• 48°

Oxford High’s Class of 2018 celebrates 12 years of accomplishments

Moments before walking out on the floor of the Tad Smith Coliseum Friday night, Oxford High School seniors stood in line behind the stage, some helping their friends adjust their caps while others hugged and congratulated each other.

Hiram Wadlington, 18, said he was proud to stand with his classmates at the 2018 graduation ceremony.

“This is a big day for me and my class,” he said. “It’s a huge accomplishment. We’ve been together for a long time and finally, we get to walk across the stage together. All of our hard work has paid off.”

The graduates made their way to their seats as the crowd stood and cheered while the Oxford High School Band played the traditional, “Pomp and Circumstance.” The Oxford High School MCJROTC presented the colors, and the OHS Choir sang the national anthem in perfect harmony.

Superintendent Brian Harvey reminded the students of their accomplishments as a class, including receiving an average of 22.6 on the ACT college exam, with 100 students earning a score of 30 or higher. Forty-eight students graduated with honors and 57 with special distinction.

Harvey said 92 percent of the graduates indicated they plan to attend college after graduation.

“This is a district that seeks excellence in all that we do,” he told the graduates. “And your achievements exemplify that wide range of doing things well.”

Student Council president Margaret Pepper Adams reminisced about her first days in the Oxford School District when she started kindergarten at Bramlett Elementary.

“Who would have known the girl with bright blonde hair in my kindergarten class would someday sign to play Division 1 tennis for Ole Miss? Or the curly-haired girl I ran around with on the playground would someday be running around the track winning state championships? Or even that I would get to speak at graduation one day?” she said. “I’m proud of us .. as we close this chapter on our lives forever, go out and take life by storm.”

Valedictorian Calendula Cheng challenged her fellow classmates to aim to make a difference in the world, whether for one person or thousands.

“We don’t have to start global movements or be Martin Luther King Jr. to make a difference – we only need to ask ourselves, have I done enough?” she said. “Whatever you become … what matters most is that you use everything in your abilities and resources to help others. And 60, 70 years from now when our hair is gray and we ask ourselves, ‘Have I done enough?’ I know the answer will be yes.”

OHS Principal Bradley Roberson said he had something in common with Friday’s graduates. Roberson will be leaving OHS at the end of June to become the assistant superintendent for the OSD.

“You guys are a special group to me,” he said. “We leave OHS together as we begin our next journey in life … I leave you with one final thought as you move toward adulthood: Do not define your life in terms of limitations. Define your life in terms of possibilities.”

Salutatorian Joanna Bu and Senior Class president Sam Hartnett shared advice and thanked their parents, teachers and fellow classmates for the support and memories made in the last 12 years.