Callaway High School celebrated its 21th commencement ceremony Thursday night and said goodbye to not only the Class of 2017, but also a longtime Assistant Principal and Registrar.
Principal Jonathan Laney noted that his Class of 2017 has earned more than $2 million in combined scholarships to further their education beyond Callaway. Laney remarked that Callaway was also parting with Assistant Principal Dr. Steven Landry. Landry is retiring this year after more than 40 years of service in education.
In a more somber moment, Laney pointed out that one of the seats was purposely kept empty for the ceremony in honor of Kavon Zelaya, who would have graduated with this class. Kavon passed away in 2012 while attending Callaway Middle School. Kavon had been a standout football player and he remains well loved by his fellow classmates.
As has become standard for the local high school graduations, commencement addresses were provided by the Salutatorian, Henry C. Hetzel, and Valedictorian, Grace Deana Summers.
Henry Hetzel provided some words of wisdom he gathered from his time at Callaway and spoke of friendship, family, and the future.
Hetzel remarked about his love for his fellow students and referred to them as a family, which is a recurring theme at Callaway High.
“Everyone here is a family, no matter how dysfunctional,” Hetzel joked.
Summers likened her time at Callaway High School to the Wizard of Oz.
“Sometimes the yellow brick road isn’t as straight as we’d like it to be,” noted Summers advising her classmates to, “Remember each step, but do not dwell in the past.”
She echoed Hetzel’s remarks reminding her classmates that their future is up to them.
“It’s up to us to ensure that our future is one to be proud of,” said Summers, “Never do just enough to get by. Pursue what you are passionate about.” Summers closed out her metaphor reminding the students that they didn’t need the courage of the cowardly lion, the brains of the scarecrow, or even the heart of the tin man, what they needed to graduate was within them all along.
“Welcome to the other side of the rainbow.”
Tommy Murphy Staff Writer