Woodbridge High School holds first outdoor graduation ceremony in its new stadium

By Scott Bleile

On a beautiful Monday night, after being cancelled the night before due to threatening weather, Woodbridge High School's 2016 graduation went off without a hitch. Retiring Principal Robert Adams welcomed the crowd to their first outdoor graduation in the new stadium.

"This is the first of many graduations to be held in this new stadium," Adams said to the crowd of parents and relatives of the graduates. "These seniors have done a tremendous job. They are one of the best classes to graduate from Woodbridge both academically and athletically. All of these young ladies and gentlemen have a bright future."

Class President and Valedictorian Sara Davis delivered her speech to her class and audience. "Think back about the years we have been in school," Davis told the audience. "Think about the teachers and friends. If we have changed that much in 10 years, what will it be after another 10 years? We are the future and we will determine what the future looks like. Think about how much everyone has changed and go out and make something of yourself."Class Salutatorian Hailey Penuel also spoke to the class. "When we graduate, may your hats fly as far as your dreams," Penuel stated. "Take control of your destiny. Our teachers let us believe we could do anything, to become the doctor, astronaut, or any other dream. These were fancy words for hope. If you put in the work, you can reach your goals and as a class we are a team."

Adams will be retiring as Principal of Woodbridge High School at the end of this school year and was chosen by the class to be the commencement speaker. "I am a big fan of movies and movies can teach us about life," Adams told the class.

"Three movies come to mind that show us how life can be determined. First, Hoosiers, which is a movie about a small high school basketball team that through hard work and determination showed they can compete with anyone. Woodbridge has shown we can compete with anyone through academics and athletics. Movie two was Stand and Deliver, a movie about a math teacher at a tough high school that pushed students to become the best and no one believed they could do that well. Our students do well and succeed. The third movie is Forrest Gump, Gump goes through history and effects the outcomes of some events. Our students will have an effect on the future."

Adams ended with the famous line from Forrest Gump. "In the movie, Forrest says 'Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you will get.' Well, our students don't know where life will take them in the future, but they will help make history. Adams Out."

The class of 2016 presented the high school with a podium that is state of the art for use at all events during the school year. The gift was graciously accepted by Adams.

The graduation ended with Woodbridge Superintendent Heath Chasanov congratulating the class and wished them success. "This class will be remembered for many years. Go out and share your accomplishments with friends and family and remember you will always be a Blue Raider."

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