Have no limits, be passionate, dream big, set goals and never give up.
Whether they are going on to college, entering the workforce or joining the military, Superintendent Roger Bane urged the 20 members of the Medora High School Class of 2015 to take the educational foundation they received and use it to make a career choice.
“Have courage. Become a risk taker. Nothing is standing in your way,” Bane said Friday during the school’s 115th commencement. “Don’t worry about failing because as you know, when you fail, you are just eliminating one obstacle that’s in the way of your success.”
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Bane encouraged the graduates to search for the career they are passionate about and put all of their time and effort into making it a reality.
“Your life goals and dreams are within reach,” he said. “The only way your dreams will actually come true is by setting goals to reach those dreams and working hard. It may take several years, but if you want your dreams to come true and you want to be successful, you should never give up and never quit.”
Graduate Brayden Johnson said he is going to enter the workforce but has aspirations of later joining the Army.
“My uncle was in the military, and I grew up around him and just from a young age fell in love with the military field,” Johnson said. “I feel like I would be proud of myself if I continued on with doing that.”
While his uncle was in the Marines, Johnson is interested in the Army to become an explosive ordnance disposal specialist.
“I plan not to stay too long in the military but long enough to where I can come out feeling as though I did something for my country,” he said. “It’s pretty important to me, considering how my family has been patriotic and I’m extremely patriotic myself, so I feel as though it’s my inner-most duty to do it.”
Johnson said he may be working in construction with a friend to earn some money until he enters the military.
“Later on, whenever I feel as though I’m all ready, then I would sign up and be on my way,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to it.”
Johnson, who transferred to Medora his freshman year, said his classmates made an impact on his career decision.
“The people I just graduated with, they’ve helped me through everything,” he said. “I couldn’t have made all the decisions I’ve made without these guys, and I just love every one of them.”
Graduates Garrett Morris and Kiana Thompson both said they are going into postsecondary education.
Morris, who attended Medora since preschool, was the class valedictorian and graduated with an Academic Honors Diploma, is heading to Indiana University in Bloomington to study architecture and design.
“When I was little, my mom always used to watch HGTV with all of the building houses, and I just kind of liked it and thought, ‘Why not?’ It was something I was into,” Morris said.
His goals are to design houses, build them and sell them. He said his time at Medora helped prepare him for his career choice.
“It taught me that I have to time things better, like keep track of time when things are due and all that,” he said. “I’m sure I’ll have to do that when I’m building houses.”
Thompson, a Core 40 graduate, is going to Medtech College in Greenwood in hopes of landing a job in the medical field.
“I’ve always cared for little kids, so I’ve always liked doing that kind of stuff,” she said. “I’m just interested in kids and working in nursing and assisting little kids.”
Like Johnson, Thompson and Morris both said they have fond memories of their classmates.
“It’s small here (at Medora), and we’re all close together,” Thompson said.
Morris shared his feelings in his valedictorian speech.
“These years were all awesome, but they are just the start of the lives we’re about to begin,” he told his classmates. “All of our futures are bright, and I know that we’ll do great. I want to wish you guys the best for the future, and I hope you live out all of the dreams you have. I hope you make even more great memories to add to the ones we have made together.”
Cavan Hurley, the class salutatorian and an Academic Honors Diploma recipient, said when he moved to Medora, he was afraid he wouldn’t fit in and wondered how he would make new friends.
But while taking a tour of the school on his first day, Hurley encountered classmate Kage Spence, who threw his head back and said, “What’s up?” Hurley said he immediately smiled, and all of those fears went away.
“I found it quite silly of my fear of attending this school because my classmates here are one of the craziest, funniest bunches of people I know. To be honest, I don’t know what I would do without these guys,” Hurley said during his salutatorian address.
“I feel bad that I prejudged all of you before I even came here,” he said. “I never imagined that nearly all of you are my closest and dearest friends. We are like a family, and I hope after all of this is over and years beyond this day that we will still have this bond between us.”
Principal Chrystal Street said during her 10 months at the school, she witnessed the many accomplishments of this class that define the young adults they have become.
“Despite the academics the students had to acquire to get to this place in their lives, many other things they mastered cannot be measured by a grade on an assignment or by a score on a test,” she said.
“Perseverance, truth, trust, dedication and loyalty can never be measured in school,” she said. “These 20 graduates are well on their way to a lifetime of success because they have the qualities that make good people. We only hope that the culmination of what lies within them and the skills that they have learned will enable them to be productive and happy citizens.”