By Patterson Federal Credit Union
On Saturday, May 21, 2022, Arkadelphia High School graduated 124 seniors at Henderson State University’s Wells Gym. The gym was packed with family and friends, excited for AHS’s first traditional graduation in two years. The AHS Band played the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” as the seniors, school board and administration filed in and took their seats.
Matthew Porter, one of the graduates, led everyone in The Pledge of Allegiance to begin the ceremony. Colby Adair, president of the senior class, delivered the welcome address. He introduced the school board and administration, thanked everyone for attending, and called attention to the two flower arrangements at the base of the podium. These arrangements are in memory of two students of the class of 2022 that passed away in 2021, Chasity Bell and Toni Hughes.
AHS Principal Callie Hunley then recognized the Summa Cum Laude graduates. In order to achieve this distinction, students must have earned a 4.001 GPA or better, with a composite ACT score of at least 21 with no sub score below 19.
Tucker Johnson, an AHS senior, introduced the Summa Cum Laude speaker, Joshua LeVar. LeVar gave an encouraging speech where he highlighted much of what this class had accomplished in academics, activities, and sports, noting that “our successes are a preface to a greater story,” and ending by telling the seniors to go show the world what it means to be a Badger.
Following the student address, Tate Goodrum, an AHS senior, introduced the faculty speaker. The students of the class of 2022 chose Steve Patterson for their faculty challenge. Patterson noted that it was a great privilege to be chosen to address this class. He highlighted specific students, sports, and organizations. He noted that Arkadelphia values and supports education and these students were lucky to have that support and community commitments like the Arkadelphia Promise. Patterson referenced Goodrum’s mother and her way with words, noting that her observation that the AHS baseball team thrived with “grit, hard work, determination, and respect for each other,” and that the senior class exemplifies the same qualities.
Landon Kuhn, AHS student body president, delivered the student response. Kuhn referenced a family speech that has been delivered at four different graduations over the last 100 years. He quoted his family member, “we stand upon the threshold of a good life where each must make our own decisions,” and remarked on how appropriate those words were at this graduation as well.
Following Kuhn’s speech, diplomas were awarded to the senior class. After the graduates had received their diplomas, James Jackson delivered closing remarks and Nancy Miller sang the Alma Mater.