RACINE — “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Southern High School Class of 2018 Salutatorian Hannah Evans quoted those words from Winston Churchill on Saturday evening as she addressed her fellow graduates.
“Have the courage to continue working toward your goals, always putting your best foot forward and trying your hardest,” said Evans, thanking those who challenged her to have the courage to achieve her goals.
“You should always do your absolute best and never stop trying to reach your goals. There may be times when your goal seems to be unattainable, and you may fall short, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be proud of yourself as long as you know you did your best,” said Evans, asking everyone to take a moment to think about their greatest accomplishment.
“Awards and recognitions will not carry you through the rest of your life, but the sense of dedication and the work ethic that you built while trying to earn your awards will benefit you for your entire life,” added Evans.
Valedictorian Sydney Cleland spoke of success and what it means to be successful.
“Almost every successful person begins with two beliefs: the future can be better than the present, and I have the power to make it so,” said Cleland.
“As we enter a new chapter in our lives, we have to keep in mind we will never be perfect the first time we do something,” said Cleland.
While obstacles may come along the way, Cleland noted that it is important to remember the opinions of others do not matter.
“Do not let others opinions influence the way you feel about yourself. Their opinion will not affect you unless you let it get to you,” said Cleland. “Stay strong and keep being yourself no matter what and work toward your goal that you set for yourself and I promise you, you will find complete happiness.”
“It doesn’t matter what you have accomplished so far because at the end of the day, it is not what we have done as Southern students or athletes that will define our lives, but what we will go on to do as Southern High School Alumni,” said Cleland.
Cleland thanked her parents, other family and those who have been there to help her become the person she is today, as well as the staff administration and school board members, before acknowledging one specific educator.
“I would also like to recognize a very influential person that has has a tremendous impact on everyone here today, Mr. Chad Dodson. As most of you know, this is Mr. Dodson’s last year as a teacher and band director. We as a class are so thankful to have such an amazing mentor and teacher as him.
Graduates for the Southern High School Class of 2018 include:
Connar Morgan Alkire, Kendra Renee Barton, Hanna Alexis Bottomley, Cody Bruce Campbell, Johnathon Tyler Casto, Jackson Shane Circle, William Wesley Clark, Sydney Marie Cleland, Ashley Nicole Cormack, Jason Gage Counts, Hailey Elizabeth Cremeans, Josie Lynn Cundiff, Shelbi Kay-Lynn Dailey, Trenton James DeLaCruz, Larry Dale Dunn, Logan Dean Dunn, Jolisha Nicole Ervin, Andrew Michael Evans, Hannah Elizabeth Evans, Bailee Nicole Floyd, Miranda Dawn Greenlee, Cameron Arthur Grueser, Spencer Josiah Harrison, Andee Madison Hill, Jonah Steven Hoback, Cory Scott Holbrook,
Dameson Gibson Jenkins, Brandon Michael Johnson, Owen Garrett Jones, Dakota Anthony Kowell, Lauren Elise Lavender, Ryan Allen McCabe, Austin Lewis McKibben, Julia Michelle Montgomery, Randall Race-Thomas Moore, Emily Chyanne Phillips, Jacob Daniel James Riffle, Autumn Paige Ritchhart, Jaiden Marie Roberts, Augusta Jane Roush, Riley Lester Roush, Cynthia Brooke Slaven, Christopher Dylan Smith, Holly Nicole Stover, Dani Cheyenne Terzopplous, Caitlin Alexis Theiss, Connor Mitchell Thomas, Paige Danielle VanMeter, Sailor Hill Warden, Dominique Lynn Wehrung, Kendra Janese White, Nicolas Kyle Wilson, Garrett Allen Wolfe, Joseph Conner Wolfe, Nikita Nicole Wood, Connor Alan Yost, and Christopher Austin Young.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.