Google and giggles were on the commencement agenda at St. Francis High School Friday evening.
Words of wisdom were shared with the class of 2014 by David Roberts, school board chairperson.
Roberts shared his excitement at being asked to give a charge to the class of 2014.
“Back in January when I found that I was going to have the honor of speaking to the 100th graduating class of St. Francis Senior High, I was instantly thrilled,” Roberts said.
“I wanted to be able to impart the wisdom of the ages in such a way that they would remember these words forever. So naturally I did what anyone in my position would do. I went home and Googled how to write a graduation speech.”
The graduating class giggled in understanding.
After divulging what he learned from his Google search, Roberts changed to a more serious note. He encouraged students to make decisions which will leave the kind of legacy they desire. He also told students to not let the past define them.
“I never had the privilege to sit where you guys sit today, hats and gowns, ready to walk. In fact, a teacher once told me that my name would never appear on a diploma,” said Roberts. “Today my name is on 379 diplomas.”
Students erupted in joyful laughter and applause at the way Roberts encouraged them to overcome obstacles. Each of their diplomas had been signed by a school board chairman who believes in their power to write a new chapter in their life story.
Student speakers were Shannyn Telander, Mitchell Greene and Abilene Olson.
“It’s been real St. Francis, but now we set off on the maiden voyage of adulthood,” said Telander. She reminisced about her accomplishments in acclimating to high school and the new journey she and her classmates now face.
“Find the next dream you want to climb over, to cross over and to conquer and to eventually hail over,” she said.
Greene reminisced about his preschool graduation during his speech and then about his years in high school. “We crossed so many roads getting to this point,” he said. “I want to encourage you to relax your grip on the past and reach out to the future.”
Olson imagined her and her classmates’ graduation as the beginning to a journey down various roads. “This is our opportunity to find our own road,” she said. “The keys are in our hands. All that is left to do is turn the ignition and drive.”
Students stepped on stage one by one and received their diplomas, a key to their future.
Special awards were given to three students. Adrianah Trevino-Gartner and Nicholas Carrigan received citizenship awards for exemplifying citizenship in their daily lives.
Maria Zutz received the all-around student award, given to a student who excels in academics, takes rigorous courses and is involved in extra-curricular activities.