The 55th-annual commencement ceremony for Miami Trace High School was held on Sunday afternoon with hundreds of parents, guardians and friends in attendance at the gymnasium.
The ceremony began with the processional as the crowd welcomed the class of 2017, Miami Trace High School teachers and district administration. Following the National Anthem and a vocal selection under the direction of Holly Stanley, high school principal Rob Enochs introduced the board of education, superintendent David Lewis, assistant principal Bryan Sheets, Great Oaks Representative of Student Services Debbie Frantz and the senior class advisor Meagan Strahler.
Enochs finished introductions with the salutatorian, Todd Peterson, and valedictorians, Blake Pittser, Clare Sollars and Allison Streitenberger. These students, who graduated at the top of their class, had the privilege to share a few words with their classmates to give advice, share memories and say farewell.
“To our parents, family, and friends, thank you for supporting us in all our endeavors, for steering us down the right path, for helping us learn right from wrong, and how to be good and decent people,” Peterson said. “Thank you for everything you’ve done to ensure that we have a successful future. On behalf of the class of 2017, I would like to thank everyone and anyone who has supported, taught, and impacted our lives to make sure we are prepared and able to take on the world.”
Pittser took the podium next and took time to ask for a moment of silence for the classmates who passed away. He asked that the class and audience remember Jordan Tyler Fall, as he would not be there to graduate in person, but said he is in their hearts. Additionally, he asked the audience to remember Larisa Ayzza Bryant and Dylan Sloan.
“When looking back it’s hard to remember a day that I, as well as everyone else, was not ready to graduate,” Sollars said. “We rushed through the years and days saying we had senioritis about three months into freshman year. We are about to enter into something unknown. Whether we are beginning college or starting a career, life as we know it is about to change. We will no longer be living at home or seeing our friends everyday. There will be several people here today that we will never see again.”
Finally, Streitenberger said no matter how indecisive someone can claim to be, it is inevitable that choices will be made. She encouraged her classmates to stand by those choices, strive for greatness and never settle. She said that in life everyone will do things that they wish they had never done and will do other things that they wish they could replay over and over in their heads. But, she said, those decisions, “make us who we are, and in the end they shape every detail about us. If we were to reverse any of them we would not be the person who we are.”
Class president, Mykayla Eggleton, also took the opportunity to speak to her classmates and give a farewell speech to encourage them to remember their roots in Fayette County and at Miami Trace.
As the ceremony progressed, Enochs named 28 students who received honors diplomas, one senior (Victoria Miller) who received a Career-Technical Honors Diploma and one senior (Daryan Haffly) who managed to maintain perfect attendance throughout all of his high school career. Sheets and Strahler finished with the names of those who received scholarships.
“To the class of 2017, we extend our congratulations and best wishes for the years ahead,” Enochs said before presenting the class for diplomas. “You now join over 10,622 alumni of Miami Trace High School. We appreciated your cooperation over the years and wish you the best in the future.”
Lewis left the class with one last piece of advice – in the end how they live will be summarized by one sentence.
“My advice to you is to pick it now!”
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy