RAYMOND — Of the 85 Raymond High School seniors who clad themselves in cap and gown and walked into the RHS gymnasium Friday night, each carried a rose.
Before receiving their diplomas, each student stepped down from the makeshift bleachers setup in front of the gymnasium, ventured into the surprised crowd, each handing a rose to someone there who made the moment possible.
“My classmates tonight would each like to present a rose to someone who truly helped us get through the past four years,” said Kimberly McLaughlin, one of the RHS senior class officers. “This person may be a teacher, a parent or even a friend. The teacher who bugged you every day to pass in your later work, the parent who yelled at you to leave every day at 7:13, even though they knew you could get there on time, 10 minutes later, or someone who simply listened to you when we needed you most. These are the things we will remember, and we really appreciate all you’ve done for us.”
Yet the evening, of course, was ultimately about each of those seniors, some who breezed to academic success throughout their four years at RHS, and others who worked for every passing grade.
“It’s crazy to think that we will not be waking up to come to RHS next year, to walk in the hallways we’ve grown to know, and most of all, not seeing all the familiar faces of our peers and teachers,” said senior class president Makayla Philibert. “But shortly we will all go our separate ways, either stepping right into the workforce or continuing our education.”
Though graduating high school is, in itself, a huge accomplishment, Philibert said RHS’s teachers administrators, coaches and advisors set she and her peers up for future success.
“As freshmen, we could not wait until the day we graduated. Now that it’s here, we can’t believe it,” she said. “High school went by in the blink of an eye, but we are ready to graduate. We have worked hard to get to this point, but we could not have done it ourselves. We need to stop and realize there are a lot of things we take for granted ... Because of your support and encouragement, we are hear celebrating this important night together.”
Also representing the Raymond High School Class of 2014 Friday night were Salutatorian Jessica Robey and Valedictorian Tarryn Goddard.