On Sunday afternoon, 30 Lone Tree High School seniors marched across the stage in the gym to receive their diplomas.
During her keynote address, math teacher Bethany Baum told the seniors that they need to be prepared to change course during their lives, even joking that they should all change course to study math education.
“Even our most carefully laid plans, even our most personal goals don’t always work out,” Baum said. “Sometimes, we have a change of heart. Sometimes, a door is shut we thought would be open. And sometimes, life throws us a curveball that we never foresaw.”
She urged the students to keep their focus on the things that matter most in their lives.
“Life can be lived so that it overflows with joys and with peace regardless of circumstance,” she said. “Do not set your sights on things that will fall short and are not lasting. Focus on what has true meaning, that which is not based on your current circumstance.
“Keep what is most important as the most important thing.”
Baum reminded the students to always remember what matters most in their lives.
“Do not let your focus, your peace, your joy be contingent upon your current situation,” she said. “Always keep what matters in the foreground of your mind, and do not place value on things that are not worthy.”
Senior Natalie Patterson spoke about the bond the class has formed as a result of being together.
“When you grow up with the same 30 kids, there is a connection that is truly priceless,” Patterson said. “Through all that uncertainty, we made it to this day, even if it wasn’t quite what we imagined it to be.”
Senior Whitney Willoz reminded her classmates that life will continue to test all of them.
“We as a class are just starting the steps to life beyond high school,” Willoz said. “We have a long way to go in the way of time, and what we do with it is really important. Our character, resilience and accountability will be tested beyond COVID, and the world will not be as forgiving as our high school years.
“You will meet new people beyond the scope of Lone Tree, and how you impact each person’s life will be your choice.”