Rain fell at Art Fiker Stadium early Saturday morning but the skies were sunny by the time the 170 members of the class of 2012 of Prosser High School walked onto the field for graduation.
Principal Kevin Lusk said this group of seniors had shown particular resilience throughout their high school education, dealing with loss and heartache along the way.
“We’ve all heard it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react,” he said.
Valedictorian Lance James spoke of his appreciation for his teachers and his family and called on his fellow graduates to not waste their lives and decide how they would affect the world.
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“Don’t let graduation be your last achievement,” he said.
James’ sentiments were echoed by Salutatorian Gabe Beck who said that if high school is supposed to be the best four years of his life as some have said, “I might as well quit my life if that’s the best it offers.”
Beck quoted Matt Foley, the motivational speakers portrayed by the late comedian Chris Farley, who once proclaimed that most people don’t amount to much in their lives and instead end up “in a van down by the river.”
“My challenge to my fellow students is to prove that 300-pound dead comedian wrong,” he said.