Twenty-six Blue Jays graduate from Nevada High Thursday night
Nearly every seat in the Nevada Schools gym was taken Thursday night as the 26 members of the Blue Jays’ Class of 2024 went from high school seniors to graduates. 

The procession of blue-gowned scholars began at 7:00 p.m. sharp to the strains of Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance" march as the audience of parents, faculty and other well-wishers stood. High Honors Graduate Madison McMullan gave the invocation once the seniors were in place.  

Principal of Nevada High School Carol Foster delivered opening remarks in which she welcomed families, friends and the soon-to-be graduates. “Today marks a significant milestone in the lives of our students. as they prepare to embark on the next chapter of their journey,” she said.  

Next came the Honors Address from Highest Honors Graduate Brycten Harris, who opened his speech by saying, “Thank you to the teachers parents, for staying on us heavy every day throughout these years to get the best out of us.” 

Harris told the audience, “I know that all of us may not know what we’re doing in life, but I hope that God guides you as he has guided me. Just because high school may be challenging, don't let that limit you to not reach even more. … Life will not always be easy or fair. What you have to do what do something about it to make sure you stay where you need to be. I know everyone may not want to go to college, but that doesn't mean you have to be satisfied with whatever situation you're in. But you have to do something about it to make sure you stay where you need to be.” 

The Teacher/Parent Appreciation speech was next, delivered by Highest Honor Graduate Alexis Smith. “So many people have influenced us throughout our lives, but I want to take this time to thank our parents and teachers. You have all used good and bad to shape us and our perspectives and without that we may not have been here today,” she said. Then she asked for high school and elementary school teachers to stand and be applauded. 

After they had been seated, Smith asked for parents of 2024 graduates to stand. “To our parents and whoever filled that role, who shaped our perspective the most, and helped us achieve this accomplishment. Without the personal situations we were given, we would be different people, have different homes and would view the world in a different light,” she said.  Smith also took time to salute the mothers of graduates, wishing them happy belated Mother’s Days.  

As the class song “Good Old Days” by Macklemore featuring Kesha was played, seniors presented Dahlia flowers to their mothers and grandmothers. 

Next, Highest Honors graduate Zekiah Strickland went to the podium to deliver the Class Farewell. “Today isn't the end of our stories. It's the explosive grand finale of Act One of our lives. But we're not closing the curtains just yet. We're raising them higher as we prepare to step onto the grand stage of our futures. And while we may not know what the future holds, that's exactly why its potential is infinite. Each one of us here holds the pin to write our own story. And let me tell you, these stories are going to be legendary,” he said. 

In his Administrative Address, Superintendent Roy McCoy told a story of a daughter whose father asked her to take her graduation gift, a used car, to various places in town to learn how much she could get for it. At the used car lot, she was told the car was old and was worth $1,000. At the pawn shop, she was told it would not be easy to sell and was worth $100.  Then she took the vehicle to the local car club. 

“She came home and she told her father, ‘Dad, some people in that car club offered me $100,000 for that car, since it’s a 1963 Corvette split with a coup, an iconic car sought after by many. ‘ ‘Well,’ the father said to his daughter, ‘the right place values you to the right way. If you are not valued, don't be angry. It means you're in the wrong place. Those who know your value and those who appreciate you will know your value.’” 

In closing McCoy said, “I hope you remember that now is the time to start building your value. Now is the time to build confidence. Now is the time to build character. Because if you first know your worth and let it show through your actions, then you will always be in the right place for the world to see your value.” 

The awarding of diplomas now took place with each senior receiving theirs from MCoy, Foster and Brandon Rhodes during a procession as each heard their name announced by Foster and were greeted by the presenters and the audience. 

Foster then said the words that turned 26 high school seniors into new graduates. She asked the Class of 2024 of Nevada High School to stand and said, “Congratulations, graduates. You may now move your tassels.” 

They did, and there was cheering and applause. 

The benediction was given by Highest Honors graduate Makenzie McMullan who said, “I pray that as we graduate into this new chapter in our lives that we use our knowledge and skills learned throughout the years to be productive and successful in our future lives and careers.” 

“It’s my privilege and honor to introduce to you the Nevada High School Class of 2024 graduates,” said McCoy. This was the prompt for the flying hats and the recording of “Pomp and Circumstance” that ended the ceremony.