The Odessa Record -

June 2018 graduation


Colton Hunt and Gaven Elder


By Hannah Sheldon

Class Salutatorian

Good morning all. It is my honor to welcome you to the Odessa High School Class of 2018 graduation ceremony. Today is not only an ending for us, as we are leaving this town to go find ourselves, but it is also a wonderful beginning for the same reason. The last four years, we all have worked very hard to get where we are today. All of our accomplishments these past 18 years have not been ours alone. We have had a whole team behind us - our parents, our teachers and our community.

Parents, thank you for always being there when we need you. You have supported us from day one, even though we may have made a few mistakes along the way. You have always been our rocks to lean and depend on. Thank you - raising us couldn't have been easy.

Teachers, thank you for all you have done. All of you have taught us that we can grow on our own - we just needed that little push you gave us. Ya'll were always there before or after school if we needed help understanding a lesson. You never wanted to see us fail, so you gave us the tools needed to succeed, not only in school, but in life as well. Thank you for all you have done.

To the rest of the community, thank you for always supporting us in our clubs or sports. You care a lot for all the kids in our community, and it has not gone unnoticed.

And to the graduating class of 2018 - go out and explore. You all will be successful in your future endeavors. Keep chasing your dreams and never give up. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, but do not ever let your weaknesses define you and keep you from doing something amazing. Turn your weaknesses into strengths. We all are capable of whatever we set our minds to. Take this mindset with you wherever your future leads you, and good luck.

Again, thank you all for attending, and enjoy the ceremony.

Valedictorian's Address

By Danielle Tebow

Class Valedictorian

My classmates and I would like to start off by saying thank you... to all of our families, staff, alumni and community members. We couldn't have made it here without your help.

When I was four, I sat in this same gym and watched my cousin give a graduation speech. I told my parents in that moment that I was going to give a speech just like her when I graduated. I'm here now because I set goals and worked hard to achieve them. I am not the only person who set goals and worked hard. Our class has demonstrated that if we set our minds to anything, we can and will achieve it.

Graduation has been a goal and dream for all of us. We started planning our graduation in the third grade. We would always talk about who would walk together. How the slide show would be set up. And, of course, the decorations. You may not believe me, but the conversation was mainly brought up by the boys. Our nine years of planning have paid off. Look around. It looks pretty awesome if I do say so myself.

As we grew with each other and moved into junior high we continued to make memories. We learned how healthy competition creates success. Playing badminton in PE was the most intense game our class could play – the welts, the screaming, the chasing each other with rackets. We learned how to become competitors. However, in the classroom, we were all competitive. From taking tests, comparing answers and when our answers were not all the same, we would all have that "uh oh" moment and start debating how one and another got that answer, and who's right and who's wrong. Report cards and GPAs were a topic of conversation, for sure. The competition helped us in many ways. It gave us motivation to work harder. But it also humbled those of us who realized that we weren't the best in everything we did. We understood that progress was more important than perfection. So instead of quitting or giving up, these setbacks simply motivated us to do better. So what you see before you is a highly competitive, incredibly successful class that will someday change the world.

Danielle Tebow and Jayd Jennings

High school provided a lot of life lessons. There were way too many for me to list, but I will name a few. I will never forget going to the ag shop freshman year with Mr. Burbank and learning how to use power tools, along with taking care of the greenhouse which had many "uh oh" moments. Or when our sub could not keep up on our walk to the creek sophomore year, and we were left alone. The next thing we knew Mrs. Nelson was there to bring us back, and we had another "uh oh" moment. Debates in Mr. Moffet's class were most memorable. We were supposed to start on one day, but typically began earlier and lasted longer. We had a habit of carrying them over into other classes. Which would lead into the whole high school discussing world issues. It was through these debates we learned to respect differences in opinions and how to see each other's viewpoints. We had to argue for the opposing viewpoint which made us stronger in our knowledge of the issue in general. We learned how to disagree without being disrespectful and without yelling, most of the time. The biggest life lesson we learned was you don't have to agree with people to live life with them.

Now we prepare to go our separate ways. I'd like to read our class quote by Dr. Seuss:

"Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory."

Let us leave Odessa High School with all of these memories and the passion to follow our dreams.

Thank you for supporting us throughout the years; it helped shape us into the people we are today.


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