Lakewood High School seniors grabbed their diplomas and walked across the stage during the 2019 Lakewood Graduation on June 7.
Many of the students have called Lakewood their home for the last 18 years and will now enter a new chapter of their lives.
“I’ve lived in Lakewood my entire life. I started out in Cougar Creek Elementary, the best of the three elementary schools,” said student speaker Alex Williams.
“I’ve had the unique experience of watching us all grow together and seeing the patterns that developed along the way,” he said.
Valedictorian Kimmy Epperson wanted to recognize many of her fellow students who made up a great community for the school there.
“Thank you to the students of Lakewood High School for making this place like a second home,” she said.
Students said they will miss all the clubs and sports they got to be a part of during their time at the school.
“I think the more we get involved, the more we come together and the more we’ve learned,” said Williams.
“You can learn just as much working together in an activity as you could in the classroom,” he said.
Superintendent Michael Mack has known many of the students since he worked at Lakewood Middle School before leading the district.
“I first met you in sixth grade and you were sixth graders with a lot of pep and vinegar and look where you are now,” he said.
Mack appreciated how much students worked to get to this point.
“Thanks for your laughters. Thanks for accepting challenges. Thanks for failing and then getting up. Thanks for listening most of the time,” he said.
Lakewood High School Principal Jeanette Grisham was also happy she was able to lead the school this past year with this graduating class.
“As I look out tonight over all of our seniors I see many things. I see students who know how to persevere in the face of obstacles. I see students who know how to be flexible. I see students that are kind to one another and accepting,” she said.
Teachers and students encouraged graduates to live a life they could be proud of.
“Don’t let society define success in your life,” said Epperson. “Whoever you are, whatever you do, whoever you love, follow your passions."
“How will you treat other people? Will you treat them with compassion and understanding, or will you treat them with hate and intolerance,” said faculty speaker Mike Fellows.
Fellows encouraged students to bring positive change to the world if they could.
“You should find what’s going to help you get up every morning and make a difference in your life and everyone’s life,” he said.
This is the last year that Superintendent Mack will serve in the Lakewood School District as well, as he has taken a position as superintendent of the International Schools Group in Saudi Arabia.
Lakewood School Board members thanked him for engaging with the community and students.
“It can’t go without saying the amount of time and effort it took to make this high school the best learning environment for our students and a place this community can be proud of,” said School Board President Jahna Smith.