|Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - June 2010
Copyright 2010 - Polk County Publishing Company
55 cross the stage at THS graduation
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – Thirteen years of school culminated Friday night for 55 Trinity students with the annual commencement ceremonies held at the Trinity Pines Conference Center. Highlight of the evening was the presentation of the diplomas along with addresses from class valedictorian Katherine E. Hernandez and salutatorian Miranda Pruitt. Also presented was the traditional slide show of “memories” featuring the cap and gown photos of all the graduates as well as many photos of their younger days and some highlights of the past school year. The event was kicked off by an invocation presented by class member Ar’Niqua R. Coleman and ended with a benediction from fellow graduate Curtisha Woods. In addition to Hernandez, Pruitt, Coleman and Woods, other honor graduates from the Class of 2010 included Harvey Bacon, Brittany N. Wingate, Ryan Elissee Mack, Adam Jeffrey Furbee, Macey Reanne Allee and Ashley Marie Stansberry. During the ceremony, interim Superintendent Jacob Sherman also announced that members of the class had been awarded a total of 64 scholarships valued at $241,150. Those scholarships were presented at a separate ceremony held May 27. In her address to the class, Hernandez said compared their public school years to a movie, “scripted to the smallest details,” in which they had to follow rules and guidelines set by adults. “We have had parents and teachers to guide us and help us stay out of trouble. But today, that movie ends,” she said. “We no longer have someone telling use what to do or showing us how to do our work or letting us know when the next assignment is due.” Now, instead of the well-scripted movie, the graduates will live in a “reality TV show” where “it’s you against the world.” She noted that while often overused, the cliché “You can do it if you put your mind to it” has been repeatedly proven true. “Each of us here today controls our own destiny. Nobody can take our dreams from us. “Bill Gates never thought he would be one of the richest men in the world and create the most widely used software for our generation, especially after he became a college dropout. “Leonardo da Vinci never believed he would create works of art that would still be around 500 years later; and Ted Turner didn’t grow up with the idea of founding one of the biggest and most well known news corporations called CNN. “These are all people from which we can learn, and there are many more. They teach us a very important lesson…we can do whatever we want, regardless of what other people think,” she said. Hernandez also thanked God for his guidance as well as her parents and her brother for their support. She also thanked the high school staff, especially “Senora Gardenia for making me laugh in class” and Assistant Principal Natalie Barrett for “helping me in my times of extreme stress. She also voiced her thanks to her pastor, Guy Hargrave and his wife, Glenda; Melissa Rice; and a number of her friends. In her salutatory address, Pruitt reminded the graduates of all the good times they have spent together and challenged them to move forward to fulfill their individual dreams. “We have spent our whole lives getting ready for this moment and now that it’s here, there are so many emotions rolling through all of us. Excitement, happiness, relief, nervousness, sadness, and maybe even regret are just a few we could name. “The dominant feeling residing in me at the moment is honor. I am deeply honored to by your salutatorian, fellow classmates and friends,” she said. She noted that having attended school in Trinity provided them all with one major advantage over those who graduate from larger schools. “We have all gotten to know each other at least relatively well. It has been a great honor and happiness to get to know each of you.” Pruitt noted that many people often mistakenly believe that because someone graduates from a small school, they cannot advance in life as far as some others. “I can’t count how many times I have heard a students say that they’ll never do much because of where they are from. Whatever you may say, Trinity is a great little town and we should be proud of where we’re from. “You can’t blame the location for not fulfilling your dreams. In this day and age, anything is possible. It has been said many times that you cannot let the feat of losing keep you from playing the game. “Napoleon himself once said, ‘He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat.’ “At the end of the day, courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. It is up to each of us to decide what is more important: playing it safe and doing what is expected of us, or taking a chance and going after our dreams,” she added. At the end of her address, Pruitt reminded the graduates of some of their experiences during school, which brought laugher and signs of approval of her classmates. She noted the many nicknames given to teachers by the students and the actions of various teachers that both excited and amused the students. “I hope all of you have experienced these things because, in mere moments, we are about to ‘get out’ for the last time. I wish all of you the best of luck and thank you for your attention,” she concluded.