BY BRANDY TEMPLETON
The Class of 2022 at the Agriculture & Science Early College turned their tassels Friday afternoon before a large crowd of friends and family members.
Principal Billy Wells congratulated the seniors and reminisced about their early days at the school when some of the students help assemble chairs.
“Most of you have been with us since we opened in August 2017,” Wells said. “You literally helped us build this school. In turn, we helped build you.”
He continued telling the students he trusted that they will “move forward, go far, and represent ASEC well,” encouraging the grads to thank all of those who helped them get there.
“Life is collaborative. We do not work or walk alone,” Wells said. “Our relationships with others are our most valuable things.”
Honors speakers Haley Mason, Erica Miller, Lesley Gonzalez, and Brandon Koopman expressed their appreciation for the ASEC staff and encouraged their classmates to keep pursuing their dreams.
“None of our success would be possible without our teachers that cared for us,” Mason said.
She encouraged her classmates to make the most of their days.
“Life is an adventure. It is what you make of it,” Mason said. “Make the most of every moment and have fun while doing it.”
Miller was homeschooled until enrolling at ASEC. Her message was also encouraging, sharing life lessons with her peers.
“Eat an elephant one bite at a time when life is overwhelming,” Miller said. “Make wise choices in what you do today to avoid bad consequences of tomorrow,” and “make the most of every minute.”
Miller also thanked Jesus for helping her succeed. “I want to thank my Jesus,” she said. “You can look to the one who gave His son for you. By looking to this one you can have abundant life now and eternal life evermore.”
Gonzalez shared a quote by motivational speaker Denis Waitley.
“Commitment is that turning point in your life where you seize the moment to alter your destiny,” she read. “I’ve been very scared of this turning point, but it’s time for celebrating all you’ve done and promising yourself to only do better.”
Gonzalez told her classmates that all that matters now is their ability to move forward.
Before the Class of 2022 graduates were each called to the stage, Koopman closed by acknowledging graduation brings about a time of uncertainty.
“I used to think of graduation as a light at the end of the tunnel,” he laughed. “But it’s actually a freight train hurtling down towards me.”
He told the class not to be scared, but to face it head on and embrace what comes next.
“We have many differences, but our similarity is our drive for success.”
Wells closed, again congratulating and encouraging the class and acknowledging the coming change.
“The next time you come back to visit, everything will be changed,” he said. “You’ll feel different and it will be different. But you’ll be an alumni and proud representatives of our school.”
The Class of 2022 was collectively awarded $3.8 million in scholarships.