“There [are] a lot of you here tonight!”
These words, straight from the mouth of Van Alstyne Salutatorian Caleb Crim, set the tone perfectly. The home bleachers at Panther Stadium were full to the brim, it was standing room only and if you arrived less than 20 minutes early you did not get a program as they were all gobbled up quickly as the Class of 2013 bid farewell to the school, teachers and faculty on June 7.
The graduates made their traditional walk onto the stadium track to open the ceremony. After introductions and invocation by Madeline Carroll, graduates were recognized for their community service by Darrell Hardcastle. To be recognized, a student needed to have at least 120 hours of community service. Manny Semidey was among those recognized for his class-leading 400-plus hours of service to the community.
Honors medals were handed out, as well. These awards went to the academic top 10 percent of the class and were handed out by VAHS Principal Dr. David Brown.
The salutatorian and valedictorian were up next. Crim addressed the crowd regarding the need for his generation to have a strong work ethic for America. Valedictorian Meg Jones spoke of savoring the high school experience and starting a brand new chapter in the lives of she and her fellow graduates.
Finally, it was time to hand out the diplomas by Brown, Supt. Dr. John Spies and the VAISD School Board Trustees. Van Alstyne is unique in that after graduates walk across the stage to accept their diplomas they then proceed through a line of faculty members. There, handshakes and hugs were handed out in liberal doses as the Class of 2013 entered into the annals of Van Alstyne High School history.