This was our processional music:
Yes, Judas Priest. We so rock, I almost cried during rehearsal hearing this song for our kids.
Then a student played & sang a song he composed; beautiful. (Plus he was a fantastic discusser of The Great Gatsby in my Literature class; I was beyond proud of him).
Denis Hayes, a Camas High School graduate and fellow 'renegade' after whom we named our school, spoke about taking advantage of one's youth and using the time ahead to explore and grow. Though a touch wordy, it was not boring and our students were extremely gracious & patient (I scanned the crowd; few rolling eyes, no yawns; very good).
My amazing colleague Monica, the Social Studies teacher, gave a brilliant speech using the analogy of coming ashore - the kids at our school taking care of one another as those who are shipwrecked band together for survival. Brilliant. I am shamelessly jealous of her skill.
Another student played guitar and sang The Beatles' "Blackbird." Whoa, almost bawled.
Our young woman who sang "The Star Spangled Banner" (right after the entrance to Judas Priest...heh) then gave a moving, personal speech about persevering through hard times. She was poised, lovely, and courageous. Perfect.
The most excellent thing though? About 100 people came specifically to hear Denis Hayes speak; they had no real connection to our kids but I am positive that when they left Thursday night, they had a mightier understanding of what we do at Hayes Freedom High School. Not to mention a greater faith in the future of our nation.
Then our graduates walked out to this:
You can't stop us now.