Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Orange Grove Journal
ORANGE GROVE - It was a time for memories and good-byes Friday night, as Orange Grove High School's Class of 2007 prepared to take the next step in their lives and venture out into the world.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance by Daniel York, the National Anthem was played, and Bethany Bartosch led the invocation, with Callie Walker giving the welcoming address.
Both Salutatorian Joshua Lopez and Valedictorian Emilio Trinidad Jasso gave moving speeches Friday evening.
"I may not be able to tell you how to move forward, or where to go, but I may be able to help with the what. I can only recommend one thing…do good. I wish for all of you to do well also, but I hope and pray that you will do good," Lopez said. "When faced with two paths, I hope you will look inside your heart and accomplish your goals the right way. Soon, if you follow the right path, depending on where and how you place your steps, you'll look back and you will feel no shame."
OGHS Class of 2007 Valedictorian Jasso's speech focused on time, but also reminded students about certain realities of life, and the importance of the choices everyone makes.
"We are all on this planet for a reason, to accomplish something as unique and individual as ourselves," he said. "We only have a certain amount of time to do it in. The truth is, high school doesn't prepare you for real life. Real life is difficult, it's fast, it's dangerous, it's 'real.' In real life, exceptions are rarely made. In real life, you're rarely given a second chance. In real life, you're not going to have mom or dad come to the rescue when you make a mistake,"
Jasso said students need to turn their attention now not to having fun, not to enjoying the moment, but in climbing to the future.
"As you leave now and close this chapter of your life, think about this - what did we gain? Only memories, and what have we lost? Only time," Jasso said.
After the salutatory and valedictory addresses, the students who received local scholarships stood and were recognized, followed by in the Top 25 and the Top 10.
Superintendent Earl Luce then came to the podium and presented this year's Superintendent's Award to Hailey Love.
After the certification of the class, the students walked one by one passed the school board members, and received their diploma from school board president Steve Seidel.
The graduates then rose to face their family and friends, and all together, old graduates and new, sang the alma mater, a field of hands raised high.