HVA graduates 465

Brown wins Hawk Award at May 22 ceremony

HARDIN VALLEY — With an announced graduating class of 465, Hardin Valley Academy’s Class of 2024 graduates were advised to “remember your roots,” to “trust the process,” “value the future” and “see beyond the way things are” during its commencement ceremony on the HVA athletic field Wednesday evening, May 22.

Among five nominees, Tinsley Kate Brown was presented the Hawk Award, “the highest award voted on by the Hardin Valley faculty and is bestowed upon a graduating senior,” HVA principal Mitchell Cox announced. “The Hawk Award is presented annually to a student who exhibits high standards of dependability, responsibility, citizenship, cheerfulness and moral character,” he added.

Emphasizing her heritage goes well beyond the borders of the United States — and to pay tribute to those in her family, along with other graduates’ families, who immigrated to this country in recent years — graduate Brisa Villatoro’s address, “Remember Your Roots” (“Recurred Tus Raices”), was delivered in both English and Spanish.

“I want to thank the people that helped me become the person that I am today,” she said. “… As you strive to reach new heights and achieve your goals, it is important to remember your roots, for they are the foundation on which you build your success.

“… We will always carry a piece of all the relationships we’ve built with teachers, friends and acquaintances that will help define who we are and where we came from,” she added. “All the paths we’ve traveled, all the experiences we’ve been through, either negative or positive, all the decisions we’ve made have led us to this moment.”

Graduate Cooper Delamain’s address was titled “Trust the Process.” With his own “passion” for art, Delamain said, “Like many of you, I have worried about what my canvas will turn out like. Instead of focusing on what you want the end product to look like, I urge you to remind yourself to take each step of the process as it comes. Trusting the process means appreciating where you are in the present moment.

“… As I take a step back from my easel, I can see that each and every one of you has left a brush stroke on my canvas,” he added. “... We are all a part of each other’s paintings in some way, and I urge you to remember Hardin Valley Academy, because we all know that beautiful paintings can’t exist without a messy sketch underneath.”

With his address titled “The Value of Future,” graduate Brand Salsbury said, “Strength is the person who fell 20 times and got up 21,” he added. “... I have fallen short of several goals I set for myself. ... I’ve decided that the lessons I’ve learned from striving to reach these goals may be just as important as the goals I was striving for themselves.”

In his address to the graduate, Cox said about the process toward making an impact, “Each and every one of you has the power to be that spark to ignite positive transformation in your communities, your workplaces and beyond.”

Military Recognitions were presented by Dr. Amber Roberts, while Scholarship Recognitions were presented by Ryan McDonough.

HVA Choral Ensemble, directed by John McMeen, and HVA Orchestra, directed by Preston Davis, performed.