Newport High School celebrated the graduation of the 2019 Senior Class on Friday, May 10th at Greyhound Field. The Class of 2019 was made up of great students who accumulated $ 2,296,000 in scholarships and awards. As I looked among the students and faculty, I was flooded with memories of past ceremonies and how that students have been affected by life and culture. Over the decades, the wisdom and knowledge these students have exuberated speaks volumes to the experiences, both good and bad, throughout their time as young adults at NHS. For decades, Greyhound Field has been home to graduation from Newport High School. In that one evening, life changes for each person present. For the students, the future is full of hopes and dreams, as well as fear. There underlying excitement about the future, as well as uncertainty of what that future holds is overwhelming. For the parents, their child is no longer spending days in a structured school environment, but now headed into world. Most of the graduates are eighteen by graduation, officially an adult. The prayer of every parent is that they are ready. Do they understand all that the world expects of them? Do they understand the harsh realities of no longer being guided through life, but now having to exercise the discipline learned in school? Can they find that motivation to achieve goals?  Some will further their education in college or trade school. Others will enter the workforce or military, and sadly, some have no idea what to do.  “Four years ago, we entered High School with feelings of excitement, nervousness, and wondering what the future may hold. Now, as we are here ready to graduate, some of us have those same feelings, while others are just ready to get this last step over with. Not knowing what the future holds can be scary, and it is scary, but it is exciting at the same time,” states the 2019 Valedictorian is Robert Cash Forrester.

Forrester continued his speech adding, “Accomplishing the goal that I set for myself four years ago is a true testament to the idea that if you want something bad enough, you can achieve it. It takes hard work and dedication, and for me, lots of prayers.” As a faithful Christian, Forrester wanted his classmates to understand that his inspiration for the speech came from a book,  ​Don’t Waste Your Life, by John Piper. Forrester states that a person only has one life, and the only measure of that life is Jesus Christ. By believing in the Lord, and putting all of your faith and trust in Him, and obeying what He says, that life will not be wasted. “Without him, everything is meaningless. He is the creator, He is the Almighty, and He died on the cross for me and you; so that one day we can spend eternity in heaven with Him. He will always be there for you even when you feel like no one else may be. Let Him be your guide. Lean on Him during the good times and the bad. You only have one life on this earth, don’t waste it.”