"When I think about the class of 2019, I think about social activists, entrepreneurs, artists, writers, photographers, teachers, leaders, doctors, and so much more. We're the class of 2019, and we're going to leave this world better than we found it."
The words of Macey Witt, the Honored Student Speaker at Somerset High School's graduation ceremony, seemed to encapsulate the spirit of the seniors and the school as a whole.
Friday night's graduation, held in the evening hours on a football field that is in the beginning stages of being covered in AstroTurf, was a fitting tribute to the class that, as Senior Class President Tanner Marshall reminded everyone, had spent much of its senior year patiently working around the construction and renovation projects that have improved and expanded SHS.
"But not only is the construction on the school facilities," Marshall said. "It's also on us, for molding us to being future doctors, engineers, lawyers, linemen, welders, military officers, designers, architects, nurses, and even car dealers like myself."
Along with speakers, the graduates and guests alike were reminded of all they have accomplished through poignant musical selections - by the SHS Vocal Ensemble preforming "Seasons of Love" from the musical Rent, and by a tune both written and performed by Class of 2019 senior Maryanna Meadows, called "The Journey."
Academic and athletic accomplishments of the class of 2019 took center stage, with School Board President Dr. Michael Hail telling the crowd that 41 seniors are graduating as both career and college ready, and board member Scott Gulock informing that the students have earned $3.238 million in athletic, academic and other scholarships.
In addition, ten seniors graduate Summa Cum Laude, with a 4.0 GPA and passing a minimum of six AP courses; 19 graduate Magna Cum Laude, with a GPA of at least 3.7 and minimum of four AP Courses; and 22 graduate Cum Laude, with a GPA of at least 3.6.
On top of that, Principal Charlie Brock spoke highly of many of the class's other accomplishments, including earning the highest ACT composite score in the history of the school, and being ranked 15th in the U.S. News & World Report's list of the best high schools in Kentucky in 2018.
"All this has made you, the class of 2019, very special to me, and I will miss each and every one of you," Brock said.
"I care about you not only as students, but as individuals, and I know that you all are going to be successful in life."