Hey, Look Ma I Made It!


Mrs. J, advisor

Hey, Look Ma I Made It adorned a few mortarboards on Monday night as Ponder High School took to the stage at the University of North Texas for the 2019 commencement.  At precisely 7:00 p.m the graduation march began played by the PHS band under the direction of Mr. Steven Carnley and the Class of 2019 began the walk that would change the path of their lives.

Once the graduates were seated, Taylor Reeves gave the invocation.  Spencer Stinson gave a salutatory speech that reminisced about the good ole days that the classmates had spent together even joking about Emily Morrow beginning high school and ending high school on crutches! Spencer thanked those who had helped her including a moving tribute to her parents and older sister, cue the kleenexes!

Next came the a lovely musical tribute by the senior choir members under the directing of Kateri Lavacek.  This newspaper advisor hadn’t realized how many choir members were going to be leaving us, but the number is quite significant! The song was sung quite beautifully and will be remembered by all.

Principal Dr. Birdwell then announced the recipients of scholarships.  The Class of 2019 scholarships totaled over $827,000!  This was a tremendous amount and a few of the students had amounts totaling more than $80,000.

Valedictorian Tim VanderWal was next with a humorous look at his four years of high school. He, too, thanked his teachers and parents, but mainly spent time thanking his “bros” for being there for him.  He wished his fellow classmates luck in the future to end his speech.

Finally the moment everyone was waiting for arrived.  Superintendent Mr. Yeager certified that all the seniors were certified to graduate, and each one was called forward by assistant principal, Mr. Roberts to receive his or her diploma.  There were many shouts of congratulations, and one especially heartfelt one when Nazaria Griffiet walked the stage as her father yelled, “That’s my baby!”   After the diplomas were handed out, the fun part was next as the graduates tossed their mortarboards into the air to celebrate.  Finally the band played the recessional as the graduates filed out to go be with family before heading to project graduation at Andy B’s later that night.

Congratulations Class of 2019!  We wish you all the best!