Sixty members of the Nixon-Smiley High School Class of 2022 walked across the stage to receive their diplomas during commencement exercises at Mustang Stadium on Friday, May 27.
Emilie Janicek delivered the valedictory address, noting the Class of 2022 would soon “all go our separate ways and get to choose the life we want to live.”
“After 13 long years of school, we finally made it to the day every high school student dreams of,” Janicek said. “In a few minutes, we’ll walk the stage and receive our high school diplomas. It feels like it was just yesterday I stepped through the doors of Nixon-Smiley High School for the first time, excited for all the next four years had to offer. I thought I had all the time in the world to participate in everything. I didn’t believe the alumni who told me how fast the years would fly by.”
Janicek told the class she had taped to their chairs what she called the five life lessons she said kept her “sane” during her high school years:
• Always ask questions. “We shouldn’t expect anyone to spoon-feed us the information we need.”
• Succeed anyway. “If there is an an obstacle, person, place or thing, find your way around it and keep working to what makes you happy.”
• Know when it is worth a fight. “No matter how bad a situation might seem, trust in the Lord with all your heart. On your own intelligence rely not. In all your ways be mindful of him and he will make straight your path.”
• Be the change you want to be. “Stop talking about the things you don’t like and do something to make them better.”
• Success is discipline. “Sometimes what we want the most takes the longest to achieve. We’re going to have to sacrifice what we want right now for the even greater reward of what we can become.”
David Abundis delivered the salutatory address and spoke about how the senior class had already taken great strides towards being adults as they navigated the ups and downs of high school.
“Our time here as a senior class will not be remembered by attendance, grades or popularity but by our experience,” Abundis said. “Many will claim that adulting starts after high school, but that’s not the case. We have experienced loss, struggles and hardships. We’ve also experienced joy, resiliency and accomplishments, including this one. These are the wisdoms we carry into our new lives.
“For some of you, you are the first in your family to graduate high school and for most, you are the first to go to college. For others, you are following your parents’ footsteps in pursuit of your dreams. Today marks an important milestone for us. This is just the surface of our potential and our contribution to the world.”
Christiana Ramirez, the third highest ranking senior, delivered the invocation, while Joslyn Canales, the fourth highest ranking senior, gave the welcome. Lizette Macias, the fifth highest ranking senior, delivered the farewell.
Principal Jim Weaver presented the senior class while superintendent Jeff Van Auken and the N-SCISD board of trustees presented diplomas to the graduates.