Westview School said goodbye to 12 of their students Tuesday evening, when the eighth grade class was awarded their diplomas and sent on their way to high school.
While some of the students will choose to attend school in the Seneca R-7 School District, and the others will become wildcats at Neosho High School, the class' salutatorian and valedictorian both emphasized the importance of remaining friends.
"A word of advice to my fellow classmates would be to stick with your friends through thick and thin," said Valedictorian Jayson Beard. "Our whole future is in front of us, make the most of every opportunity. Never let anyone tell you that you can't do something."
Slade Woodward, the salutatorian of the class, urged his classmates not to forget one another.
"Our friends here, we may never see them again, and if we do see them, they may just become another face in the hallway," Woodward said. "I ask that every graduating student here remember your friends."
Both speakers thanked the faculty and staff of Westview for their support and reminisced about their time at the rural school.
"I've been here my entire life, from preschool to where I am right now, and many of you graduates have been through the same," Woodward said. "If I could do it all again, the mistakes and achievements, I would do it in a heartbeat."
Woodward said after the ceremony that he plans to spend his high school days as a Seneca Indian.
"My family went there and I just kind of wanted to carry on the tradition," Woodward said.
And while moving on to high school is a big step, Woodward said he is ready for what the future holds.
"Yes I am [excited]," he said. "Although, a little nervous also."
While Woodward is off to Seneca, his classmate Alyssa Lee will be walking the halls of Neosho High School next year.
She said she is looking forward to beginning her high school years.
"My brother goes to Neosho and I really have a lot of friends there," Lee said. "I just think it'll be fun there."
Lee said she is excited for the "new classes, the friends, getting good grades, and stuff like that."