Seniors celebrate years of work

Class of 2023 prepares for graduation ceremony


Tyler Eoff

Senior Ben Duncan gets ready for his senior speech for graduation may 26th. Graduation will be held June 6.

The class of ‘23 is wrapping up their senior year and preparing for the biggest celebration of their academic year: their graduation ceremony. 

Principal LaNisha Paddock said the involvement of students in their graduation celebration highlights student voice and values that the district stands for. 

“They have an opportunity to put their voice into the space — to be recognized at the end of the year and recognize each other,” Paddock said.

Senior Jaida Puentes said as a speaker for the ceremony she is eager to share her experiences at Park and take time to soak it in with her peers. 

“I’m going to be sharing how it’s impacted me and the strengths that I’ve taken from high school, and the things that I’m going to carry on into the future,” Puentes said. “It’s great for us to get together one more time, to celebrate all the things we’ve accomplished.”

Senior Nananti Omer said it is important for students to be involved because it aligns with what Park stands for, and it makes the celebration more hands-on for students. 

“It definitely shows the fact that they are keeping true to their words by involving students and showing student voice,” Omer said. “It allows for students to have an in, instead of just walking on stage.”

According to Puentes, the students at graduation are eager to speak at the ceremony and have been working with adults close to them to properly prepare themselves for this opportunity. 

“I wrote a speech and I’m going to be working with English teachers to perfect it,” Puentes said.  “I’ve also been reading it to people close to me. I get more nervous if I read things to people that I know instead of strangers.”

Omer said being able to share special moments from their years at Park makes the ceremony more personal and special. 

“My experience at the high school was very unique, and I really just wanted to talk about that,” Omer said. “Senior year specifically launched me into being able to say, ‘I’m ready for college.’ I’m most looking forward to seeing my friends walk the stage and cheering for them.”