San Marcos High School celebrated graduation Friday inside Strahan Arena at Texas State University on Friday. Above, valedictorian Jeremy Laue speaks at the ceremony. Daily Record photos by Lance Winter
‘This is only the beginning’: San Marcos High School celebrates graduation
Over 470 San Marcos High School graduates moved their tassels to the left and then flung their caps into the air Friday.
SMHS celebrated graduation in front of a packed crowd of friends and family inside Texas State University’s Strahan Arena.
Valedictorian Jeremy Laue addressed his classmates and the crowd by sharing Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax.” Salutatorian Vinson Zheng spoke on how failing has helped him in life.
“The word fail is simply an acronym for ‘first attempt in learning,’” Zheng said. “Failing allows me to be taught by the greatest teacher of all time — experience. And this is in no offense to any of the wonderful teachers that I’ve had that may, or may not, be present. Because with experience, I am given the ability to fail, which in turn gives me the resilience to try unfamiliar, difficult tasks with the knowledge that I can rebound my failures since experience doesn’t discriminate on whether or not you had a failure or a success. As I leave high school, I’ve accepted that I will continue to fail, knowing that I will be able to learn from my experiences.
“I treasure each failure the same as I treasure each success as long as I’ve put in my full effort,” Zheng added. “So, don’t be too hard on yourself the next time you don’t immediately achieve your desired results even if you’ve given your 100% since after all it’s your first attempt in learning.”
Salutatorian Vinson Zheng discusses how failing has helped him in life.
SMHS Principal Denisha Presley encouraged the graduates to use their past experiences and behaviors to guide them into the future.
“I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t have a two-way mirror. I don’t have a road map for you today. All I have to give back to you are the legacy that you are leaving at San Marcos High School and the exceptional memories you have created for our campus as you led us out of the darkness and into a marvelous light,” Presley said. “So, as you go forward, I encourage you to use your experiences, your past behaviors … and have those catapult you not only into the future that you deserve but the future that you desire.”
Above, SMHS Principal Denisha Presley hands a diploma to a gradute.
Superintendent Dr. Michael Cardona reminded the graduates that there are multiple paths to take moving forward.
Above, San Marcos Consolidated ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Cardona speaks to the graduates.
“There are always multiple paths to the same end,” Cardona said. “And the same starting point can be a path to many ends. We should be very careful to avoid getting too attached to a particular route, or even a particular destination. There isn’t one definition of success or one track to happiness.”
Above, a Rattler grad is all smiles during Friday’s ceremony.
Caleb Williams, senior class president, thanked the graduating class for allowing him to represent them over the past few years.
“It has been my utmost privilege to have spent my childhood with you and I will always remember and cherish the memories that we made,” Williams said. “Through the past years we have faced so many challenges but we continued every day to have resilience. I have no doubt in my mind that we will continue to use this resilience in our respective journeys.
“Through the pandemic, we got into top universities, conquered academic competitions, competed in multiple playoff runs and displayed our talents through extracurricular activities on the regional, state and national level,” Williams added. “It’s hard to reflect on our years of high school without mentioning the pandemic but while it may seem sad, we can triumph that we came out of it stronger than when we came into it. While this may seem like the end, this is only the beginning of our journeys, and we will be successful in whatever we strive to do.”