On June 2 the 2016 graduates of Virgin Valley High School said their final good-byes to teachers, staff, friends and high school days.
Commencement ceremonies began with the traditional processional ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ played by the VVHS band led by Kendra Graf. After graduates had filed in they stood for the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem sung by the Virgin Valley High School Show Choir.
Principal Cliff Hughes presented a warm welcome to family, friends and school board members who attended the ceremony. When it came time to introduce the Class of 2016 Valedictorians Principal Hughes commented, “This year it is my pleasure to introduce our 2016 Class Valedictorians; there are 11 of them. The number of students who have graduated with advanced honors and a 4.0 average is amazing and it shows you just what this class is made of.”
While most of the 11 Valedictorians offered traditional speeches, some presentations were a bit more ‘artsy’ as was the case for Savannah Browning who outwardly admitted that she hadn’t prepared a speech despite the constant reminders of not waiting until the last minute. Browning chose to lead the band in a song instead of fumbling through a speech that she didn’t write.
Valedictorian Madisyn Glieden put her speech to rhyme to entertain rather than bore the audience as she put it.
After the acceptance of the class of 2016 by Vice President of the Board of School Trustees Chris Garvey it was time to present diplomas to the graduates.
There seemed an endless line of adorned robes. They entered the stage still a high school student and in a simple gesture of crossing with diploma in hand they left the stage a young adult after all the hard work it took to get there; most just taking a hiatus before the really hard work begins.
The majority of the class of 2016 will leave behind the blazing western sunsets and the purple mountains majestically rising from the dust of the desert to seek knowledge and life experience in places like the great white north of Salt Lake City. Some will venture further from home to places like Texas or the Midwest and some will stay right here close to home. Most of the graduates will take the summer off from studies before venturing to their choices of higher education.
Madison Fielding is one senior who isn’t wasting any time on summer vacation. She’s beginning her advanced learning right away having taken just the weekend off to move to St. George. Fielding will be starting dental school on Monday, June 6.
Fielding’s mother Karen Fielding wrote on social media June 4, “The car’s all packed and she’s moving to St. George, Utah today. I’m so proud of this young lady and all the goals she has set to be successful. She starts dental school Monday and then will be attending Dixie State in the fall. Although I’m so happy for her, my heart is heavy.” And in a text message Mom Fielding added, “Although I’ve been sad that Madison is moving out so soon, I can’t help but think I’ve instilled independence in my kids so it’s a double edged sword for me right now.”