The future looks promising for LBHS 2018 grads

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Long Beach High School’s Class of 2018 headed out into the world after receiving diplomas and words of inspiration during a meaningful graduation ceremony held on June 22. The school’s 95th annual commencement ceremony brought the seniors together one last time to share in each other’s victories and support one another in following their dreams.

Veteran’s Field at Long Beach Middle School was energized with proud family members, friends, teachers and district leaders who applauded the seniors for well-earned accomplishments and cheered them on in the ventures ahead. The graduation band performed “Pomp and Circumstance” as the Class of 2018 members filed onto the field and the graduation choir performed the national anthem. 

Principal Jeffrey Myers welcomed all honorees and guests and shared his own high school graduation experience. Board of Education Trustee Dr. Dennis Ryan also addressed the graduates, in the form of a song that he wrote specifically about their class. Audience members chimed in for the chorus.

Salutatorian Patrick Morris described some difficult circumstances that he and his classmates faced together and ways that they used these times as opportunities to grow and learn. “I hope you continue learning and growing – evolving each and every day whether in a traditional classroom, at home, or in a manner all of your own,” he said. “Look at challenges as opportunities, as moments to improve. Be the improvement. Make the difference. And any time you doubt yourself or your ability to overcome, just remember back to where it all began and how wonderful it all turned out. Remember that you write the narrative of your own life – always make it a good one.”

Valedictorian Dillon Razler spoke about the steps it took for the seniors to get to this important moment. “So much of what we have accomplished could never have been done without a feeling, deep down, that nothing could stop us from achieving it,” he said. He drew upon the advice of Theodore Roosevelt: “Believe that you can and you’re halfway there.” 

An award-winning athlete, Dillon listed many sports highlights that members of the graduating class have earned and noted that each feat was the result of belief in oneself and hard work. “Confidence in all that you can do is key, and the mentality that you can do whatever you set your minds to will bring you all very far in life,” he said. “Having a great deal of determination to succeed and a strong work ethic in general will empower you to pursue what your heart desires.”

In Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jennifer Gallagher’s address, she introduced three theoretical “guest” speakers: Ed Sheeran, Malala and the Rainbow Fish. She summarized each of their stories in overcoming adversity and left the seniors with a collection of valuable life lessons about doing what they love, being courageous in standing up for their beliefs and sharing their gifts with others.  

“When people ask you about your graduation speakers, you can say that they were Ed Sheeran, Malala, and the Rainbow Fish, and that they urged you to follow your passion, live your life with courage, and be men and women of service,” Dr. Gallagher said. 

Senior Class President Chrysalis Mandell spoke about the significance of this milestone for the graduates, and Mr. Myers then presented the Class of 2018 to the audience and joined members of the Board of Education and administration in the distribution of diplomas. Diana Weiss led her classmates as they turned their tassels from right to left to represent their transition from students to graduates. 

To commemorate the official announcement of this significant and long-awaited moment, the graduates tossed their caps into the limitless possibilities that lie ahead.