During Friday’s ceremony, seven students were also recognized as receiving Commonwealth Diplomas, considered the most difficult diplomas to achieve, and the most prestigious, thanks to stringent class credit requirements, including the required completion of a minimum number of AP classes, GPA requirements, and more.
Those students recognized were Benjamin Andrews, Marie Angeles, Faith Call, Gracie Curry, Jessica Sierra-Dominguez, Ariana Noguera-Molina, and Kari Popplewell.
A number of students were also recognized as scholarship recipients, and Doug Grider, SWHS senior guidance counselor, stated the class accepted a staggering $3,150,206 in scholarship aid out of an offered $4.6 million.
The theme of the night was change, and Angeles emphasized that, despite the achievements of the Class of 2013, they’ll be remembered more for what they do beyond high school.
“I encourage you to extend your reach beyond the standards of society,” said Angeles, in her closing. “I encourage you to chase your dreams. I encourage you to persevere when times are difficult and to be thankful when times are good.
“Even though we have achieved great feats over the past few years, remember this: We are not defined by assessments, the number of points we score during a game, or by our popularity, like most students are disillusioned to believe, but our conviction, by our actions, and our character and integrity.”
Valedictorian Faith Call had much of the same sentiments in her own address, and she asked that her fellow students remember to appreciate the little things in their lives as they move toward their prospective goals – whether it is a post-secondary education, a career, a family, or something else. Call likened their movement from high school into the world beyond as a new flight of stairs, one to be tackled and defeated.
“The sun is setting on one stage in your life,” said Call. “Tomorrow, when the sun rises and shines on a new flight of stairs in your life, applaud the new beginning. Hold your head high, and take the first step, like a Warrior.