The Carson High 2016 graduation was all about memories.
The memories the students made in the last four years as well as the memories they have yet to make the rest of their lives.
More than 400 students collected their diplomas, surrounded by friends, teachers and loved ones Saturday morning at the Carson High football stadium. Valedictorian Ethan Lopes said it should be a moment that’s treasured forever as it’s something they will never experience again.
“Today is the day we worked so hard for and it comes once in a lifetime,” Lopes said. “...to quote Dora the great Explorer, ‘We did it. We did it. We did it, hooray.’”
Lopes said the class is like a single entity, a seed, that has grown together over the last four years to blossom to a full and strong tree.
“We became the finest tree,” Lopes said. “What other class has more record-breaking athletes, state recognized musicians or culinary connoisseurs? Now like any other tree, it is time to branch out, but no matter how distant we grow, we all have the same roots... I am proud to have the opportunity to grow with you guys at this school. I hope that the memories of our friendships will be everlasting.”
The Salutatorians Quinn Peterson and Tristan Martel spoke about how important it is to surround one’s self with quality, loving people, and how it’s important to remember the past but also to look toward the future.
“Don’t underestimate the life ahead of us,” Peterson said. “But this isn’t about the memories of the past, we must live our lives trying to create the memories of the future.”
For senior class president Cassidy Cox, high school was four years of too little time. She compared the future to a bank, with each day giving 86,400 seconds to spend making each day count.
“We walked into this school four short years ago not knowing how little time we had,” Cox said. “As we look back, there are happy times, sad times, and struggles... but you have to make the most out of today.”
It would seem the 2016 class did make the most of its time. The senior class was home to a National Merit Scholar, state-winning soccer team players, 96 Career and Technical Education students, HOSA and SkillsUSA champions, and this class graduated with more than $3.9 million in scholarships.
“It would take me hours and hours to mention all the accomplishments of this class,” said Principal Tasha Fuson.
But as the diplomas were collected and caps thrown into the air, the class of 2016 parted, no longer a unit of Carson High. Some will look back at the last four years fondly, others may not, but no matter what they all had memories to look back on.
“You get so eager to leave but you will always miss your friends and once you go you miss them,” said Bailey Wolf about what she’ll miss most. “But it is a relief (to graduate).”
Salutatorian Martel had one last regard for his classmates before they all parted.
“To quote my home boy Winnie the Pooh, ‘Tigga we made it!’”