FREE TO ALL WITH VIDEO: Neelyville graduates challenged to chase their dreams

Monday, May 10, 2021
Families of Neelyville Class of 2021 graduates capture memories.
DAR/Barbara Ann Horton

The 37 graduates in the Neelyville High School Class of 2021 Saturday were challenged to dream, be accountable, conquer their fear and take the high road in life.

High School Principal Justin Dobbins told the graduates and a gym filled with “people who love you” to have big dreams, whether it is college, trade school or the military.

“Everyone has big dreams,” Dobbins said. “Don’t let anyone kill your dreams.”

Neelyville graduating class of 2021 toss their caps into the air as they began to chase their future dreams.
DAR/Barbara Ann Horton

He told them to own their self accomplishments and self worth. He reminded them things have changed in the last two years and to not allow social media to dictate their worth since it doesn’t have a lot of accountability.

“It is going to be up to you to find your worth and yourself,” Dobbins said. “No one can give you your worth. You decide your worth and that dream, you own it.”

Those who are actually going to make it are going to make it with self accountability and self worth, Dobbins said. There are a lot of big opportunities for people who are self accountable.

He challenged them to chase their dreams with all you have, but chase it with accountability. Be the first one there and the last one to leave. Be accountable to yourself.

“Those dreams are in your reach,” he said. “You are the only one who can stop your dreams. I am proud of you. You have done great things and you are going to continue to do great things.”

Dobbins was followed by salutatorian Derek Jake Izquierdo and Valedictorian Payton Raeann Reinbott

After thanking everyone, Izquierdo said, twists and turns the class of 2021 have gone through are “nothing more than a memory” and dared his classmates to push forward and make responsible decisions and choices.

He reminded everyone Acts 20:35 says, there is more happiness in giving than in receiving.

“We must be willing to do for others,” working together for the benefit for everyone, Izquierdo said

Valedictorian Payton Raeann Reinbott engaged the class of 2021, which she described as “a ragtag kindergarten class,” but the last 13 years have “prepared us to rise up for the rest of our lives. Rise up and brace the challenges of the future. Follow the rules and take the test. Rise up and conquer our fears. Don’t let the unknown control you. Go to places you have never been. Rise up and transform our goals and reality. Be a revolution and rise up conquering our fears. We will never forget from where we came.”

Superintendent Debra Parish talked to the graduates about the shoes they will need for their future steps. She told them work shoes represent the skills to be successful and reminded them they are going to work a long time.

She explained, they will need shoes that pinch their toes to help them to face new challenges. Rain boots represent their coping skills.

Parish also reminded them to go barefoot.

“Do things that make you happy so you may put your best foot forward and march to a different drummer,” said Parish, adding for the Class of 2021 “to take high road and be prepared to pull up your boot straps for a successful journey.”

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: