Burlingame High School sends off 24 graduates with best wishes for the future – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Burlingame High School sends off 24 graduates with best wishes for the future

Burlingame High School class of 2023. Photo by Andy Bayless.

It was a day of thank yous, goodbyes and well wishes as 24 members of the Burlingame High School class of 2023 accepted their diplomas and started the next chapter in their life as high school graduates.

“My wish for you is that life becomes all that you want it to,” a quote from a song by the band Rascal Flatts, was echoed in sentiment by the class’s salutatorian and three valedictorians as they addressed the crowd gathered Saturday, May 13, 2023, at Burlingame Elementary School gymnasium.

Salutatorian Isabella Tyson advised her fellow graduates and underclassmen to not take time for granted.

“Enjoy where you are, look at the people around you and cherish every second with them,” the salutatorian said. “Don’t get so focused on the future that you forget to live in the present. Don’t dwell on the past that you rob yourself of any joy in the current moment. Because time is fleeting and things change so quickly. Nothing is out of reach, you can reach for the stars, and accomplish all that you put your mind to, but if there’s one thing you cannot hold onto, it’s time. It’ll slip right through your fingers. So take a moment to appreciate the people around you and to enjoy what you have while you have it.”

After offering thanks to all the people in their lives who helped the graduates reach their goal, valedictorian Alexandra Crook offered her wish for her classmates, “Throughout the many years we spent together, many laughs were shared and several wonderful memories were made. I have enjoyed getting to know you and growing up alongside you all. We have completed high school and are now moving on to the next chapter of our lives. Wherever your lives take you, I wish you all success and happiness in the world.”

Valedictorian Adaysia Gallaway wished for her classmates to have success and experience self discovery. “But most importantly, I’d like to wish for happiness,” Gallaway said. “Life is short. Everyone should take the time to find joy in the little moments. You will come to regret the moments you worked diligently focused on the future, instead of hanging out with your friends having fun in the present. I think Timothee Chalamet puts it perfectly: ‘We’re only here for so long. Be happy, man. You could get hit by a truck tomorrow.’”

Valedictorian Paloma Leyva had a different story to tell than her fellow scholars. She talked about how she came to Burlingame without knowing English, and with parents who barely knew English.

“My parents had to hire a teacher to teach me to write and speak in English,” Leyva said. “I still had my accent, so most of my classmates had no idea what I was saying. I remember that I wanted to fit in and be like everyone else, so I practiced speaking English everyday until I finally started to become fluent.”

After years of hard studying and trying to fit in, Leyva found out about the honor of being a valedictorian, “I knew I wanted that title more than anything to prove that a Hispanic student could earn such an honor.”

“I have recently started to realize that I never needed to fit in. I never needed to only speak one language. I should have never been afraid to show everyone my culture and who I really was. But now I can say that I am proud of being Hispanic and being bilingual. I hope I can inspire others so we see so many different backgrounds and have so many stories to tell at their graduation.

“To my fellow graduates, I wish you all the best of luck and I hope you one day achieve all your dreams … Go out into the world and make a difference. Remember never be afraid to show people you really are, don’t fit in, stand out.”

With presentation of the class by Burlingame Junior-Senior High School Principal Geoff Markos, USD 454 Board of Education President Melissa Droege accepted the BHS class of 2023 for graduation.

Board of education members presented diplomas to Morgyn Ann Baker, Roman Montgomery Bayless, Gabrielle Marie Bayless-Ross, Alexandra Nicole Crook, Jason Alexander Davidson, Jace Lee DeWitt, Mason Wayne Flickinger, Adysia Jeanette Gallaway, Devin Reese Hartpence, Matthew Ty Heckman, Elizabeth Gail Ledom, Tyler Lawrence Lockwood, Paloma Leyva, Kiera Lee McNellis, Colby James Middleton, Landrew Todd Mundy, Ayden Kye Rash, Gracie Ann Simmons, Branden LaVerne Taylor, Isabella Elaine Tyson, Daniel Phillip Roy Wells, Coby Eugene Woods, Cody Dean Woods, and Trapper John Wright.

The class of 2023 sponsors were Amy Heckman and Amy Tyson. Attendants for the commencement ceremony were Madison Hovestadt, Kaylin Noonan, Calvin Noonan, and Brandon Punches.

USD 454 Board of Education members include Droege, Pam Masters, vice president, Jamie Bowman, Krista Rowley, Audrey Ross, Steven Tyson, and Donna Young.

Administration for the graduates’ last year of school at BHS were USD 454 Superintendent Marcy Cassidy and Principal Geoff Markos.

BHS faculty and staff included Angela Adams, Mike Barlow, Brian Bartlett, Katie Beauclaire, Doug Bingham, Jeff Bowman, TJ Brake, Julia Bukovatz, Chris Burk, Teresa Carson, Fred Diver, Christi Droege, Mitch Foote, Robin Fruits, Melissa Hamel, Mark Hecht, Amy Heckman, Mike Higgins, Lauren Jerore, Dita Kopp, Kevin Kramer, Darin Lee, Jessica Lockwood, Calvary Lyle, Austin Masters, Brooke Masters, Bridget Middleton, Heather Morgan, Michelle Motsinger, Becky Muzzy, Lisa Obregon, Barb Peterson, Cassidy Powell, Tammy Roberts, Travisray Salyers,Roger Sells, Jon Shaffer, Angela Short, Josiah Shultz, Jacob Simmons, Jeff Slater, Aaron Staab, Megan Summers, Cheynne Swanson, Amy Tyson, Jewelie Ullery, Keri Welch, Alexia Wells, Lindsey Wendleton, Eric West, Shay West, and Katelyn Whitaker.

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