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NEW START: CHHS seniors graduate

“Today’s the day,” said CHHS Principal Brock Kelley as he looked out at the 2019 graduating class at Trojan Arena Thursday morning. “Today is the culmination of 13 years of formal education, a day to celebrate your achievements and also a day to say goodbye: to your friends, your teachers and classmates and also to your past season and enter into a new journey.”

Kelley challenged the 165 new graduates to continue making the right decisions as the continue on their life journeys.

“This new journey will consist of triumphs and failures, new obstacles, challenges and opportunities,” Kelley said. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. You will make choices every day that will alter your trajectory and will either foster your mental and spiritual growth or hinder it. “

Kelley congratulated the class on already achieving so much, finishing their high school careers as the highest graduation rate and college and career readiness rate of any Trojan class ever.

“Nelson Mandela said ‘here is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living,’” Kelley told the graduates. “As a class, you have yet to play small. It’s not in your DNA; it’s not who you are. As Trojans, your pride is unparalleled. Because of you the Trojan spirit is alive and well at Charles Henderson High School, in the city of Troy and across the state. . It is your job to carry that Trojan spirit and not to settle for anything less than what you’re capable of. You will always be Trojans, no matter where your journeys take you.”

Valedictorian Veronica Cooper urged the class to never forget where they came from.

“We have been waiting for this day for quite a while,” Cooper said. “We have been prepared to go out into the world with confidence and change the world with our fresh new ideas. Some of us will venture to the ends of the Earth and some of us will continue to serve the community right here where we were raised and supported. No matter how far we travel, let us never lose our orange and blue and make the world our own.”

Salutatorian Hayden Stevens said it is the acceptance and tolerance of the class that makes it special, and is something the graduates should strive to maintain in the future.

“We all grew into our respective personalities at our won paces and we did a lot of things,” Stevens said. “The common denominator is the people we shared these memories with. It has shaped us into better people and the greatest lesson we learned was tolerance and acceptance. It has opened the opportunity to experience new and wonderful things and new and wonderful people. As we move forward, remember the joy that tolerance and acceptance brought us while on this gem atop a hill.”