Members of the Red River High class of 2022 marched into Pat Strother Stadium Saturday morning with heads held high and smiles on their faces. The stands were filled with family, friends, and well-wishers. You could feel the anticipation that something big was about to happen. In less than an hour they were no longer part of Red River High. Their status had switched to “alumni” and another phase of their journey had begun.
The four Summa Cum Laude grads had seats of honor on the stage. Payel Patel opened with welcome remarks and thank you to her family for pushing her to excel. Patel told her classmates, “Test scores don’t determine how intelligent you are or your future.” She said, “Your job is to capture this moment, and then move forward. We got this!”
The second Summa Cum Laude to speak was Brett Danzy. He said he didn’t have words of wisdom, just some advice. “Like an NFL team analyzes players, companies will analyze you. Past failures don’t matter. The don’t mean you won’t make a great citizen or employee. You’re off to great places.”
Zintayvious (Trey) Smith spoke third. After thanking God, family, and the staff of Red River, Smith said, “I’m gonna make this short and sweet. I’m ready to hit the road.” His advice to the class, “It’s time to take the lead and start on the road to adulthood. But remember the good and bad times you had at Red River High.”
The final Summa Cum Laude to speak was Jeyden Young. “The last four years have been eventful,” he said. Young added, “I am thankful my mom and grandmother pushed me to get my homework. Their pushing made me work. I wouldn’t be standing here if not for them.” His parting advice to the class of 2022, “You won’t always have everything figured out. Trust yourself and everything will be OK. All of you here, you will get through it. Now, go for true greatness.”
There are 68 graduates listed in the commencement program. Just about everyone earned an award or scholarship of one kind or another. And at the conclusion all 68 walked across the stage, shook hands with Principal JC Dickey and Superintendent Alison Strong, and walked off into their futures.
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