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CCHS graduates 455


Cove Leader-Press


The commencement ceremony of Copperas Cove Graduating Class of 2024 was held on May 24, at the Cadence Bank Center in Belton.

The graduates received the Garrison Commander’s Address by Colonel Lakicia Stokes: U.S. Army Fort Cavazos.

Col. Stokes said, “Today we celebrate not just as a community, but as a family to celebrate accomplishments of our high school seniors. These young men and women have reached a milestone in their lives.”

The graduates were acknowledged for their hard work and dedication that brought them to where they are today. From late night study sessions to extracurricular activities, from volunteerism in the community, to navigating the challenges of remote learning, the graduates have shown resilience, determination and a passion for learning that is truly commendable.

Ella Crawley, Student Council President, recognized the special guests and presented opening remarks to the Class of 2024.

“Today I stand before you not as a spectator, but as a participant. Being a Student Council President opened my eyes to how things get done behind the scenes.”

She said to the class that they have nothing to complain about if they didn’t learn many real life skills.

“Not this group. We’re as prepared as CCHS could make us. We have certifications, associate degrees, clinical internships, apprenticeships and so many life skills. We are a community made up of many different groups bound by relentless determination to leave our hearts at Copperas Cove High School.”

Crawley said there were a lot of “firsts” for their class, one of them being that the class of 2024 was the first graduation class permitted to decorate their caps.

“We are the first class to wear more than three honor cords. We are the first class to ‘Roshambo’ with our principal (also known rock-paper-scissors). We are the game changers, the trend setters. We shattered the norm and set the precedent.”

Crawley challenged the class to continue to set the trend, to challenge the status-quo.

“Change the world and leave it better than you found it, no matter where you go.”

Salutatorian Class of 2024, Hayden Peacock, asked the Class of 2024, “Can you believe we made it? It’s a momentous occasion that deserves celebration and reflection. Our class will be known for coming of age during the global pandemic. We saw firsthand the challenges of what the world could throw at us. We also felt the strength and resilience of the human spirit. I know that we all have had enough of that surreal experience, Zoom classes, wearing masks, social distancing that no-one followed, constantly sanitizing our hands, missing important events, and monotonous boredom. Despite the hardships at that time, there were also valuable lessons. First, we learned to be adaptable, learned to navigate new platforms, have virtual discussions and maintain our focus among the distractions of being stuck at home.”

He reminded the class that they learned to be resilient. There were valuable life lessons hidden within the obstacles.

“We had to give up traditions and milestones that we had been looking forward to for years. Things we took for granted weren’t commonplace anymore. Here we all are, standing tall despite all of it. We learned how to bounce back and find the silver lining in the darkest of time and to keep pushing forward.”

He told the class that they all had the strength to overcome any obstacle that came their way.

“As you move forward, carry empathy with you. Be there for others, and spread kindness.”

Valedictorian and Senior Class President, Samantha Parker, was given the honor delivering her speech to the Class of 2024.

“Some of us are going to college, the military, to trade schools, or we don’t know what we want to do yet. We will all walk the stage tonight, and officially begin the next stage of our lives. I want to give you some words to carry with you. Please remember that all of us are the same. We are so young and know so little about what life has in store for us.”

When Parker started high school, she was so afraid of what her life would be like. Her high school experience was nothing like what she saw in the movies. She found new passions, and made new friends.

Dr. Joe Burns, Superintendent of Schools, said CCHS was graduating 455 of the school’s finest students. More than $3 million dollars in total scholarships for continued education was awarded. The highest mark in school history, graduated 98 percent college, Career and Military Preparedness. In the Early College Program/CTC Graduates, 16 students graduated with associate degrees, four students with HVAC certifications, and one with a Welding certificate.

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