families or friends. I mean the younger kids—the kindergarten—the fourth grade—the eighth graders. They are looking up to us. I know I did when I was in those grades. I always looked up to the seniors and wanted to be as good as them. So we must set a good example. These rings we are about to get or more than just a senior ring. It represents our achievements, our experiences, our memories and the time we spent together as a class. All of that into that little ring and we get to carry that with us for the rest of our lives. It is a symbol of personal growth to adulthood.”
The event concluded with rings being handed out to students.