The remnants of an evening of thunderstorms across the Pikes Peak region lingered into the morning of Saturday, May 27: Graduation day for the Vista Ridge Class of 2023. Low hanging clouds and soggy conditions did not dampen the excitement for hundreds of VRHS graduates and their families, who filed into UCHealth Park to celebrate the class of 2023.
Lilly Lyons, VRHS’ valedictorian, congratulated her classmates for their once in a lifetime accomplishment, which, she joked, took about 18 years.
“That’s still faster than getting Google to load on the school Chromebook!” Lyons said, to the delight of the crowd.
Lyons laid out an analogy, drawing a comparison to life and traveling a highway.
“Right now, class of 2023. We are at a rest stop,” she said. “We’ve been on the same road until now, each of us in our own car with different conditions.”
Although there will be potholes and traffic, breakdowns and recovery, Lyons encouraged her classmates to boldly keep driving.
“Where we go now is up to us, where we want our own cars to take us,” Lyons said. “Who’s ready to get on the highway?”
Ron Carroll, VRHS math teacher and ceremonial spokesperson, reminded his students how much they’ve been through, including the COVID pandemic, remote learning and returning to school as usual.
“You are capable of achieving greatness, and no matter what happens, you have the strength and resilience to overcome any obstacle,” he said.
As he concluded his remarks, Carroll reminded students to chase their dreams, work hard and cherish their personal connections.
“You all have unique strengths and qualities that make you stand out amongst your peers,” Carroll said. “Einstein said ‘it’s not that I’m so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.’ Remember those words: stay with a problem, and never give up on your dreams!”
Congratulations to the Vista Ridge High School Class of 2023!