Seniors of Central High School’s Class of 2022 are preparing to take the final step in their high school careers at the graduation ceremony set for Thursday. The event is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Central Rebel Stadium.
If bad weather prevents the ceremony from taking place on the football field, the graduation will be held in the T.J. Foulon Fieldhouse.
School officials said 130 graduates would receive their diplomas at Thursday’s ceremony.
Trenton Mayberry is the class valedictorian this year, and Reagan Bradley is the salutatorian.
Mayberry said that while he enjoyed his time in high school, he knows that he and his fellow students have to move on to achieve higher goals.
“It’s exciting,” he said. “You know, a lot of hype is built up about high school. It seems like half the movies ever made were about high school. But at the end of the day, it’s just four years, and then it’s over; You got to move on, and you have to do bigger things, and I’m excited for it. I know a lot of other students in my class feel the same way.”
Mayberry, who has attended Central his entire academic career, described his years in the district as “time well spent.”
“All my closest friends went to Central,” he explained. “There’s a lot of great teachers at Central. The counselors were very helpful. I have no complaints about Central.”
After high school, Mayberry plans to study biochemistry at Mizzou.
“I’m going to use that as a launchpad, so to speak, to go to med school,” he noted. “I’ve already been accepted into the Mizzou Pre-Med Scholars Program, so I’m very excited about that; Not very many people get that opportunity.
“I’d like to go from there into orthopedic surgery, which is my dream, so we’ll see,” Mayberry added. “A lot of years have to happen for that, but I’m excited to take it on.”
Bradley, the salutatorian, said she was excited to graduate and move on to the next chapter in her life.
“I’m excited to be done,” she said. “I’m super excited to have the honor of giving a speech at graduation and talking in front of my classmates that I’ve pretty much grown up with my entire life. I’m just really excited.”
After graduating, Bradley said she plans to attend Mizzou’s Health Sciences program and then, hopefully, the university’s physician’s assistant graduate school.
Bradley said she would miss her classmates, who had become some of her best friends over her years of playing multiple sports and participating in school clubs.
“I got to know a lot of people throughout my high school career, so I’m definitely going to miss some of them, but I’m excited to see what the future holds,” she said.
Mayberry and Bradley will deliver speeches to their fellow classmates before diplomas are awarded.
The ceremony will begin Thursday night with the processional and traditional playing of “Pomp and Circumstance” performed by the Central High School Concert Band.
Once the seniors have made it to their seats on the field, Aliyah Wagner will open the ceremony with prayer and invocation.
Next, the seniors and family will hear welcoming remarks from Hunter Pirtle and High School Principal Michael Johnson.
After the welcome speech, the Central High School Band will play “Accolade,” followed by the high school’s Concert Choir performing “Homeward Bound.”
Scholarships and A+ recipients will then be recognized by High School Counselors Whitney Hassell and Mark Reeves.
Johnson will then return to the podium to recognize UniTec Award recipients and Honor graduates before the remarks from the valedictorian and salutatorian.
Next, Johnson will begin the presentation of the Class of 2022. The Central Board of Education will then award the diplomas as each senior’s name is called.
Finally, Class Vice President Cole Mullins will deliver closing remarks and preside over the turning of tassels.
A baccalaureate service will be held for the Central Class of 2022 on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the T.J. Foulon Fieldhouse.
Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com