Although more than 250 students took home diplomas Thursday from Southeast High School, the night wasn’t really about the students, speaker Caleb Francois said.
“It’s about the village,” he said.
The village includes the teachers, parents, staff and community who all helped shape the students into who they are today. Only one person can help students answer life’s calling. And that’s themselves, Francois said.
“Embrace your gift,” he said.
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Everywhere students go after Southeast, and even while at Southeast, they left “fingerprints,” speaker Sofia Atzrodt said. Fingerprints are how all students will be remembered by others.
“Make it a conscious decision to live your life positively,” she told her fellow graduates.
A student’s life is their legacy, the only thing that exists long after everyone’s inevitable death, speaker Naomi Rafi said. The students have to believe in themselves and know life’s challenges are learning opportunities, and they can overcome the hard times as they build their legacies.
“Sometimes, it takes more than one try to get out of a tricky situation,” she said.
Southeast High School
Graduating class: 54th
Speakers: Sugg Middle School principal and former assistant principal Rosa Daughtry, student speakers Sofia Atrzrodt, Caleb Francois and Naomi Rafi.
Shining moment: As part of an annual tradition, graduating seniors also part of JROTC presented the colors at the start of the ceremony.
Interesting fact: The senior class typically picks a current staff member to give a commencement speech. Daughtry was transferred to be the principal at Sugg at the start of the school year, but was invited back by the seniors.
Best quote: “Be an eagle, pursue your dreams, walk in excellence, become productive lifelong learners and be a positive impact on society,” Daughtry.