The Valley Central High School Class of 2022 celebrated the culmination of their high school career on Saturday, June 25, 2022, on the high school field. Under the hot summer sun, graduates received their diplomas before friends, faculty and staff, and loved ones.
Valley Central High School Principal Dr. Russell Burns expressed how proud he was of the students for rising to the challenges thrown their way over the past four years and for their resilience and grit.
“Within just a few years, your perspective on life has changed tremendously. As you begin the next chapter of your lives I would encourage you with these three important lessons. The first being to never stop learning and education is never wasted time. It’ll broaden your perspective and provide you with the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions. A college degree is a wonderful tool and so are internships, trade schools, the military and even traveling to other parts of the world,” he shared. He went on to say that the second lesson is to set high goals for yourself and continue that throughout life.
Lastly, Burns encouraged students to remember others as they travel down the road ahead, “Thirdly, I would encourage you to look for ways to serve others. Know that you can accomplish great wealth, great fame and get all that you want out of life, but what matters is how well you serve those around you.”
Board of Education President Joseph Bond thanked the staff and school professionals who helped get students to where they are today. He encouraged the Class of 2022 to enjoy the moment and appreciate the opportunity standing before them.
Valedictorian Rian Dickman told fellow classmates and those in attendance that the number one thing she felt standing there in the moment was gratitude. “Gratitude for my teachers and peers for providing me with the most memorable although unconventional four years and gratitude for the opportunity to again have the experience of walking through the halls with my closest friends,” she said.
Dickman shared that the last few years combined with graduating high school had her contemplating about the rest of her life. She quoted lines from the Billy Joel song, “Vienna”, about continuing to chase your dreams and never settle while leaving space for fate to work.
“After graduation we all still have our entire lives to begin building our own Vienna. The path looks different for each of us with some of us going to college whether away from home or locally, some of us going to work and some of us going into the military. These separate individual journeys are necessary to help us find our own definition of success and happiness. However, Rome was not built in a day. Each of us can dream and plan for the future, but fate will make its own plans for us,” said Dickman.
A special moment during the graduation was the recognition of educator Kim Carver who celebrated her final year leading the chorus during the gradation. Carver was honored for her dedication to the school district and she will be retiring this year after 28 years with Valley Central.