Right: Ty Lawson named Student of the Year
His classmates laughed as Senior Class President Ty Lawson introduced the commencement speaker by pulling tools, including a hammer from under his robes.
Known for his motto during football season, “Be the Hammer not the Nail,” Coach Jim Newsted came to the dais, picked up the hammer and said, “Not today.”
“After graduation, you are now a part of society. Rest assured, you will make a difference.
“Life involves sacrifices. We all have to decide what is important to us and the people we love.
“Like your parents before you, you have a acknowledge your highest priorities. The most valuable item you have in your life is time. Our time is a precious commodity.
“Your time is speeding away. You need to make the most of it.
“My advice is to arrange your priorities. Use it to quench your thirst for knowledge. Use it to spread love to people around you. Concentrate on them.”
He then pulled out a jar partially filled with golf balls.
“Graduates, consider this jar your life. The golf balls in here are the most important things in your life. They fill up your life. They represent your family, your children - one day, your health, your friends and your passion. They bring you happiness, self-worth and satisfaction.
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Upper right: Commencement speaker Jim Newsted used golf balls, pebbles and sand to illustrate the different degrees of importance in your life, and to keep them in perspective.
Upper left: Emmett Sullivan was Valedictorian and Caden Flynn was Saludatorian of the West Platte Class of 2022.
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“Then we have pebbles. These represent materials that are significant, that sustain life. Your career, your education, your home and your car. Yes, they are important, but they don’t necessarily define who you are.
“Your life still has more room. The sand represents everything else in your life, the small stuff in your life. The things that feel really important to you right now, but are not.
“They are the opinions of others. Likes on social media, your bank account, things in your past. If you make them your priorities, there will be no room for the golf balls in your life.
“Thus I challenge you to make a constant effort to pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness, whether your children. Take time to take care of your body, care for your loved ones, follow your heart, follow your passion, and do the things that make you smile.
These are the things that matter, the big things in your life. “The future is yours. Make the most of your golf balls. Congratulations, God bless, and be the hammer.”
Valedictorian Emmett Sullivan congratulated his classmates on their accomplishments.
“Wow, what a ride, from our first timid days as Freshmen, Sophomore year ending early as a strange unknown virus, to the last days of our senior year. Point is, we’ve been through a lot.”
He noted that the challenges would prepare them for life ahead. He also emphasized that this was a cohesive class. “We made it a priority to be sure no one is left out. We are a class that was competitive while still looking out for each other.”
The class will use a total of $1.356 million in scholarships.
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Christian Lintner, Lamar Henderson and Cameron Williams, all of whom are headed to Basic Training, led the Commencement crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. In the background is High School Principal Brock Dover.
Check out a few of the stories in this week's Weston Chronicle!