Frisco ISD was proud to join family and friends in celebrating the tremendous accomplishments of more than 3,000 members of the Class of 2017.
The District’s seven high schools with graduating classes presented diplomas June 2-3 at Dr Pepper Arena and Ford Center before thousands of guests.
For graduates, it marked the end of a 13-year journey and the beginning of the rest of their lives.
“Whoever you’ve been or whatever you’ve done these past four years, for the most part, doesn’t really matter,” Frisco High School Senior Class Vice President Eden Bohanon told her classmates. “Now is your time to create your own version of who you are. What you need to decide is who you will become.”
Student speakers took the opportunity to thank their family, friends, teachers, coaches, administrators, counselors and others for their support and guidance.
They also expressed their gratitude for the many opportunities available to them in Frisco ISD. As one graduate put it, FISD high schools are “where a jock can play a mean bass and a brainiac can break records on the track.”
Many also chose to share advice and words of inspiration with their fellow graduates.
“Don’t be paralyzed by possibilities,” Liberty High School Valedictorian Rithika Proddutoor said in her graduation speech. “Instead, own them, act on them and don’t doubt yourself. Keep learning and love learning. Drink deep from the Pierian spring. Never stop seeking to understand the world and your place in it… Put your head up, wings out and prepare to soar into the next era of your life as a true Redhawk.”
A few graduation speakers noted family members in the audience who had traveled from as far away as India and China to see them accept their diplomas. Independence High School Salutatorian Jessica Huang told the crowd her grandmother didn’t get the education that many people take for granted.
“To see me walk across the stage, see me achieve what was denied to her by a life of poverty and oppression, is a beyond surreal experience for her,” she said, noting the realities many still face around the world and encouraging her peers to do what they can to make a difference. “I challenge you to find a way you can help a farmer half way across the world, or a little girl living off food stamps, or even just a friend who is having a bad day… I’m not saying the journey won’t be tough, but if we pursue our dreams wholeheartedly, constantly strive for self-improvement and follow our inner voices, then we will surely transform ourselves into people worth knowing and the world into one worth calling home.”
For educators, graduation was an opportunity to say goodbye and reflect on their efforts to instill both academic and life lessons in students.
“You must be resilient in the things that you are passionate about because grit keeps you moving forward through the sting of rejection, the pain of failure and struggle with adversity,” Heritage High School Principal Mark Mimms told members of the Heritage Class of 2017. “There is something each of you is meant to do, build, create, transform or change.
“Contribute to the world the way you have contributed to Heritage High School. We have prepared you for the path ahead and you have left your imprint on us. You have represented Heritage High School well, you have made it stand out and you have left a legacy for all those who follow. You’re leaving us to embrace new dreams, but remember, you are forever Coyotes and we are Heritage.”
It was clear Frisco ISD’s newest graduates appreciated the support they have been given – and are committed to making their mark as they move on to college, the professional world and wherever life’s journey may take them.
“Lastly, to the school system that has led us here today, thank you for everything you’ve given us,” Wakeland High School Senior Class President Henry Sandusky said in wrapping up the last of seven FISD graduation ceremonies. “We promise we’ll make you proud and use every tool you’ve given us to be successful.”
The Class of 2017 earned millions in academic and athletic scholarships to continue to their education at a wide variety of institutions of higher learning.
FISD graduates plan to attend colleges and universities both near and far – including prestigious institutions such as Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Brown and Cornell universities, among many others.
The most popular choices for post-secondary education for the Class of 2017 include Collin College, The University of Texas at Dallas, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University and Texas Tech University.
Top out-of-state picks include University of Arkansas, Oklahoma State University, The University of Oklahoma, Louisiana State University and The University of Alabama.
Many other FISD grads will enter the military or participate in additional career training before entering the workforce.