Westminster celebrates Class of 2022 graduates

Published 9:47 am Friday, May 20, 2022

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NORTH SHELBY – Westminster at Oak Mountain senior Maggie McCallum compared her graduating class to a ship, whose individual elements each play a crucial role in the vessel’s ability to function properly.

“This class is made up of talented athletes, actors, musicians, artists and students who each contribute a unique ability and personality to our grade,” McCallum said in her valedictorian address at Westminster’s Class of 2022 commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14. “While we all share different interests and have different backgrounds, we are all one community. It is because of these differences that our grade is stronger together, because our strengths are able to complement each other’s weaknesses.”

McCallum emphasized the word “community,” and said she and her 46 classmates grew closer to each other as they overcame challenges—the COVID-19 pandemic, athletic competition losses, administration changes and other personal difficulties.

“We have all faced challenges, and we are all going to continue to face challenges,” McCallum said. “Yet, what I think is so special about the Class of 2022 is that we came out on top stronger because we faced those challenges together.”

Salutatorian Reagan Allen also spoke about the Class of 2022’s unity despite students’ differing perspectives.

“We weren’t always in agreement—we’ve got too many strong personalities for that—but we were together, standing united, supporting each other,” Allen said. “When it really mattered, we stood by and supported each other, celebrating each other’s victories and mourning each other’s losses. Not only did this support get us through high school, but it’s what gives us hope for the future because we know that when we struggle, we will always have a support system to fall back on.”

Allen and McCallum both expressed gratitude to their teachers, administrators, parents and friends for their support.

“It was through their dedication that we were able to persevere,” McCallum said. “This place is a community, a community that has been through many tests and trials, but has grown closer because of it.”

Allen described the community as one “based on an eternal love that defies comprehension.”

“We love each other because we are imitating Christ’s love for us, seeking to conform ourselves more and more to his image,” Allen said. “And so this is our hope, that we can go to new places and make new friends and learn new things, pursuing our passions because we are safe in the knowledge that we are part of a community that is based on something greater than our affection for each other; a community built on our love for Christ and his love for us. We can take risks and challenge ourselves because we stand not on our own achievements, but on what Christ has done for us.”