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Members of Cheyenne’s South High Class of 2019 move their tassels, signifying they have graduated during Cheyenne’s South High graduation ceremony Saturday, June 1, 2019, at Bison Stadium. Gary Gwin/For the Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – South High is a school of heroes.

During Saturday’s graduation of Cheyenne’s South High Class of 2019, the audience learned exactly what kind of heroes the school houses.

Principal Phil Thompson said, “What I believe a hero is – it isn’t someone who wins the state championship. It isn’t the student who has to have straight As.”

He said among the heroes he sees at Sough High are students who held jobs and still earned an education, students who help their parents take care of siblings and students who succeed despite having the deck stacked against them.

“Heroes at South are all around us,” Thompson said.

To honor the Class of 2019, he played Alesso’s “Heroes.” He said the lines, “We are a different kind/We can do anything” exemplify the graduating class.

“We know we’re a little bit different at South. We kinda like that.”

Science teacher Ellie Zuber spoke for the faculty at South High’s graduation.

As a teacher and the mother of one of the graduates, Zuber spoke of how proud all the South High staff and parents are to watch the students walk the stage. She added that they’re all thankful to be a part of the graduates’ lives, as well.

“In some way, everyone here is thankful for one or more of you seniors,” she said.

Zuber said that every day, her spark of life is rekindled by her child and all of her students.

And she said she couldn’t leave them without offering some final advice to them.

She told the graduates, “As you move forward and navigate your paths, be yourself. Be the best version of yourself.”

Student speaker Becca Monahan told her fellow graduates not to be afraid of fear.

She acknowledged that many of the students likely are experiencing fear upon facing the world after high school.

“This is a new kind of fear,” Monahan said. She added that it doesn’t quite compare to the fears they experienced during high school.

But she told the graduates that they can – and should – persevere through it.

“Perseverance is 100% what got us into these robes and sitting in these chairs today,” she said.

Monahan said everyone hates to be wrong, but it will happen to all the graduates. She acknowledged that she has been wrong in the past and expects she’ll be wrong again.

But she added, “If South has taught me anything, it has taught me to persevere through adversity.”

She said South High’s values shaped all the graduates into great people.

Despite the fact that the graduates moved on Saturday from their time at South High, Monahan said, “It is always a great day to be a Bison.”

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