‘Oh the places you’ll go’: Seymour High School graduates 313

No one knows what the future will bring, but the Seymour High School Class of 2018 is ready to find out.

On Sunday afternoon, 313 students took the final steps of their high school career walking across the stage in the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium to receive what they’ve worked so hard for the past four years — their diploma.

In the audience sat all of those who made the moment possible — parents, siblings, grandparents, teachers, coaches, pastors and other family and friends — clapping and cheering for their graduate.

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“All of you have had an impact on our lives in one way or another, and we would not be here today without you,” said senior class President Trent Hohenstreiter.

Principal Greg Prange said the Class of 2018 is a special group he has enjoyed working with and watching grow academically, socially and emotionally.

“I do hope that today, while a major milestone in your lives, is not where you peak,” he said. “You have much to accomplish in life. Today is a steppingstone you must encounter to get you to the next level.”

During the ceremony, senior band students performed the song “A Million Dreams” from the movie “The Greatest Showman,” and senior choir students sang “Unclouded Day” by Shawn Kirchner.

Nine seniors were recognized as Seymour Community Schools Scholars for their academic achievements. They were Rebekah Franke, Molly Hayes, Trent Hohenstreiter, Anna May Huff, Connie Li, Claire Loebker, Alexandra Maithy Nguyen, Alan Perry and Victoria Snook.

As salutatorian, Huff had some outgoing words of wisdom for her fellow classmates.

“I know some of you won’t listen, and that’s perfectly fine because in the end, we will all turn out all right,” she said.

Huff advised students to always remain true to themselves and to be proud of who they are.

“As we all know, we are not the same people we were four years ago,” she said. “Most of us have become the better version of ourselves. But as we move on in life, there will be pressures you did not face in high school.”

When faced with those pressures, Huff said to just “do the right thing.”

“Doing the right thing is not always popular, but you will find great success following the right path,” she said.

Also, she said it’s important to never give up, no matter how difficult life gets.

“In our future, we will all face adversities that will make you want to give up, but don’t,” she said. “Instead, push through those challenges, and you will come out both a strong and better person. I promise.”

Along with facing challenges, Huff also encouraged her classmates to pursue their dreams and to do whatever makes them happy.

“Happiness is worth more than money, and we all know that even if we all don’t admit it,” she said. “Keep seeing and finding new adventures that make you and those around you happy.”

For Huff, that happiness was music.

Lastly, Huff said to appreciate each moment with family, friends and coworkers.

“Cherish and love those who support and encourage you,” she said. “Remember how they shaped who you are today. Cherish every moment because life is short. Now, go seize the day.”

Valedictorian Connie Li said the Class of 2018 has come far in four years, from “starving” until third lunch to experiencing Power Hour and “dueling it out with Rock, Paper, Scissors” to see who got to carry all the lunch trays back, from showing off their “dabbing” dance moves to bottle flipping and listening to boys talk on and on about the video game Fortnite.

“The tumultuous yet meaningful four years that shaped us into the quality young men and women we are now,” she said.

There are many unknowns about the future, and it’s OK to not have everything figured out, she said.

“We’ve got a whole lifetime ahead of us to find and to do all the things that we love,” she said. “You see, everyone has their own schedule and timeline to follow, so there is no such thing as having everything figured out, as success comes in different forms for everyone. A saying goes, ‘Success is not the key to happiness, but happiness is the key to success.’”

Li said she wanted all of her classmates to remember two things.

“One being how grateful we are of our family, school and community for all they have given us to shape us into the people we are today,” she said. “Second being how we are feeling right now at 18 years old, this feeling of strength, excitement and unapologetic ambition. If we remember those two things, we’ll be OK.”