GRANGEVILLE – Grangeville High School’s class of 2019 graduated 57 members Friday night, May 24. They were sent along their journey with words of wisdom-- and laughter.
“What? Brannan -- you're here?" former GHS principal and commencement speaker Steve Higgins feigned surprise, joking with Bryden Brannan. "Wow -- it really is no child left behind."
Higgins now serves as Kamiah superintendent.
"I'm humbled to be here, thinking maybe I did touch some lives ... or Mr. Sullivan [GHS history teacher and often-used speaker] said no," Higgins smiled. "I know how these things work."
Higgins moved into serious mode to offer an apology to the class.
"I was not my best for you," he said. "I apologize for that. At the time, my wife told me I have 'low T and no C.' That's low tolerance and no compassion."
Higgins added he was at a point in his life that left him quick to judge.
"When I came in here tonight -- there was a mix of emotions and memories," he continued. "I can honestly say my years in Grangeville were my most rewarding."
He told the students talking is easy, but actions always speak louder than words.
"No matter where you go or what you do, always do the right thing," he said.
Salutatorian Colby Kennedy and co-valedictorians Chloe Dame, Paige Lindsley and Jolie Tosten each spoke.
Kennedy urged his classmates to go above and beyond what is expected and not be average.
"I cannot wait to see what the future holds," he said.
"Until senior year I had lost myself in grievances," said Dame. She said she has learned the most valuable opportunities don't just appear. "You have to work hard for success," she said.
Lindsley admitted to her classmate she is unsure what the future holds.
"That mystery scares me every day" she said.
She said life is full of mistakes and bad decisions.
"It's part of life. So, do what you love and make no apologies," she advised.
Tosten reminded her friends to "be present in every moment."
"Try to make others' lives worth living."