The seniors of Pulaski County High School have a lot to celebrate now. They have finished their final school year and will be moving on to bright futures.

Kevin Cook, principal of Pulaski County High School, opened the school’s 2023 graduation ceremony on Saturday morning and congratulated the graduating class of 292 students. Cook said that this moment symbolized the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood and that it was a moment of pride.

Cook said that the students started this journey over a decade ago and reminded the class that when they started, “Facebook was something your parents barely knew about and Minions were introduced.”

Cook celebrated the students’ achievement and perseverance.

Class President Benjamin Dalton then gave his speech introducing his class. In his speech, he took pride in his representation of PCHS on the basketball court, noting the school’s reputation and its “tradition of excellence.”

Dalton spoke on the school’s mascot, the maroon. He spoke on the 16th century pirates who would leave their prisoners on deserted islands, leaving their fate in the maroon’s hands. Though a bit of a macabre analogy, Dalton spoke optimistically of it and likened this historical tidbit to the academic careers of PCHS students: Their fates are in their own hands.

“As adults, our responsibilities are so much greater now. We can go to war. We can drive a car. And we can buy $5 scratch-offs at our local gas station,” said Dalton, eliciting a laugh from the audience.

Dalton said that before he started high school, he watched the movies “The Breakfast Club,” “High School Musical,” and “Superbad,” in preparation. Though he admitted that his high school experience was nothing like these films, Dalton instead said that everyone’s experience is different and that these moments are fleeting and to be cherished.

After the speakers had finished, the students walked across the stage and received their diplomas from Pulaski County Superintendent Pat Richardson.

The students then threw their caps in the air and let confetti and powder fly. They cheered, embraced each other, and took selfies.

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