By Wyndi Veigel
Laughter, selfies and lots of purple and gold could be seen as the Farmersville Class of 2015 closed one chapter of their lives while opening a new one.
Commencement ceremonies were held May 28 at Plano Centre with more than 100 students walking across the stage.
Prior to receiving their diplomas, students were awarded local and university scholarships totaling more than $500,000 this year.
Several of the top ten students participated in the commencement ceremony by sharing thoughts and prayers with the audience members.
Valedictorian Grace Harrison drew enthusiastic applause from audience members as she used her film knowledge to deliver a Marvel’s “The Avengers” inspired speech.
Freshmen year, Grace said, the class started out as Steve Rogers, otherwise known as Captain America, who was a man after a 70-year slumber woke up in the modern era.
“Needless to say, he was a bit displaced and had to learn how to adjust. As freshmen we felt out of place. We were insecure and didn’t really know how this big new world of high school functioned,” the valedictorian said. “We suffered from anxiety over staying out of the way of the upper classmen, finding a place to sit at during lunch, and just finding a place to fit in.”
Grace then transitioned into talking about the class moving into their sophomore year.
“Sophomore year saw us transition into the more battle-worn forms of Black Widow and Hawkeye. Like these super spies, we were a part of the system and more experienced, but we were still underclassmen, and we still had no super powers,” she said. “We had advanced from meager freshmen, and were now slightly cooler, but we still didn’t fall into the heavy weight rank of the upperclassman.”
Sophomore year also had the class of 2015 struggling through harder classes while struggling to find their niche.
As junior year approached, class members became the Hulk, Grace said.
“We channeled the Hulk’s alter-persona, Dr. Bruce Banner, while taking the advanced classes of junior year. With classes getting harder and time being sparse due to all the extra-curriculars, we saw more and more appearances from The Hulk,” the valedictorian said. “This was especially true after Mr. Nappo’s Roller Coaster Project and Senor’s Spanish III class. It was all any of us could do not to turn into enormous green rage monsters and smash our way out of the high school. We got through it though, and we learned a lot.”
With senior year, rolled in Tony’s Starks Iron Man.
“This is the year where we felt like we could take on the world with heads full of sarcasm and hearts full of self-confidence. We believed we were experts on pretty much anything and everything. We were the top dogs. We had an extremely successful senior year,” she said.
Among accomplishments for the senior class was the One Act Play advancing to area, the Volleyball, Football, Basketball, and Baseball teams all advancing to play-offs and two tennis seniors advancing to regionals.
The Academic UIL Science, Literary Criticism, Math, and Journalism teams were all represented in regionals and the Robotics team made it to state.
“This last one is really special to me. The band seniors made history their junior year by being in the first Farmersville Band in history to win sweepstakes. Senior year we were a part of the first band to make winning sweepstakes a tradition,” Grace said. “To add on to that, someone very close to me always says, “Our goal in life is to leave this world a better place then how we found it.” So, as we leave this place, remember all of those who helped you get to this moment in life and who encouraged and pushed you to achieve greatness. Whether they are in this room tonight, elsewhere in this world, or with God in heaven, know that they are proud of what you have accomplished these past four years. In all of us there is a piece of Captain America, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Hulk, Iron Man, and Thor. In all of us there is that potential for greatness. That being said, I just have one more thing left to say…”Avengers Assemble.””
Salutatorian Jennifer Callaway also shared thoughts with the graduating class including her relationship with Jesus Christ.
Starting off her speech, Jennifer thanked her friends, family, teachers and administrators for all of their help over the past 13 years in teaching the class of 2013.
“I kept putting off writing this speech because I knew that the moment I finished writing, everything would become a little more real to me. This is it. We are actually graduating from Farmersville High School,” she said. “I have thought long and hard about what I should say to you today, and I have decided that I must speak from my heart. Jesus is the most important Person in my life. He is the center of who I am and without Him, I would not be here today.”
Jennifer also spoke as to labels she had received throughout her years within Farmersville ISD.
“I am aware of all of the labels people have given me. Principal’s daughter, athlete, nerd. I am not better than anyone else, but if I had to be labeled as anything, I would want to be labeled as a follower of Christ. I am not ashamed of who I am in Jesus Christ. I know that I have failed many times to shine the light of Christ to people around me,” she said.
The salutatorian also spoke about how important it was to make every moment count because time is precious.
“So let us value the time given to us here on earth. Go out and make a difference. Live each day as if it is your last. Laugh even if no one else is laughing,” she said. “ Let yourself cry because tears bring healing. Tell the people close to you that you love them because you never know when goodbye is really goodbye. Believe in yourself and trust yourself. Most of all, love who you are because God made you. Do not let your scars, whether physical or emotional, define you but let them be a reminder to you to keep fighting through every storm that comes in your life. Don’t let others tell you what to do with your life, but live the life that you believe God is calling you to.”
Closing the graduation ceremonies, a prayer was shared by Senior Class member Jay Lokey.