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Wed, May 27

Williams High School graduation ceremony<br>enjoyed by everyone<br>

First to the microphone was WHS senior and Salutatorian Sherry Duffy, who spoke of the blessings of freedom and equal opportunity education.

“We are pleased to have you here with us tonight to recognize something we have worked 13 years to obtain,” Duffy said. “I would also like to welcome our teachers. You’ve shown us the value of education. Without you, we would not have the knowledge and charisma that we do today. Last, but definitely not least, I would like to welcome our friends and family. Without you, we would not be the people we are today.”

The audience then heard a welcoming speech from Williams Unified School District Superintendent Susan Scherz, who thanked staff for organizing the ceremony, and opening remarks from WHS Principal Bob Kuhn.

“Again I’d like to thank the parents. You’re the reason the graduates are sitting over there. The hard work that has come from them has come from you,” Kuhn said.

Next up to the podium was WHS 2004 Valedictorian Natalie Mayfield, whose speech focused on the mystery and excitement of an uncharted future.

“I would like to start off tonight by congratulating the class 2004 — we’ve made it. All those years of hard work have finally paid off,” she said. “Tonight, we are going to walk off this field and into the real world, ready to take on whatever it has to offer.”

Upon the Valedictorian’s finishing statement, the flow of speeches broke to allow the Williams High School band to perform the theme from “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring.”

The next speech — that of 2004 class Historian Erin Brothers — drew smiles and laughter from the graduating seniors as Brothers outlined the 13-year history of the 2004 class, starting with kindergarten.

“Take the first step in faith,” Brothers said, opening up with a quote from former civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

She went on to chronologically cite the names of certain classmates and the memories that came with them.

At the students’ request, a heartfelt commencement address was heard from Williams Elementary-Middle School teacher Scott Mayfield, who used the movie “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” as an example, urging that the graduates “be excellent to each other.”

A unique slide show, which took about six months to produce, then became the center of attention. The show feature individual now-and-then pictures of 2004 class members with a separate soundtrack to match each person.

Finally, it was time for the graduates to receive their diplomas, which they did. Those from the grandstands joined others on the field in celebration. Cake and beverages were served in the school’s new cafeteria immediately following the ceremonies.

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