‘Leave your mark on the world’

20 MATEC seniors graduate at Friday ceremony

Noah McWilliams, a member of the MATEC graduating class of 2024, was presented with a book and the honor of being Senior of the Year in health and physical education, during commencement ceremonies on Friday. Teachers said that in addition to being a dedicated student, McWilliams would always fold airplanes out of scrap paper.

MARSHALL — The MATEC class of 2024 had accomplished a lot, Sheyenne Benson said. They overcame challenges, and made lifelong friendships.

“Today marks a significant milestone in our lives, a moment when we transition from students, to graduates equipped with knowledge, skills and a vision for the future,” Benson said, as she addressed her fellow graduates.

A total of 20 seniors graduated at MATEC’s commencement ceremonies on Friday.

“We are excited to be here today, celebrating these amazing young people,” said MATEC Assistant Principal Amanda Pederson.

Faculty members also presented students with Senior of the Year awards in each of MATEC’s academic departments. Audrey Villanueva was named Senior of the Year in art; Kyra Carrasco was named Senior of the Year in language arts; Wyatt Pullman was named Senior of the Year in math; Noah McWilliams was named Senior of the Year in physical education and health; Jose Andino Jimenez was named Senior of the Year in science; and Izaha Dutcher was named Senior of the Year in social studies.

Speakers at commencement encouraged new graduates to carry their memories of MATEC, and the lessons they had learned, with them through life.

“Each one of us has a unique story to tell – a story of perseverance, resilience and determination,” Benson said. “We have faced obstacles head-on, juggled responsibilities and pushed ourselves beyond our limits. The late night study sessions, the group projects, the extracurricular activities, all have shaped us into the individuals we are today.”

MATEC social studies teacher Nicholas Kline offered advice for the class of 2024. “First, stay curious,” he said. “Please never stop learning.” Kline also encouraged graduates to learn from failure, and build relationships with people who have a positive influence on them.

“As you stand on the threshold of a new adventure, remember that life beyond high school is filled with endless possibilities,” Kline said. “Please embrace each experience with an open heart and an open mind.”

It was important for graduates to remember the values they had instilled, like integrity and a thirst for knowledge, Benson said.

“Remember that you have the power to make a difference, to affect change and to leave your mark on the world,” Benson said. “Go forth and conquer the world, class of 2024, for the best is yet to come.”


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