‘Officially the last day’: Soroco Class of 2022 graduates 34
OAK CREEK — Confetti and grad caps on the hardwood floor marked the joyous conclusion of the Soroco High School Class of 2022 graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 28, where 34 Rams concluded their education in Oak Creek.
“This is officially the last day you have to be on time to high school,” said salutatorian Sophia Benjamin.
In her speech, Benjamin said her issue throughout high school wasn’t so much being on time, but remembering everything she needed to do. She grew fond of lists and notes, so she wanted her speech to serve as a reminder to her classmates of what to bring to the next steps in their lives.
First, she addressed Jack Benedetti and Brendan Gustafson Peck, who are enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. and the U.S. Army, respectively.
“I hope you remember to pack bravery, resilience, courage, honesty and determination,” Benjamin said.
To the graduates entering the workforce, she encouraged them to pack a strong work ethic, kindness, tenacity and confidence. As for those continuing their education, Benjamin said they should pack good study habits, organizational skills and an open mind, among other things.
“I don’t know if college is ready for us, but I know we are ready for college,” Benjamin said to her classmates, who she said make up the best class to ever walk the halls at Soroco.
Kayla Rossi also had a fun approach to her speech. She was one of six students who earned the top grade point average, but was chosen to speak as valedictorian.
“I want you to imagine this,” she said. “I just received a lamp that had a genie within and I’m allowed to have three wishes granted.”
Her first wish was that each of her classmates keep learning. Her second is that they all stay engaged over the next few years of their lives, taking the time to enjoy their growth, rather than stressing about it. Lastly, she wished the class would stay connected.
When talking on the importance of connection, Rossi mentioned a beloved teacher that saw the Class of 2022 in elementary school as a principal, and as a teacher in middle school and high school. Her comments served as an introduction to Raylene Olinger, who delivered the commencement address, echoing many of the sentiments of which Rossi spoke.
Olinger reminded them of essays they wrote in sixth grade after reading Steve Jobs’ commencement address that spoke about overcoming obstacles.
“You were pretty insightful, even then,” Olinger said. “You wrote about failure being a part of success and what your definition of success was. There are similar themes that apply to today.”
After all the speeches, Jed Kirby was the last person to step to the stage. Ahead of leading his classmates in shifting their tassels and throwing their caps, he acknowledged that the ceremony was nearly over. As said in the lyrics of their class song by Scotty McCreery, they just had “five more minutes.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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