DeWitt Public School District Hosts 2024 Graduation Commencement

by LeeAnn Morgan

The DeWitt High School Class of 2024 proudly entered Dragon Stadium on Friday, May 17th, to the sounds of Pomp and Circumstance being played by the DeWitt Mighty Dragon Band.

Following the procession into the stadium, the audience stood for the playing of the National Anthem by the Dragon Band followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by DHS Principal, Rachel Mitchell. Honor graduate, Carter Hearn, opened the ceremony with the invocation, and honor graduate, Reece Barnett, extended the welcome.

The Salutatorian address was given by Joshua Haynes. Josh extended several thank yous before taking a trip down memory lane from ninth through twelfth grades, and concluded his speech with these thoughts, “As I reflect upon my time here at high school, I realized I learned far more lessons than just the ones in the classroom. I learned responsibility, how to work with others, and how to be a better person. But my biggest takeaway from my high school experience is the bond that I made with my classmates.”

Next, senior band members joined the band for their final performance as a student while they performed the special music selection entitled, “Choose Joy” by Randall Standridge.

The final address was given by Valedictorian, Jaden Steeland, who gave these words of encouragement to her fellow classmates, “As we embark on the next chapter of our lives, let us carry with us the lessons we've learned and the happiness we have encountered. Let us remember the friendships forged, the challenges overcome, and the moments of sheer joy that have defined our high school experience. And let us never forget the importance of perseverance, resilience, and compassion as we navigate the uncertainties of the future.

In closing, I would like to leave you with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, who once said, "Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."”

DeWitt High School Principal Rachel Mitchell presented the Class of 2024 as having fulfilled their duties and ready to receive their diplomas which were handed out by board president, Matthew Green, along with special requests of other board members and Principal Mitchell.

As a token of appreciation and for a special memory, each of the seniors deposited a golf ball into the hand of their presenter as they shook hands to receive their diplomas, instilling mischievous smiles and camaraderie amongst the seniors and the diploma presenters.

After moving their tassels and tossing their caps, the band played the Alma Mater as the Class of 2024 sang it for the first time as an alumni of DeWitt High School.

The benediction was given by honor graduate Hayden McCarley and the seniors recessed from the stadium to their Class Song, “Starting Over” by Chris Stapleton.

Class Officers for the year were: President - Joshua Haynes, Vice-president - Carter Hearn, Secretary - Sophia Whiting, Treasurer - Sydney Long, Reporter - Braylon Johnson-Brown. The Class Flower was the Blue Gladiolus. Class Colors were Gold and White. Class Motto - “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.” ~ Winston Churchill

Junior Ushers were Caroline Craig, Emma Everett, Bentley Fox, Berkeley Fox, Brick Fox, Neci Hill, Abby Long, Henlee Morton, Brennan Pfaffenberger, and Noah Ruffin