Cash cautions Pawhuska grads

Robert Smith
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

The retiring superintendent of Pawhuska Public Schools on May 19 gave what he anticipates to be his last commencement speech, and he tried to prepare graduating seniors for the difficulties of life.

“You’re going to be considered adults. The world treats you as an adult,” Superintendent David Cash said, cautioning the 43 graduates of the Pawhuska High School Class of 2023 to expect challenges. The school district held the graduation ceremony indoors due to weather considerations. If the weather permits it, the ceremony is typically held in the stadium.

Cash is retiring from his work as a school administrator. He has been an educator more than 30 years, including 19 years as a superintendent.

“We try to protect you from yourselves and others,” he said, commenting about the role that parents and teachers and community members play in trying to shield youth from harsh realities.

Cash challenged the graduates to pursue their dreams, to expect failures initially and to do the difficult work needed to succeed.

“If you don’t live a life where you pursue your dreams, are you really living a life?” he said. Cash also cited details of the career path of Abraham Lincoln, which included numerous failures before he was elected the nation’s 16th president.

“We don’t think of him as a failure, do we?” Cash said. He argued that failure brings accountability, which in turn motivates hard work and improvement.

“I’m just being truthful,” Cash said, clarifying that his graduation address wasn’t some sort of “angry man” speech. He wished the graduates great success in the long run.

“I hope you fail miserably when you get out, and I hope you fight and learn and become great,” he said.

Zowie Morgan Miles, the valedictorian of the Class of 2023, gave an address. Pawhuska High School Principal Bron Williams introduced the Class of 2023 and Justin Turney, president of the Pawhuska Board of Education, conferred the graduates’ diplomas.

Graduates included: Zowie Morgan Miles, John Taylor Reed, Ashley Lynn Bell, Shae Louise Bellamy, Kameryn Michelle Bickford, Devon Christopher Bighorse, Tye Bird, Payge Nicole Butcher, Vin Eaglechief Cass, Marco Antonio Castillo Santiago, Karleigh Marie Coon, Miya Nicole Curry, Brianna Nichole Davis, Nathan Ray Deatherage, Austyn Ray Doyal, Connor Michael Easley, Corbin Cash Fish, Shelby Raeann Gosvener, Noah Daniel Graves, William Triten Greene, Trevor Michael Hendrix, Kylie Beth Houghton, Ryleigh Angel Jackson, Ethan James Jones, Trevor Dalton Jones, Matthew Allen Klaessy, Alan Martinez, AydDan Marion McCartney, Jakoby Bruno Pewewardy, Hailey Nichole Pillow, Denver Thomas Potts, Faith Anamarie Rackliff, Elye Jane Reeves, Tyrel Douglas Richardson, Leigha Tate Rippetoe, Ernest Roper, Trevor Dale Rye, Jayden Elizabeth Sloan, Maddux James Standingbear, Jacey Nicole Thrasher, Eleanor Catherine Walker, Ellen Marie West, and Alexus Blayne Wilson.

Photo Caption: Superintendent David Cash