Helena celebrates the graduating class of 2024

Published 1:49 pm Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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HOMEWOOD – Parents and students from Helena High School gathered at the Pete Hanna Center at Samford University on Monday, May 20 for an afternoon of celebration and achievement as HHS’ class of 2024 accepted their diplomas.

With a graduating class of almost 350 students, Helena High School not only honored its seniors, but also celebrated its 10th anniversary since its founding in 2014.

According to HHS Principal Ashley Bahr, this is one of the many things the school has to celebrate this year. From the Senior Sunrise, to the turnout at sporting events, to the final day of school when the senior class wore white shirts for each other to autograph, Bahr expressed her pride in her students.

“Interacting with the senior class in the last couple weeks, I just wanted to mention that you give me hope for your future and hope for those that are to come after you,” Bahr said. “You are going to have such a great journey and I’m excited to be a part of that. To the graduating class of 2024, I wish you the very best in all of your endeavors. I hope that your years as a Husky have been memorable.”

Salutatorian Andrew Griswold confirmed that his years as a Husky have indeed been memorable, but not in the way that many people assume. In his address, Griswold spoke to any underclassmen that may be in attendance.

“In 30 or 40 years, you’re going to look back at high school and it’s all going to be a blur of events and things and faces and names,” Griswold said. “Do you know what you’re going to remember? You’re not going to remember that midnight studying for that math test you had the next day. You’re going to remember each other. You’re going to remember the lunches that you spent together. You’re going to remember those jokes you cracked in class with your favorite teacher.”

Bahr shared that she is glad for the many students that will remember Helena High School fondly and offered advice for students stepping into the world.

“I hope you can look back at your time by going to high school and have fond memories, but remember, these are not your best years, the best is yet to come,” Bahr said. “As you start the next chapter of your life, step out of your comfort zone. I encourage you to keep kindness, empathy and compassion at the forefront of your mind as you interact with others in your life.”

Valedictorian Tucker Bremer used his address to remind his classmates that the most important things in life are not how successful they are. He challenged his fellow seniors to assess their goals and reevaluate what it means to be successful.

“Because we are prepared to make the biggest decisions in our lives so far, let’s consider where we are going and if it’s the right destination,” Bremer said. “Over the next few years, we will have to make an untold number of sacrifices of choice and time in pursuit of our goals. What a shame it would be to realize too late that the dream failed to justify the sacrifices.

Meanwhile, Bahr finished her address with a call of action of her own.

“Make a positive impact on the world by lifting others up and fostering the same sense of community that you have worked so hard on at Helena High School,” Bahr said. “Whether you are going to college planning to travel or heading to work, find your place in the world, stay true to yourself and do what makes you happy while contributing to the betterment of society.