By Travis Sloat
Phoenix Staff Writer
FORT GIBSON — Class President Carla Horton had a simple message laden with confidence for her peers Friday night at the Fort Gibson High School graduation.
“Tonight I do not worry if our class will be successful,” Horton said. “Our track record speaks for itself.”
Horton and 112 other graduates walked across the stage and took their diplomas from Superintendent Derald Glover. Altogether, the senior Tigers posted several state tournament wins, numerous academic achievements and perhaps most impressive, a whopping $3,361,862.98 in college scholarships.
Silvia Macareno, who is headed to Brown University, said she was excited to end a journey.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Macareno said. “But when Monday comes and I don’t have to wake up for class, it will. I just hope we use everything we’ve learned the past four years. I want us to take these lessons and be able to make a statement in this world.”
The commencement opened with a song, "I Know Who Holds Tomorrow," performed by Stephen McClurg. His resonating bass that struck a chord with Assistant Principal Chuck London.
Following the song and presentation of awards and scholarships, Principal Gary Sparks introduced Fort Gibson’s largest group of scholars yet, totaling 24 students. During their address, each of the scholars spoke a quote, whose authors ranged from John Wooden to Yoda.
Douglas Murphy, a future Northeastern State University student, said he was ready to start on the road to becoming an adult.
“I’m really nervous,” he said. “But it’s going to be fun. I’m going to school to be an accountant.”
Colton Fears, another future NSU student, echoed Murphy’s sentiments.
“I’m just ready to be out and start my new life,” Fears said. “I’m wanting to get a degree in computer science.”
Cameras clicked and applause rang out through the gymnasium as the degrees were conferred to the students.
As the seniors prepared to transfer their tassels, Sparks gave a final word of advice.
“I want you to keep one thing in mind,” Sparks said. “Keep setting goals wherever you go. And remember that success is very seldom a solitary measure. You’ve all had help getting to where you are. Remember those who helped you. We wish you the best.”
Macareno said even though the moment was bittersweet, she had one final word for her classmates.
“Even though we’re young, we can make a big difference,” she said.
Reach Travis Sloat at (918) 684-2908 or firstname.lastname@example.org.