Tears of joy flood Trojan Stadium
It was 90 degrees on the track at Trojan Stadium Sunday, and felt even warmer than that for those dressed in black and silver gowns.
Folks in the bleachers didn’t have it much easier as they sat shoulder to shoulder under a thick blanket of warm sunshine. They persevered through the heat, knowing the time was drawing near when they would be called upon to participate in the service, too. As the graduates walked across the stage to receive their diploma, their loved ones in the audience released a cacophony of cheers and congratulations.
Apart from the mercury rising a bit too high in the thermometer, the weather could not have been better for Fairfield’s High School graduation. The 115 graduates entered the stadium to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance” courtesy of the concert band. The FHS Vox Choir sang a combination of “You’ll Be in My Heart” by Phil Collins and “I’m on My Way,” by The Proclaimers. Coren Hucke arranged the piece and played the conga for it.
Superintendent Art Sathoff gave the introductory remarks to the graduating seniors. He told them that they don’t have to be like everybody else, that they can chart a unique course to whatever destination they seek.
“You get to write your own story,” he said. “You don’t have to let others define you.”
He told the seniors their education and the support they’ve received from the community has provided them a strong foundation on which to begin building their careers.
Jordan Whitney was the student speaker selected by his peers to deliver the commencement address. Whitney began his remarks by addressing the “stragglers who were expecting Jim Carrey,” referring to the comedian’s appearance at Maharishi University of Management’s graduation the week before.
Whitney said he was in the audience for Carrey’s speech, and the usual funnyman became serious and delivered some heartfelt remarks. One in particular that stuck with Whitney was when Carrey told the audience of how his father wanted to be a comedian, but opted for a safe job as an accountant, only to lose that job when Carrey was 12 years old. The lesson Carrey learned from that experience, that Whitney said was important for his classmates to remember, was that they can fail doing something they don’t like, so they might as well take a chance on doing something they love.
Whitney also paid homage to a former classmate of theirs, Patrick Morton, who would have graduated with them but suffered an untimely death when he was only in seventh grade. Whitney said Morton was one of the most loving people he has known and that he and the rest of the class of 2014 miss him dearly.
Whitney concluded his remarks by issuing a challenge to his fellow seniors. He challenged them to make a difference in the world doing something they love.
High school principal Aaron Becker gave the final address before the students received their diplomas. Becker said he and associate principal Brian Stone speak daily about how great the students at FHS are.
“These seniors in front of all of us today are top-notch kids that have represented themselves, their parents, school and community to the highest degree,” he said. “Fairfield, you, without a doubt in my mind, should be so proud of what these students have become and who they will be someday.”