It was party time for the Ellison High School class of 2022 as 550 new grads cheered on Saturday at the end of their school song, and the green-clad grads prepared to walk out of the arena from the Bell County Expo Center.
According to Hampton senior Lorenzo, who officially hosted the start of the ceremony, it took 4,788 class periods for students to progress through four years of high school.
It also required “all-nighters, online classes and lots of caffeine,” she said.
“We have gained friends and lost friends. We have adapted to new learning styles. We have changed so much, and it was scary at times, but without change there can be no growth.
Preparing to enter the arena together, Ellison Valedictorian Brianne Gaines and Salutatorian Kimberly Niemiec acknowledged a range of emotions.
“I’m nervous, but excited,” Gaines said. “I’m happy because we’ve been waiting for this for four years and sad at the same time.”
In her speech, the top graduate highlighted the mix of emotions. “Excitement for what’s to come. Anxiety about what’s to come. Sadness, because you don’t want this to end,” she said.
With graduation comes exciting new ventures, as well as the challenge of the unknown, she said.
“We are thinking about our last game. Our last meeting. Our last concert. Our last performance. Our last day.
“All the memories we’ve made with our peers and mentors will last a lifetime, but now, class of 2022, it’s time to do more,” Gaines said.
“Let’s celebrate how far each of us has come, from a struggling freshman to a senior grad, and rejoice that we’ve made it, it’s finally over,” said Niemiec, the Salutatorian. of style.
After researching the common themes of salutatorian speeches and finding a confusing mix of sad, but not too sad, with a bit of motivation and philosophy, she decided to simplify the formula.
“Instead, I leave you to ponder these five simple words,” she said, “be phenomenal or be forgotten.”
Niemiec urged his classmates to look beyond their high school accomplishments and strive to excel more. “Keep working hard and persevering to succeed like you have to get to this point.”
“Today we are graduating,” she said, “and tomorrow a world of opportunity awaits us. I implore you all to strive for greatness and never settle.