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Commencing to their Futures

Eat Dessert! and be yourself, Red Devil graduates are advised


Clinton High School’s 176 graduates entered their gym to “Pomp and Circumstance” and exited through a gauntlet of faculty during Thursday morning’s 2023 Commencement.

Speeches were provided by Rachel Vondergeest, Valedictorian, and Shane Nelson, Salutatorian. Soon-to-be Red Devil Alumni Madison Fulmer, student body vice-president, and Mary Catherine Dailey, student body president, provided The Pledge of Allegiance and the Invocation, respectively.

Dr. Martha Brothers, the principal, provided the welcome and the closing remarks.

“Good Morning, Class of 2023,” said Brothers, acknowledging it was a day many thought would never come, especially when there were 200 days showing on The Commons area graduation countdown clock. “Starting today, your world will change, and because of you, our world will change, as well.  

“Don’t try to live someone else’s life. Be you. Every person in this gym believes you have what it takes to become what you want to become in life.  

“Figure out how to make your dreams come true. Take risks. And remember, some people on the Titanic did not eat dessert that night — Eat Dessert!    

“You will always be part of the Red Devil family and you will always be part of our hearts. I love you and I thank you, for everything you have done for Clinton High School.” 

Prior to Nelson’s Salutatorian talk, the Red Devil Nation audience was encouraged to give the Class of 2023 a collective cheer, in lieu of individual cheers. The raucous cheer was so sustained that Superintendent Dr. David O’Shields had to wave it down, after a few minutes, so Nelson could proceed and the ceremony could get on to the presentation of diplomas.

The Class of 2023 dedicated the commencement to Madison Keely Craven and Taylor Cole Tisdale, and two special flower arrangements were on stage to serve as memorials to these friends who were Red Devils at the time of their passing.

Twenty-two organizations/honors were designated with honor cords. The High Honor Graduates wore gold stoles and the Honor Graduates wore gold cords.

The Clinton High School Band presented the Processional, the National Anthem, the Alma Mater and the Recessional: “Crown Imperial: Coronation March.” The Clinton High School JROTC presented the colors. Agriculture Science and the FFA provided Senior Night and Graduation plants. The Red Devils’ Senior Night was May 31, followed by a fireworks show at the high school presented by the City of Clinton.