13 receive diplomas at Medora

MEDORA — The 13 graduates of the Medora High School Class of 2023 closed the door on one phase of their life and are ready to embark on a new one.

After thanking everyone for attending the school’s 123rd commencement on Friday evening, Valedictorian Braxton McCory told his classmates that earning a diploma takes persistence, hard work and dedication.

“That I believe is something we all have in common,” he said. “We all had our triumphs and unique experiences. Most of those were shared amongst each other, all 13 of us. We had so many times of laughter and joy and times of school spirit. Then of course, times of urgency and foolishness.”

McCory said as his classmates look at the last 13 years, he hopes they all carry on the same memories they cherished together and then make many more along the course of their lives.

“It’s crazy to think we are starting a whole new chapter, and it’s here before we even knew it,” he said. “We will all miss the experiences we had with each other.”

He said the last final he completed in high school — crazy enough — was a two-year future plan.

“I found myself truly struggling with this simple assignment the most,” McCory said. “We all really had to think about what the future holds for us and our aspirations. Then a discussion arose about how hard it really is to think about who you will be and what you will be doing in just two years of time. We can all have a plan, know what we want to do and where we want to do it. Although, there is only so much we can do to get there.”

McCory said has classmates are only in control of so much.

“So with that being said, have trust in God, and realize everything happens for a reason. Don’t rush things, and spend time with those you love because just like school went for us, life will fly by, as well,” he said.

“I hope we all do what makes us happy in the future,” he said. “Happiness is the key to having success — a happy job, a happy family and happy times, building even more memories with loved ones. I hope we truly fill all of our dreams and aspirations we have always wanted. We all were given the opportunity and education to do great things and be a good example of Medora High School.”

Salutatorian Evan Hatfield told his classmates the past has been a journey filled with challenges, triumphs and unforgettable memories.

“We’ve grown and learned so much, both inside and outside the classroom,” he said. “We’ve made lifelong friends, discovered new passions and overcome obstacles we never thought possible. But as we look back on our high school years, we must also acknowledge the present. We stand here today as young adults ready to take on the world and make our mark.”

Hatfield said the graduates have the power to shape their own futures, pursue their own dreams and make a difference in the world.

“We have the knowledge, skills and determination to succeed, no matter what challenges lie ahead,” Hatfield said. “The past has taught us valuable lessons, the present is an opportunity to make the most of our time and the future is full of endless possibilities.”

As the class members move forward, he said to not forget the people who have supported them along the way.

“Our families, friends and teachers have been our pillars of strength, guiding us through the ups and downs of high school,” he said. “Let us take a moment to thank them for their unwavering support and encouragement. We have accomplished so much, and we should be proud of ourselves. As we embark on the next chapter of our lives, let us remember the lessons of the past, embrace the opportunities of the present and look forward to a bright and promising future.”

Principal Kara Hunt presented the Class of 2023, and diplomas were distributed by Superintendent Roger Bane before McCory led the turning of the tassels and recessional, which ended with the traditional tossing of the hats.