Another generation began the next chapter of their lives as caps flew in the air, signaling the graduation of the 2021 senior class at Heritage Park High School.
After the opening moments of the ceremonies, Alijane Robertson was the first student to speak. She spoke about the trials and tribulations she and her classmates have faced, but was ecstatic to say that they made it.
“High school’s hard,” Robertson said. “From forming new relationships and friendships, to maintaining good grades, to staying on top of personal growth. It’s all been difficult. Although we’ve lost a few along the way to this day, I’m proud to say that I’m proud of all of us.”
David McDaniel followed, telling students to push for their dreams as they are attainable. He said to wake up every day with a passion and a drive, as that will set a person up for success in any endeavor.
HPHS Principal Michelle Ruckdeschel gave the students a motivational message, telling them that this is just the beginning of so many amazing things ahead of them.
“There’s different ways that you can play life,” Ruckdeschel said. “The first is to survive. And we could’ve just done that. We could’ve just gone in survival mode, but we didn’t. We persevered and we found a different word — strive. We strived for something better. We tried for more and we figured out how to accommodate all the different things and still have school and still create an experience for you guys despite the pandemic.”
Ruckdeschel said that the other way of playing life is to thrive, to constantly battle no matter what life throws at you in order to come out on top — something she said she believes every single graduate at Heritage Park can do.
Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Matt Robbins concluded the guest speaking portion, stating that the district is better because of the students at Heritage Park.
“Your parents, teachers and loved ones have given you the very best they have and now it is up to you,” Robbins said. “The diploma momentarily you will receive this afternoon reflects a lot of hard work. You have been an outstanding senior class and we are going to miss you. But even though you are leaving, a part of you will always remain with us and a part of us will always remain in you.”