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May 18, 2014

Comanche seniors look to their dreams during commencement ceremony

COMANCHE — With tears and laughter, the seniors of Comanche High School were encouraged to follow their dreams, to never give up and to always keep their goals in mind.

On Friday night, 81 Comanche seniors were recognized as new graduates by the Comanche Board of Education, a moment accompanied by the shifting of tassels and the tossing of caps. For the seniors, graduation night was the thing of dreams, something they had been aspiring to since they began their school careers.

“Dreams are what have driven this senior class,” senior Trevor Coursey said as he introduced  the valedictorians and the salutatorian.

For the Comanche High School Class of 2014, the class word was “dreams.” And the students had plenty of them.

But through the word, the valedictorians and the salutatorians looked at other words that have propelled the seniors to be successful and to pursue their dreams.

Sara McGarr talked about “discipline,” noting its strong correlation to setting goals to reach dreams.

“I feel by being focused and deliberate, this class will achieve its goals,” McGarr said. “If the mind wills the body, it will propel you. To find true happiness, you must keep the discipline.

“We all come from the same small town. It’s great to be yourself. Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams.”

Salutatorian Kiley Johnson spoke of “responsibility,” noting how the students are where they are because of their actions. He said the students are responsible for their failures and their successes.

“Drive to succeed,” Johnson said. “Take responsibility for something.”

When Dalton Wood talked about “energy,” he used it to note the importance of hard work to reaching various goals and dreams.

“Concise, focused energy is called hard work,” Wood said.

Wood infused his speech with humor, beginning with the discussion of how he went to the Internet for inspiration or plagiarism for his speech, but was unable to find help. And when he turned to TV, he once again found himself at a loss.

As he preceded to tell of his high school career and the times hard work came into play, Wood’s humor played a role. Wood pretended the mic cut out at certain portions of his speech with his voice coming back at random times to highlight his good mood for the ceremony.

But toward the end, he provided his fellow graduates with words of advice.

“Hard work is important to my life,” Wood said. “Hard work will dictate where your life will go. Today we finish writing the first few chapters. The next page we turn in our lives is unwritten.”

Cody Crow’s word was “authenticity,” something he wanted his peers to keep in mind as they followed their dreams. Crow said it’s important for students to be true to themselves and to be fair to those they come in contact with.

“By doing the right thing, we all can achieve,” he said.

As she spoke about “motivation,” Hayden Stephenson spoke of inspiration, setting goals and keeping a purpose in mind.

“Motivation is key to success,” Stephenson said. “As a class, I hope we can stay motivated and achieve our dreams.”

For the final word used in conjunction with “dreams,” Hannah Suson spoke of “servanthood,” presenting a challenge to the senior class.

“I challenge you all to have a heart for servanthood,” Suson said. “Most of you have a story of a staff member who served you, not because it was their job but because they wanted to.”

She said the seniors should follow their teachers’ examples of servanthood to go forth and serve others.

As the graduation ceremony drew to a close, CHS Principal Steve Dunham talked about the senior class and how he knew they would all find worthy dreams to chase.

When they were first getting started in Comanche Public Schools, word spread of the class being large and filled with extraordinary people. And as the students reached high school, Dunham found the stories were true.

“They’re good athletes, good students,” he said. “Don’t forget where you came from. We’re here if you need us.”

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