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They Sure Are Grad

Photo by Mckenna Hegger

Photo by Mckenna Hegger

Delaney Tarpley

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Imagine: Your parents are beaming with pride and your younger sibling may or may not be sleeping. The lights are brighter than you ever thought possible. You hear the music swell and the surge of the senior class pushes through the curtain. While it may only be a few steps across a stage, those few steps and a piece of paper will carry you forward and onto the next big stage of life. And for LHS’s class of 2017, graduation is only nine days away.

“It’s a moment for all the seniors to be proud of,” senior Jessica Maschino said.

Graduation will be held on May 9 at 2pm at the Silverstein Eye Center in Independence, Missouri. With an expected crowd of 3,500 people attending, this year’s graduation will be different from previous ones.

“What makes this year extremely special is that this is my first group of freshmen,” Dr. April Adams said. “This is a super big deal because I have watched them since 9th grade and have watched them develop into the amazing young adults they are. I’m so proud of them.”

Along with that, this year will be the first full symphonic orchestra performance at a graduation.

“The symphony winds have been coming in every Monday and Friday during Liberty Hour since marching season ended,” orchestra teacher Michelle Davis said. “Now, we’re working with the string players to try and get them together. We have motivated kids who love the music, so I

Graduation is a bigger moment than just what the ceremony entails.

“I think graduation is significant to me in because it is finally the end of four very successful, stress filled, fun and strong four years,” senior Corben Phillips said. “This is a nice way to bring it all to an end.”

Adams, after participating in over 20 graduations throughout her lifetime, sums up graduation with a short and simple statement.

“It’s a celebration of the past four years and all they have achieved and it’s also a celebration of hope and opportunity for what is to come,” Adams said. “Graduation is exhilarating and exciting. I get chills just talking about it. There’s just so much pride, so much excitement, and even some thrill because there’s hope and potential. You look around at the parents and the loved ones and they’re just beaming at their graduates.”

Although the ceremony is to celebrate the success of seniors, Adams warns those who don’t take it seriously.

“We’ve had seniors who haven’t been part of their graduation ceremony because they have behaved poorly,” Adams said. “It is not a right to walk at graduation, it is a privilege. Your transcripts are what you earn, but to be a part of the ceremony is a privilege. It’s a privilege to celebrate the class and to ruin that for everyone else because you want one minute of fame is selfish. That’s what I try to stress to them, that it’s a celebration of the class.”

The staff and seniors make sure to stress the point that it’s about the families just as much as it is about the graduates.

“For many families the commencement ceremony is the first time that a member of their family has completed high school,” Adams said. “I always tell our seniors the commencement ceremony is a formal event.There are members of the class who have lost family. There are members of the class who have battled catastrophic illnesses. There are members of the class who have excelled beyond what we would consider humanly possible because of adversities or tragedies in their life.”

Several seniors have conflicted feelings about graduation and all that it represents.

“The end of high school has some very mixed feelings for me,” Phillips said. “I am so ready to be free and a college student but I am also very terrified about jumping away from what I know so well and what I feel safe in. However, I do think that graduation is sort of way to ceremoniously sever the cord that binds us to LHS and I think it will be a nice way to end our journey.”

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The school news site of Liberty High School
They Sure Are Grad