EHS graduate Anna Beth Payne

EHS graduate Anna Beth Payne waves to her family in the crowd after receiving her diploma during Enterprise’s graduation ceremony. 

The Enterprise High School Class of 2018 set a new milestone at Thursday’s graduation ceremony becoming the first EHS calls to spend all four years at the school built after a tornado in 2007 destroyed the former school.

At the ceremony, which was delayed 45 minutes due to rain, the valedictorian, salutatorian, honor graduates, members of honor societies and students with distinguished awards followed by the awarding of diplomas to 523 seniors.

“We are here to celebrate the knowledge we have accumulated, the experiences we have undergone, the opportunities we have taken and the memories we have made,” said salutatorian Cody Rivera.

Rivera reminisced about starting EHS as a freshman, and the developments that he and his classmates have made over the years.

“Throughout the years we were transformed from listeners to thinkers, from followers to leaders and from receivers to givers,” Rivera said.

He thanked his family for supporting him throughout his high school career.

He also thanked the faculty for having a “positive impact” on his education throughout high school.

Rivera told the class that graduation was a milestone in their lives, but that the milestone is just a “rest stop.”

“Whether we seek higher education, join the military or train for the work force,” Rivera said. “We must adopt a philosophy of kaizen –continuous improvement.”

Valedictorian Mia Banuelos said that graduation is a time not only to look back, but also to look forward. She talked about her transformation from a freshman to a graduating senior.

“I remember coming to this school as a scared freshman, who often got lost, but now I’m departing with a better sense of direction,” Banuelos said.

She thanked her parents for helping her and supporting her, and she promised to “never forget my roots.”

To the graduating class, she said that her generation has been mistakenly labeled as the “self-absorbed” generation.

Banuelos said she saw her age group as the “generation full of potential,” and challenged her classmates to live up to that.

“We’re the generation with the power to change the world, and adulthood is only the beginning,” Banuelos said. “So I hope in a few years, we are not the ones complaining about the state of the world, but instead the people who wake up each morning to make the world a better place, even if it’s in a small way.”

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