48 receive diplomas at ceremony

Roseanne McKee Pawhuska
Christian Warford

The Barnsdall High School class of 2019 held the school’s 98th graduation at the Bartlesville Community Center May 17, marking the first time a graduation had taken place off school premises, Superintendent Jeff Lay said.

“Enjoy every moment for it will pass very quickly,” Lay told the graduates.

“Always remember, you were put here for a purpose. Work hard to pursue that purpose every day,” Lay said.

He quoted his favorite verse from Isaiah: “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, this is the way, walk in it.”

Lay said, “My prayer for you is that you walk your walk, that it’s a good one, and when the road turns tough, that you will be still and listen for that voice.”

He finished his speech with this: “Finally, let me be the first one to say during this ceremony, congratulations and we are all very proud of you.”

Barnsdall High School Principal Sayra Bryant said she, and the staff, were very proud of the accomplishments of the graduating class during their four years of high school. Bryant shared that of the 48 graduating, 33 had been admitted to college or secondary schools, 13 were ready for the workforce and one would be joining the military. In addition, $411,000 in scholarships had been awarded to the graduates.

Bryant recognized National Honor Society members, who were wearing white collars, by having them stand.

The student who had chosen military service, Bryce Gonzalez, who has joined the U.S. Marine Corps, was also asked to stand.

Mikah Kiser, the only student who met the qualifications for the Oklahoma Academic Scholar Recognition Program with a 3.7 GPA or higher and a score of 27 or higher on the ACT, was asked to come forward to be recognized.

Students who met the requirements of Barnsdall High School’s Diploma Plus program were recognized. The plus program recognizes students who have added to their academics through athletics, volunteerism, entrepreneurship and academics. The program, started several years ago, requires that students complete eight of 38 possible items, during their four years of high school, to be recognized.

There were six valedictorians, each of whom had maintained a 4.0 GPA. Each spoke in alphabetical order at the graduation. The valedictorians were: Mikayla Kettles, Linda Marullo, Reese Robbins, Kyndra Walker, Bayleigh Walling and Christian Warford.

The class colors were yellow and gray, the class flower was yellow daisies and the class motto by an unknown author was, “If we wait until we are ready, we will be waiting for the rest of our lives.”