Miami High School seniors marked a major milestone with their graduation Commencement Ceremony Sunday, May 13.
MIAMI – It was a day of dual celebrations Sunday, May 13 with 113 senior candidates for graduation from Miami High School at the Miami Activities Center for the Class of 2018 Commencement Ceremony on Mother's Day.
Seniors made their processional to the traditional "Pomp and Circumstance" performed by the MHS Band led by Director Toye Harris followed by all in attendance being led in the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem.
Serving as MCs and managing the graduate roll call was Class Officers President Dillion Rasberry and Class Vice-President Alex Walls who themed their introductions and announcements around famed playwright Shakespeare and his best-known works.
Opening the ceremony with a welcome speech was current MHS Principal Lisa Munson, who upon mentioning this would be her last MHS graduation teared up, her voice cracking with emotion.
"I realized, many of you were in kindergarten here when I started," said Munson as she wiped away tears.
It was announced recently that Munson would not be returning in the fall after 13 years with MHS due to a family relocation out of state.
Nick Highsmith, who currently serves as the Dean of Students at Nichols Upper Elementary will take over as the new MHS Principal at the beginning of the 2018/2019 academic year.
Miami Public Schools Superintendent Jeremy Hogan took the stage next and before recognizing Walls as a member of the prestigious 2018 Academic All-State Class called for another round of applause for the departing Munson, which garnered a standing ovation.
Walls was then invited to the podium by Hogan as the 23rd MHS student to be a recipient of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Academic All-State Award. Annual All-State selections are comprised of the 100 top public high school seniors, selected from nominations statewide in 74 Oklahoma school districts.
During the ceremony, award recognitions were presented to select students by Munson on behalf of the American Legion Post No. 147 and Dustin Foster for Masonic Lodge No. 140 A.F & A.M.
John Thiesing of the Miami Lion's Club presented the MHS Class of 2018 Valedictorian plaques to Abigail Osborn, Sarah Blay, Brice Mayfield, Walls, and Brett Mayfield who each took turns addressing their class over the course of the event.
Between presentations and Valedictorian addresses, the MHS Choir performed "Candle on the Water" Directed by Ron Stowell.
Miami Board of Education President Chuck McKibben gave the acceptance of the 2018 Class followed by seniors making their walk across the stage to receive their diploma booklet presented to them by Munson and ending the afternoon with their recessional again accompanied by "Pomp and Circumstance" performed by the MHS Band.
Seniors will attend classes through Friday, May 18, 2018.
Class Officers are President Rasberry, Vice-President Walls, and Meika Mathews and Abigail Osborn for the Sr. Executive Board.
Serving as Class Sponsors were Danny Dillon and Robert Gelso.
The Miami Board of Education is comprised of President McKibben, Vice-President Dr. Mark Folks, Clerk Donnie Long, and Members Julie Smith and Harley Turner.
Look for our complete gallery of the graduation ceremony on Friday, May 18 at MiamiOK.com and a selection of submitted photos in Friday’s print edition. Submit graduation photos by email with subject line "MHS Graduation 2018" to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the names of all pictured and any special achievements of the featured senior. Submissions must be received by 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 16 for inclusion online and consideration for print.
Dorothy Ballard is the managing news editor for the Miami News-Record. Email her at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @dm_ballard.