THS seniors gear up for Friday graduation

May 15—Nerves and excitement have started to take hold as Tahlequah High School seniors prepare for their next chapter in life.

The nearing of graduation brought mixed feelings for some students on the last day of school — Wednesday, May 15. After walking through the halls of elementaries they once inhabited, the students — now almost alumni — watched the senior slideshow as a class at the THS Performing Arts Center.

Lori Freymuth, academic high school counselor, said the slideshow was created by yearbook Design Editor-in-Chief Katie Pursley, a THS senior. It allows students to see their progression through the years alongside their classmates.

Watching the slideshow marked one of the last times the senior class will be together, other than the graduation practice later that evening. Freymuth said watching the seniors get together for one of the last times was an emotional and bittersweet moment.

Several in the Class of 2024 were pre-K students in Freymuth's class, making the event seem to bring history almost full circle.

"I'm just so proud of them," Freymuth said. "I want them to always believe in themselves and chase their dreams and remember they always have people cheering them on."

Some seniors, like Jasmine Gould, are ready to graduate and head off into the next phase of adulthood. In Jasmine's case, that means going to Oklahoma State University with an undeclared major.

"It's been good, but I'm ready to venture off," Jasmine said.

Student Council President Roxana Ledezma said the walk through the elementaries was very sentimental for her.

"You just see everybody there and all the little children, and it just brings you back to whenever you were there," Roxana said.

Roxana said preparing for the walk across the stage has been tiring, from the various senior events to practicing her senior speech for graduation. The fact of Roxana and her class graduating in a couple days hasn't set in with the student council president yet, but she believed it would hit her the day she dons her cape and gown.

Roxana said she also planned to attend OSU, studying political science and minor in pre-law, while eventually going to The University of Oklahoma for law school.

"I really hope [my classmates] go through the right path and I hope for success for them," Roxana said.

As the slideshow ended and the lights came back on in the PAC, THS Principal Natalie Cloud gave some quick announcements and a farewell to the seniors.

"This senior class has been fun to work with," Cloud stated later in an email. "They are a pretty great group, and I am really going to miss them. I wish them all the best in their bright futures."

The seniors then scurried out of the building after stopping to grab a provided lunch and take photos together one last time as THS students — and not Tahlequah alumni.

What's next

Graduation for THS is set to be Friday, May 17 at 7 p.m. at Northeastern State University's Doc Wadley Stadium. A livestream of the graduation on the Tahlequah Public Schools YouTube channel and Facebook page will be available.