Grad time: Goshen High School honors senior class with graduation ceremony
Published 3:00 am Saturday, May 28, 2016
By Jacob Holmes
Dr. Brooke Burks, associate professor of education at Auburn University at Montgomery, used what she learned at an active shooter training exercise as advice Friday night to the 71 graduating seniors of Goshen High School.
“Run, hide, or fight,” she said. “Those are the three options we were told we have if an active shooter was on campus. Sometimes you’re going to face active shooters in your life.”
Burks, the high school’s first ever commencement speaker, explained when the graduates should choose each option.
“There will always be people who tell you that you can’t do something,” she said. “Run from those people.
“When something unexpected happens, hide yourself in your faith, family, and friends; then come out and move ahead.
“Finally, when you’re struggling to make ends meet, when you’re working two jobs and going to school and just trying to hold it all together, don’t’ give up. Fight.”
Burks left the class with a warning not to become an active shooter to others, but to uplift them.
Salutatorian John Paul Steel followed the speech with one his own.
“There are two roads in life,” he said. “One is wide and easy, the other is full of trials, obstacles and hard times.
“The first road is tempting. You can go down it and have a simple, average life. But I challenge you to take the other road. The reward is worth it.”
Valedictorian Shelby Styron gave the final speech of the night, breaking down the year 2016 into four numbers the class needed to know.
“The 2 is for two choices we’ll always have,” he said. “Whether to hang out with friends, or stay home and study. I hope that you’ll always weigh each option carefully. The 0 is how far an excuse will get you in life. The 1 is for only one person determining what you do in life: you. The 6 is for our six years here at Goshen High School that we will always remember.”
With the speeches finished, the graduates received their diplomas and celebrated with family and friends.