Ashland High Class of 2018: Ready to Make Big Changes in the World

Cynthia Whitty
Issue Date: 
July, 2018
Article Body: 

Principal Kelley St. Coeur welcomed on June 3 family, friends, community leaders and students to the 2018 Ashland High School (AHS) graduation. St. Coeur thanked elected officials for their support of public education. She also thanked the parents, who “were [the students’] first teachers.”
St. Coeur spoke to the graduates about their reputation as “the ‘good class’ and ‘a class that works hard and was motivated.’”
“That’s a hard reputation to live up to,” she said, “But true to the reports, you joined the AHS community ready to achieve in everything you did.”
She described them as “leading by example through hard work, a willingness to try new things and take risks” and “ambitious.”
“You are strong youth looking to make changes. Throughout your four years, you have looked for ways to do things just a little differently than classes that have come before you, and I know you will continue to work to make changes in the world as adults.
“You are young adults faced with a world that is vastly different today than it was a few short years ago when you walked into Ashland High School. It can be a hard world. . . . To you, hard means challenging assumptions, talking about what needs to change, sometimes questioning authority, and doing it all often as part of a team. You have faced challenges in your world that have forced you to learn, sometimes the hard way, that when something is difficult, it doesn’t mean you don’t still have the responsibility to do what’s right, to overcome obstacles, to figure out how to respect one another, and to just keep doing things better.
“You ask questions . . .a lot of them, and usually, you really want to listen to the answer and engage in thoughtful dialogue. Freedom of speech was something you spoke about a lot. And you learned together that it doesn’t mean you get to say whatever you want without any consequence, whether positive or negative. Every choice you make has a consequence. I have watched you try that concept out on many occasions in a way that tells me you are ready to go out into to world and make big changes. I saw you choose positive far more often than not and to grow from your mistakes when you made them.”