Accomplishments highlighted during IHS graduation

Published 2:08 pm Tuesday, May 24, 2022

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

It was a night of reminiscence and highlighting accomplishments as the Isabella High School class of 2022 graduated on May 23.

Principal Ricky Porter said this graduating class was the first at IHS to receive more than $1 million in scholarships.

“Scholarships awarded included full-ride academic scholarships, full-ride athletic scholarships, military scholarships (and) vocational scholarships, as well as many smaller scholarships and awards,” Porter said. “These accomplishments in and of themselves speak volumes about the commitment, the dedication and the plain old hard work that this class has put into their high school education.”

Porter said he and the school staff were proud of each of the students, whether they were going straight into the work force, going to college or joining the military.

“This class in their high school years have faced many unprecedented and trying times, yet while we acknowledge all of the adversities that this group had to overcome, through it all this group has continued to make great things happen,” Porter said.

He reminded the students that their perseverance had paid off.

“Those who stay the course and do the right thing will ultimately succeed,” Porter said.

The student’s accomplishments were also evident as the class had four valedictorians: Arely Aguilera, Alexandra Bringas-Garcia, Danielle Gilliland and Braxton Vinson, who each achieved a cumulative 4.25 GPA. Two students, Destiny Brasher and Cadence Headley, tied for salutatorians with the next highest GPA below 4.25.

Many of the graduates highlighted winning the school’s Isabelliad three years as one of their accomplishments. Each thanked their classmates and friends, family and staff for the memories.

Each also had a message for their fellow graduates

“I hope you guys achieve your dreams,” Aguilera said. “Who knows? Maybe one day I will end up teaching your kids. Goodbye for now, and I will miss all of you.”

Bringas-Garcia highlighted fun moments from the years together.

“Thank you for being family, and just being who you are,” Bringas-Garcia said.

Gilliland compared the next step in life to driving on a new road.

“Life is a highway, you are born with a destination and a purpose,” Gilliland said. “… Each person here tonight holds the keys to his or her success. Just rely on God.”

Vinson encouraged the graduates to pursue their goals.

“Make sure you do not sell yourself short,” Vinson said. “All of you have the potential to do great things, but if you do not believe you can accomplish the impossible, then why did you ever start it. Don’t let anyone bring you down.”

Brasher reflected on how their high school years have taught them so many lessons.

“Our paths may never cross again, but I will always cherish the memories we created, whether they were happy or sad,” Brasher said.

Headley described their time together as “unforgettable,” recounting a few of them.

She thanked everyone for the memories and took time to remember former fourth-grade teacher Crishan Washington, who died in March.

“Mrs. Washington held the title of a fourth-grade teacher, but she was so much more than that,” Headley said. “She had the biggest heart, a contagious laugh and always knew how to make someone smile … I am so thankful that I had her not only as a teacher but also as a friend … She is looking down on all of us and is so proud of everything we have accomplished.”

Washington’s son Caleb is a part of the class of 2022 and had decorated his graduation cap with photos and the words “This one’s for you mom.” A few graduates also wore pins in her memory.