It was a sunny Saturday morning with a light breeze when 32 seniors walked across the stage of the Herndon Gymnasium to complete their Syracuse High School journey. Some worked hard academically, were involved in sports or FFA and community endeavors. Others fought to get to this day and shone with pride of their achievements.
Janika Pizarro performed the National Anthem on the trumpet followed by an introduction from class president, Miles Stum. High school teacher, Steve McAllister gave the invocation.
Salutatorian, Arely Reyes and Valedictorian, Emma Heglin delivered their speeches. Reyes quoted Eleanor Roosevelt saying, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” and thanked her mother for always being her role model. She encouraged the upcoming classes to talk to the teachers or counselors, “They are there for you!”
Heglin encouraged classmates to set goals. “They are a foundation to life, helping push you to do your best!” She shared some advice she has used this year to “Take time for yourself and enjoy the little things, focus on the little things to achieve the big things.” Having recently lost someone special in her life, her advice was to “Always take pictures when you’re asked, especially by your family and to take everything one bite at a time.” In closing she thanked a few of her closest friends, her parents, who made her what she is today, and the community for their support
Following the senior video and presentation of flowers from graduates to family and friends, Principal Paul Zuzelski spoke, “There is always hope and success.” Using several students as examples who could have failed but decided to change and graduate.
Santos Gonzalez quit high school after his 2016-2017 freshman year to go to work. “Two years later, Santos walked into my office and said he wanted to come back to school, I remember telling Santos that he would be almost 21 years of age when he graduated!” Santos replied that he needed school. He will turn 21 in August and will attend Dodge City Community College. “Ladies and gentlemen, there is always hope and success,” said Zuzelski.
Daniel Molina is another example of hope and success. Zuzelski explained Daniel hated school with a passion and proved it by failing most of his classes his sophomore year. but during his junior and senior year, Daniel didn’t fail a class, and will attend a trade school.”
As the community and graduates sat in the Herndon Gym, named after Terry Herndon, who generously funds thousands of dollars in scholarships each year, Zuzelski recognized Emma Heglin and Miles Stum as recipients of this years $10,000 Herndon Foundation Scholarships.
Following the presentation of diplomas and transfer of tassels by Jocelyn Leyva, a reception was held on the gymnasium floor to congratulate the graduates.
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