The keynote speaker at the Hope High School graduation Friday night inspired the seniors who were about to graduate, as well as the crowd that was present to see loved ones walk across the stage.
State Senator Linda Pondexter Chesterfield, D- Little Rock, originally of Hope, spoke of the graduates being adults now.
“That means that you have to be responsible and you have to pay your own bills,” Chesterfield said. “You must decide what your dream is. Ideals mean that we haven't reached perfection yet, and no one has reached perfection.
“We want to thank all the friends, family, and supportive parents for being here and for being there for your student,” she said.
“There are three things that can't ever be taken back and I want you to remember them. One is the word after it is spoken; two, is the stone after it is thrown, and three, is time when it's gone.
“Dare to do more,” Chesterfield said. “In the language of my fellow Yerger High School students, 'I double dog dare you' to be vigilant, discerning, and listen more than you speak. Get wisdom and knowledge as you can. Where there is no struggle, there is no progress. Good luck to all of you and may God Bless you.”
Three divisions of honors were recognized at the graduation.
Summa Cum Laude students included Julia Joyce Garcia, Amy Lou Davis, Luz Elena Arechiga, Yoko Vega, and Madison Paige McNew.
Magna Cum Laude, students were Bryan Lee Atchley, Edmundo Ramirez Dominguez, Dillon Cole McClanahan, Keri Brianne Piggee, and Ivy Ann Terry.
Cum Laude, honors included Joyce Irene Duke, Lacey Jo Singleton, Angelica Denise Fulton, Sorkeiss Mariano White, and Jasmine Laura Woods.
Senior sponsors were Terri Hoglund, and Jill Self, and the president of the student council was Julia Joyce Garcia.
The color guard presented the colors, and the National Anthem was sung by Tamarqus Love. Sammy Bray, principal of Hope High School, gave remarks and presented the National Merit Finalist Amy Davis.
The presentation of honor graduates was done by Bill Hoglund, and Joe Short, president of the Board of Education, presented the diplomas. Bray gave the closing statement and presented the graduating class of 2013.
One especially poignant moment was when Jordan Laughard, accompanied by his father, Darin, walked across the stage and was presented his diploma. Jordan was involved in a horrific car accident approximately a year ago, and his injuries were significant. He and his dad received a standing ovation from the crowd and from his fellow students.