Photos and story by Andrew Cluley
With a live eagle watching, students in Skyline High School’s class of 2015 marched into the commencement ceremony last night. The 333 students are Skyline’s fifth graduating class.
Principal Cory McElmeel says high school graduation is a pivotal movement between childhood and adulthood. He says as the graduates think about their future each one should strive for the intersection of what they do well, what the world will pay them for, what the world needs, and what they love. He says this is where people find bliss or a purpose in life.
Yet McElmeel says too many individuals stop with a career that’s only focused on what they do well and will pay them. He asked the class not to settle until they find their passion. “Some may think that it is impossible for everyone to find that profession they love. In response to that I say you’ll never know unless you try, and to the Skyline graduating class of 2015, I beg of you be the ones who try. Don’t settle, find your passion, find your sweet spot, find your bliss,” says McElmeel.
Superintendent Jeanice Swift shared a similar wish. She described it as students needing to find their place. “I hope that you will find your place out there, that you will press your self in, that you will tailor your own unique role. Make sure it is a place, a life that fits you just right. We all wish for you to serve in a role that is uniquely yours to fill,” she says.
Based on achievements in academics, athletics, clubs, and other aspects Skyline graduates are prepared to succeed. 19 students graduated with a 4.0 grade point average, and 80 students earned a 3.9 or higher. Over 80 percent of the class participated in one or more of the 67 student created clubs at the school.
In her class message senior Nia Willis compared the class of 2015’s experience at Skyline to the development of eagles. She says the class will do well as long as they continue to act like eagles. “It is inevitable in life to have distractions and hardships, but we will move past them. We will look down on the storms and know we can conquer them. As eagles, we will continue to dream big and press towards the mark, to reach the goal as shown in our prosperous sports and test scores,” Willis says.
Willis went on to encourage her classmates to maintain the positive habits that served them well at Skyline. “Continue to be involved, keep your agile minds, big hearts, continue asking deep questions, and keep your eye on your desired destination,” she adds.
Graduate Azira Azizuddin McCloud is excited to go to Howard University in the fall to study film production. She agrees that her Skyline experience has prepared her for success. “I feel completely prepared for college, not only academically but as far as leadership, as far as developmentally,“ she says.