WATCH NOW: Reuther Central High School graduates 57 students in high-energy ceremony | Local News

Fifty-seven Reuther Central High School graduates were honored Saturday morning with a high-energy commencement ceremony.

The ceremony, held in the Downtown high school’s auditorium at 913 57th St., drew hundreds of parents, guardians, friends and family members who applauded and cheered the graduates during the roughly hour-and-a-half ceremony. Many held cardboard cutouts of student faces and waved them throughout the event. Others brought balloons or flowers. 

Kiara Rios, who graduated with honors, offered the commencement message.

“One thousand, 300 and 69 days ago the Class of 2022 walked into Reuther High School,” Rios said. “Others came here at different times, like myself who came here my sophomore year. But it doesn’t matter when you walked in through those glass doors because you are all walking out at Reuther graduates.”

Rios said that years from now the graduates will be “grateful they got to experience the amazing faculty here” who “never gave up on us.”

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“They may be teachers, but we all consider them to be our best friends,” Rios added. “It doesn’t matter if you needed a second to cry, vent or tell them the latest drama. They were always there. Reuther will always have a special place in our hearts.”

Rios said Reuther was “not like the movies.”  

“It was the complete opposite for me. We had our own experiences. Some made friends for life, some found their passions, some discovered themselves while others lost friends and dealt with hard times. But me, personally, I got to experience meeting my high school sweetheart. That’s the beauty of this whole chapter of our lives. It wasn’t like the movies. Instead, we made it our own. This isn”t a time to reflect on a sad ending. Instead, it’s a time to acknowledge our new beginnings with excitement,” Rios said. 

Rios said each graduate is about to experience massive changes.

“Change is inevitable, and I encourage you to be to the change. Be the change you wish to see in the world,” she said. 

Principal Maria Kotz said she is proud of the Class of 2022.

“Recently, multiple staff members talked about how much they appreciated these last few weeks watching you all come together because you cheered one another on,”Kotz said. “You all wanted to finish strong together.”

‘Be in the present’

She also encouraged the graduates to live their lives to the fullest and strive to “be in the present.”

“Try hard to be present in the here and now whenever you can, because when you do it’s golden,” Kotz said. “When we’re present memories are made and friendships cemented.” 

She encouraged the graduates to “embrace this moment” that they worked so hard for and that the Reuther staff could “not be prouder of you and all you accomplished.”

Tra Shawn Gordon served as the master of ceremonies and Dayanara Giles welcomed the attendees. 

“It’s time to say goodbye and move forward,” Giles said. “We have made it and will soon begin to start a new chapter in our lives. Some of us will continue with our education while others may not have decided on a future plan, yet. No matter path lies your future, remember you are a Reuther grad. You are successful.”

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