Fifty-one graduates received diplomas during Miami High School’s 104th commencement exercises, held at 7 p.m. Friday, May 24.
The seniors processed to their seats as the MHS Concert played the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance,” which was also used as the processional song.
Once the GHS JROTC had posted the colors, graduate Circe Maynard led the pledge of allegiance, after which graduate Marco Reyes played the national anthem on electric guitar.
Graduate Kaylee Hodson led the invocation, followed by an introduction by Maria Cook, who also spoke later as third in her class.
Cook said that every day when she arrived at school, she just wanted to leave. “So why is it so hard to leave now?” she observed.
Cook also encouraged her classmates to acknowledge their teachers and their parents and family members with a round of applause.
Afterwards, Kristen Holliday, who was fourth in her class, congratulated her classmates, saying that “Every test, every paper was worth it.”
Salutatorian Ashlyn McDonald said, “All of us have that one person or one teacher” who made a difference in your life.
“Don’t forget whose shoulders you stood on,” she said.
Valedictorian Audrey Ownsby reminded her class that while one chapter of their lives was ending, another is beginning.
“Never follow someone else’s path,” unless one is lost and looking for a trail to follow, she said. “This is your life.”
The remarks echoed the Class of 2019 motto, which is “I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path and lead a trail.”
Principal Glen Lineberry made the presentation to Miami Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Sherry Dorathy, who accepted the Class of 2019.
MUSD Board President Paul Licano, along with other board members, awarded the diplomas to the graduates.
The band played the Alma Mater, sung by the graduates and the audience alike, and benediction was given by Esmerelda Torres.