The Palestine High School Class of 2014 made history Friday during its graduation ceremony at Wildcat Stadium filled with administrators, teachers, family and friends — the class as a whole earned more college credits than any previous class.
The 176 graduates earned a total of 2,244 college hours with 23 students graduating as “core complete,” which means they completed a set of college courses designed to give students the fundamentals of a college education. Those who graduate with the Core Curriculum with at least a 2.0 grade point average are guaranteed that their course will transfer as a block of credit to any Texas public college or university without being required to take any additional core courses.
In addition, 71 students earned a total of 171 industry-recognized certificates through the school's career and technology program.
Palestine ISD Superintendent Jason Marshall and PHS Principal William Stewart both congratulated the students on their achievements.
“The Class of 2014 has earned more college credits than any previous class. In addition, many of you have earned certificates that will allow you to start your professional careers right away,” Stewart said. “Others have solid plans that will help insure your future success.
“...However, what makes me the most proud of this group is not the college credits or the certificates that you have earned. I am most proud of the fact that you are good people,” he added. “For the past four years, you have grown into wonderful leaders that have modeled qualities such as hard work, dedication, respect, teamwork, love and pride for PHS.”
Valedictorian Elliot West told the graduates during his address that even though they worked and struggled the past 12 years to stand where they are, in the long run, they won't remember half of it.
“So even though we won't remember everything, remember what matters: being the underdog, the shoulder to cry on, the broken heart, the winner, the outcast, the down-and-out. Remember what it felt like to fall down, and then remember what it felt like to pick yourself up again. Remember being the young one, and with that, give a young one the help you wish you'd had,” West said. “Remember to meet failure with grace, as I had to learn this year when Senioritis kicked in.”