Rainy skies faded to blue as Medomak Valley High School staff, faculty, and parents honored the class of 2022 on Wednesday, June 8.
MVHS junior Lyra Stevens led seniors from the east wing of the school to the student parking lot where the stage was set for the graduation ceremony.
MVHS Principal Linda Pease brought 2022 seniors and U.S military service members Baylee Stewart, of the U.S Air Force, and Charles Casas, of the U.S Army National Guard, on stage for the national anthem.
Pease recognized parents and guardians of the MVHS graduates during the ceremony by asking them to stand while the audience, staff, and graduates congratulated them with applause. Pease then spoke about the 2022 class earning more than half a million dollars in scholarship funds.
Elizabeth Swan, senior class president, spoke to her fellow graduates about what they overcame and her favorite part of their journey together.
“My favorite thing about being part of this class since middle school is we have continuously proved that, together, we are more than the sum of our parts,” Swan said. “We have been able to come together at the end of this difficult time and make the best of the cards we were dealt.”
Valedictorian Cameron Bains spoke about how fast graduation arrived for her.
“At the end of sixth grade I was given a folder as I was promoted to the seventh grade and on that folder was written class of 2022,” Bains said. “I never thought as an 11-year-old that the year 2022 would come so quickly.”
Salutatorian Owen Weber discussed how a freshman named Christopher Harris was his mentor during Weber’s final year at MVHS, despite being younger.
“The definition of a mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor,” Weber said. “It goes without saying that Chris has experience and I undoubtedly invest my trust in him.”
Brooke Holland, an art teacher at MVHS, was the keynote speaker for the graduation. She talked about the experience seniors faced overcoming COVID-19 and addressing mental health stigma in the community.
“You have had the unique experience of knowing what high school was like before COVID, during COVID and living the aftermath of COVID,” Holland said. “You’ve helped shape positive changes in our school by breaking down stigmas of mental health and bringing into focus the importance of an individual’s wellbeing.”
Holland said that hearing from seniors led to incorporating social and emotional learning into classrooms, leading to stronger interpersonal relationships.
Stevens led the students out for one final march together before starting their lives as high school graduates.
A full video of the MVHS graduation ceremony can be found on the Medomak TV YouTube channel.