Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
In their last act as high schoolers, the Fernley High School graduating Class of 2023 was urged to do good in the world, and to go where they’ve never been before.
The class of 254 graduates included 82 potential Millennium Scholarship recipients, 74 with advanced diplomas, 36 Cum Laude graduates, including 21 Summa Cum Laude and four Magna Cum Laude and 10 members of the National Honor Society. They were honored during the 2023 Commencement on the Fernley High School football field last Friday.
Salutatorian Isabella Dumont said each graduate is proof that if you set your mind to it, with a little help, or for some, a lot of help, you can do anything.
“Even if school isn’t your thing, this a step we all had to take in order to get to where we’re going next,” Dumont said.
In her speech, Dumont urged the graduates that whatever they’re doing next, to find something that brings good to the world.
“I challenge you not to only find something that you love to do, but find something that brings good to this world,” she said. “I’m a firm believer that if you work hard and do good in this world, good will come to you.”
She also urged graduates to try new things, make mistakes, and “never let that light that lives inside of you die out.” She also advised them to remember to enjoy the little things in life and don’t constantly compare themselves to others.
“And most importantly be kind to one another,” she concluded. “I think you’re going to find that kindness and hard work is going to take you so much farther than you think.”
Valedictorian Evven Johnson recounted how Vaqueros were most renowned for their adaptability and the work they did was critical to society. She said the Class of 2023 personified that by adapting to the challenges presented to them due to the Covid pandemic shutdowns that cost them much of their first two years of the high school experience.
She also told a story of racing her dad on her bike. She said she was pedaling so fast and focused on winning the race that she ran into her neighbor’s mailbox.
“As we move forward in our lives, it is important to look towards the horizon,” Johnson said. “Don’t be so narrowed in on one thing that you miss what is happening around you, because life is always happening. Besides seeing where you want to be and steering in that direction, we must also have balance in our lives and like riding a bike, momentum is key to finding that balance.”
Johnson concluded her speech by turning to the words of Winnie the Pooh.
“We the Class of 2023 must go forward to where we have never been instead of backwards to where we have,” she said. “We will always be Fernley Vaqueros, but we must go forward to where the Class of 2023 has never been.”