Hardin Valley High School graduates said they were excited but nervous and sad about graduating Wednesday, May 18.
“I’m excited, but I can’t believe it’s happening already,” Cariya Guya, HVA graduate, said.
Four hundred and forty HVA graduates walked across the stage to receive their diplomas during the ceremony at Thompson-Boling Arena.
“I’ve enjoyed high school,” Summer Allen, graduate, said. “Everything is coming to an end, then there’s college.”
“It’s an end and a beginning,” Grace Bean, graduate, said.
“True greatness can only come with the intensity of your passion and the dedication of your energy, “ Amy Linn, said in her commencement address, “To Mars and Beyond.”
“It comes from letting yourself become completely enamored and engrossed in something and never settling,” she said. “Spend each day, whatever your lane is, run to your legacy.
“Carl Sagan asked graduating seniors what will their legacy be,” she said. “Be passionate, be driven and you will be great.”
Gervis Brady Henderson, in his commencement address, compared life to a yardstick with each inch being a part of that life.
“With every inch, your world has gotten larger,” Henderson said. “Hardin Valley Academy is but a particle. There is more to see than can ever be seen.”
“Life is not always easy,” Lillian McCampbell, who spoke on “Living with Intention,” said. She advised fellow graduates to not “go through the motions.”
“What if we lived every single day, living with intention?” she asked. “Make small things big. Have intentional thoughts; don’t wish your life away.”
“Everything you do matters,” Grant Denton said in his address, “Finding Purpose in Life.” He advised classmates to have purposeful thoughts, actions and life.
“When we have no purpose, we are like a car with no brakes: Going everywhere but not getting there.
“Find purpose, and everything else will fall into place,” Denton said.
Noah Skurtu won Hawk Award, which encompasses what HVA stands for, Sallee Reynolds, HVA principal, said.
“It’s great,” Skurtu said. “It’s very emotional. It feels good to be recognized by the teachers and the students.
Reynolds also announced the valedictorian is Zoe Antonas and salutatorian is Mary Allison White.
George Ashe, HVA faculty member, announced the school’s scholarships totaled $23,432,756.
“That’s what happens when you strap in and get your learn on,” he said.
Along with students heading to college, David Combs, faculty member, said seven graduates are going into the military.
“It’s an end and a beginning,” Reynolds said. She recognized the achievements of her students, from the FIRST Robotics wins to being chosen among the 18 Best High Schools from U.S. News and World Report.
“You have won my heart and so many more by the good things you do every day,” she said. “Keep doing good. Our society needs it.”