Saturday, May 26, 2012

TOP STORY >> NPHS holds graduation

Leader staff writer

Family and friends watched 148 North Pulaski High School seniors transition to adulthood when they received diplomas Wednesday night at the Jack Stephens Center at UALR.

The class of 2012 was awarded $1.23 million in scholarships.

Among them were 22 honor graduates, including valedictorian Austin Rodgers and salutatorian Megan Cease.

Rodgers will attend Hendrix University next fall and Cease is going to Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. Rodgers wrote a poem and read it aloud at the commencement.

He said, “I stand before you today, presenting words of play, attempting to keep crying moms at bay, thinking wow, seems like just yesterday. As we look back to remember, September through December seems to only grow dimmer, as it was the first semester. Of a yearlong anticipation, created by the culmination of aspiration and senior disorientation.”

“Before we step into the white light, we need to refrain from being contrite and actually appreciate how bright it is to have the limitless ability to take flight,” Rodgers said.

“We congregate to celebrate before we graduate hoping that we accelerate into a bright future full of culture minus the torture of failure,” Rodgers continued.

“I can only implore that you do not ignore any open door that gives you the floor to express yourself, to be yourself, to commit yourself, to believe in yourself. Because this generation will lead this great nation back to the original implication set by the declaration.

“So be inspired because our country is in dire need of people and politicians who will not fear or be illicit liars.

“Our dreams are allowed to gleam as long as we seem to attempt to beam into the atmosphere. It is clear that we seem to disappear after time but don’t rely on only the bad times.

“Just take your time to shine, to reach for the stars, to set the bar, to keep the world on par to make the most of every hour. Now delve into yourselves as you place this chapter of life on the shelf and let the world know there isn’t anything like the class of 2012,” Rodgers said.

Cease thanked the people who were supportive of her and told the graduates, “Make the most of everything. Look ahead. That is where your future lies. I wish you the best of luck. Life starts now.”

Principal Jeff Senn touted the school’s No. 1 choir and No. 1 band before Cease took the stage.

He joked about having to stall because the salutatorian is a member of the band that was playing at the ceremony.

The band performed “Earth Dance” by Michael Sweeney.

The concert choir sang “Do I Make You Proud?” by Mac Huff and the National Anthem.