For Southern High School’s Class of 2022, the long, COIVD-choked road to graduation came with bumps and bruises, but they will all walk together to commemorate their journey on Saturday, May 14.
The Southern ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. and will feature a number of speakers, a senior slide show and a presentation of diplomas.
Riley Short, class president, has the next several years of her ambitious life planned out. Short said she will major in criminal justice and forensic psychology at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Then, it’s off to law school.
“I got into true crime documentaries about serial killers, bank fraud and terrorists and all that,” Short said. “And I was like, ‘I want to take down those bad guys.’”
Short said she wants to work for the FBI as a behavior analyst profiler.
“After that, I want to go into politics,” she said. “My number one goal in life is to run for president of the United States.”
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Madison Wegner, class secretary, also has her next decade charted out. Wegner is heading to Bryan College of Health Sciences to get a nursing degree. Then, she said she wants to get a doctorate in nurse anesthesia.
“My mom’s a nurse, and she always talks about how much she loves her job,” Wegner said. “I think I’ve just always wanted to do it. I really like the idea of helping people.”
Short said her time at Southern helped her to break out of her formerly shy shell.
“I was able to come more into my own,” she said. “Both in academics and in sports ... I became more confident in my decisions. I grew into a leader.”
Short and Wegner said one of the biggest challenges the class faced was maturing in its interpersonal relationships.
“We would get into fights over the tiniest things,” Short said. “It’s been really nice to see us become more of a community.”
The senior class motto comes from Tim McGraw: “We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere.”
Wegner said, growing up with many of her classmates, she will take parts of them with her long past graduation. She said the pandemic was especially difficult for the class, but it also helped them to recognize the importance of one another.
“We overcame all the COVID struggles and got closer together,” she said.
The ceremony will last about an hour. The class flower is the daisy.