Superintendent Ben Chaffee Jr. encouraged the class to take a positive view of the future, but to plan with endurance, realizing success will take time. Chaffee told the graduates he was proud of their accomplishments, “but you know there’s more.”
“There’s life, life after today; life after high school; life after college or the military or life when entering the workforce. Are you ready?” Chaffee asked. “I think so. I think we’ve prepared you for such.”
The superintendent compared the students’ educational journey to that of a Chinese Bamboo tree which appears to stop lie dormant without any visible growth for five years before springing up 80 feet in six weeks in the fifth year. We likened it to the hard work they’ll now need to put into the life ahead of them. Chaffee encouraged the, not to give up because they aren’t seeing the results they expected.
“Had the tree not developed a strong unseen foundation, it could not have sustained its life as it grew,” he said. “The same principle is true of people. People, who patiently toil toward worthwhile dreams and goals, building strong character while overcoming adversity and challenge, grow strong internal foundation to handle success.”
Chaffee encouraged students to draw on and be sure to apply lessons and skills learned in school.
“Life gets harder after today,” Chaffee said.
“Balancing between work and family, religion and politics, friends and those we thought were friends. There will be times when you truly with to be back in these halls, however, life doesn't provide a rewind button. ... but your South Central community has provided you with a deep root system over the past several years that will enable you to be whoever and whatever you want to be.”
Salutatorian Joshua Mayer agreed in his address to his fellow graduates, adding they were the ones who formed the foundation he needed for the past four years.
“No one ever mentioned how amazing each of my classmates are and how much of an impact they would go on to have in my life,” he said. “I don’t know if I would be the man I am today without each and every one of them and I’m confident they will go on to do great things.”
Valedictorian Emma Keysor acknowledged the teachers “who cared for and supported” the students throughout their time as Trojans.
“But the most important ‘thank you’ goes out to my classmates and my friends who have made my 13 years at South Central worthwhile,” Keysor said. “As we move on in the world, I think we should all be proud of ourselves.”
10 graduated with a technical certificate or degree from EHOVE
Class colors: black and gold
Class flower: cactus
Class motto: “Everything is possible for one who believes.” — Mark 9:23, the Bible.