OMHS grads encouraged to remember their roots

BIRMINGHAM – At a time when many thoughts are about what the future holds, Oak Mountain High School graduates were encouraged to remember where they came from.

The school held the commencement ceremony for the Class of 2017 on Thursday, May 25 at Bartow Arena in Birmingham.

Student Government Association President Anna Grace Riddle led attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance, and the OMHS Senior Singers presented the National Anthem.

School Principal Kristi Sayers welcomed those in attendance.

“We hope we have played a part in preparing you for the road of tomorrow,” Sayers told the 383 graduates.

Valedictorian Armeen Barghi paused his address to take a selfie with his fellow graduates and the crowd in the background, then talked about how his high school experience began as an eighth grader being bussed to OMHS for a geometry class.

“Oak Mountain is teeming with individuals ready to help you,” Barghi said. “You just have to ask.”

Barghi said the class will be defined not by what its members have done but what they will do.

“I urge you to never forget your roots and your support system,” he said.

Salutatorian Morgan Rae Hundley said that in the true academic spirit, she waited until the last minute to write her speech.

“It hit me, to be able to deliver a speech, I would have have to write one, and then I was terrified,” Hundley said.

Hundley reminisced about fond memories from her time at OMHS and noted the saying about high school being the best time of the graduates’ lives.

“I don’t know if that’s true—I am only 18—but I can’t wait to find out,” she said. “I encourage the Class of 2017 to look around and take it all in.”

Counselor Kristi Wade thanked parents of the graduates for “putting down roots in the Oak Mountain community and entrusting us with your babies.”

“Thank you all for making Oak Mountain your school over the past few years,” Wade said.

Sayers recognized the school’s honor graduates, which were those students in the top 5 percent of the graduating class who also had a GPA of at least 4.0.