As the month of May is upon us, it is that time when high school seniors are graduating and turning the next chapter of their lives. The other day, I had the honor of covering the painting of Senior Hill right here in Neosho. Even though it was a little cold outside, that didn't matter, as the seniors raced up the hill, with paint and paintbrushes wanting to leave their mark on the famous hill.
Over the years in covering this event, I have talked to parents of the graduates and they remember painting the hill when they graduated from NHS. This time-honored tradition will last a lifetime and I know that over the years, these students will come back to Senior Hill, remembering what they put there.
On Monday night, I had the opportunity to cover East Newton High School's graduation ceremony. That brought back memories of mine when I graduated back in 1989. Before the commencement began, I was talking to a person standing by me. I told him that I had sat in the second row, in either the second or third seat. I also remembered looking up to my left to see my family waving their hands toward me. I remember the speakers, one of which was the valedictorian and my best friend, Steve Haas. I also remember that time stood still before we received our diplomas. I cherished that night, for I knew that for some of us, it would be years before we saw each other again.
Graduates, as you enter the next chapter of your life whether it would be to college or to the workplace or military, I wanted to pass something along to you.
Remember, that diploma is more than just a sheet of paper.
For some, it will help them get into college. For others, a job. But remember, YOU earned that diploma. No one else could have done it for you.
For the parents and other family members, if you can, attend the fellow graduates, congratulate them and see them smile when they get their diplomas.
Todd G. Higdon is a staff writer and writes a weekly column for the Neosho Daily News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter at @toddghigdonNDN