Families, friends and members of Boulder City High School’s class of 2022 recently gathered at Bruce Eaton Field for graduation and to celebrate moving forward in their lives.
“We watched our daughter walk this field 27 years ago,” said Marisue Barnes, whose grandson, Preston Reynolds, was graduating. “With COVID, this is the first one (grandchild) we’ve been able to see graduate. It means the world to me.”
The high school held its 81st commencement ceremony May 26, during which the leaders of the senior class delivered speeches about their time in high school and encouraged the students who were coming behind them. The ceremony was back to normal with no restrictions from the pandemic.
Valedictorian Jagar Darling said all he wished for the past few years was to get back into the classroom and that showed him that he and his classmates didn’t know what they had until it was gone.
“So knowing there is only so much time to accomplish our goals and make unforgettable memories, why is it that we still take things for granted?” he asked during his speech. “We can no longer sit around and wait for someone else to achieve our dreams for us. We all must go out and achieve them for ourselves.”
Darling was joined by salutatorians Jake Bradshaw, Cassie Strachan and Sienna Sharp.
Sharp became the third salutatorian the morning of graduation and she encouraged everyone to be adaptable.
“Well, this is unexpected,” she said. “Never did I think that I’d get a call the morning of graduation saying that I’ve become the third salutatorian. But this gives me the opportunity to talk about something that I think is really important, more important than many realize. … No matter what challenges life may throw at us, our innate ability to stay flexible and go with the flow will get us through.”
Bradshaw encouraged his classmates to follow their dreams and work to achieve their goals even when it was difficult.
“I believe that the only goals worth chasing in life are the difficult ones, and whether or not you feel like you have accomplished difficult things in the past, you and I can say that we have now. … So wherever you are in life, use this as a turning point and, as we look to the future, set your goals high, dream big and don’t fear failure, because as Mike Tyson once said, ‘I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star, then I grab a handful of clouds,’” said Bradshaw.
Strachan recounted her struggle starting at the high school and not knowing anyone, as well as how keeping a positive attitude in different circumstances is still a struggle for her.
“Sometimes, we can be scared of challenges, but they can turn out to be something beneficial in the long run,” she said. “Life is all about struggling and how we handle it and eventually overcome it. Everything we face, no matter how big or small is an obstacle. Something that blocks our way and prevents us from progressing. … Our success here is the result of hard work and perseverance shown over our time at this school. We all made it here because we refused to give up. All of the obstacles we have overcome led us to where we are today, graduation together and moving on to the rest of our lives.”
Principal Amy Wagner also addressed the class of 2022 and encouraged the graduates to embrace change because it’s necessary for life. She encouraged them to reach for their dreams.
“Congratulations, graduates,” she said. “You will be missed but you will be forever remembered.”
After the ceremony, the graduates gathered on the football field where they were joined by their families and friends.
“It’s amazing because I have two graduating at once. … They’re just very involved, which is awesome,” said Diana Rose, whose twin sons, Kannon and Kenny Rose, graduated.
The Rose twins have been in Boulder City since kindergarten and attended all four of the schools in town. During the 2021-2022 school year, Kannon Rose was the senior class president and Kenny Rose was the vice president.
Jennifer Trinkle, whose stepdaughter Madison Rose Trinkle graduated, said she was so proud of her and the work she’d done to finish high school.
“I’m so proud of this kid,” she said. “I’m the stepmom. I first met Madison in eighth grade. This kid has blossomed into an A student. She’s worked so hard to overcome so many things. … We’re so proud of her.”
Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.