Lawrence Virtual School graduates encouraged to embrace adaptability, be their true selves

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Lawrence Virtual School graduate Gloria Worthington told her classmates that things don’t always go as planned, but they will go forward to change the world anyway.

“Sometimes the outline has to be erased and rewritten a couple of times, and sometimes it’s erased so much that you end up with a hole of paper and have to throw it away entirely,” Worthington said.

“… New ideas will come to you and you’ll change your mind. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you might be frustrated, but don’t forget that your pain has purpose.”

Worthington, who plans to attend Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, was one of about 90 Griffins graduating from LVS on Saturday.

Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Gloria Worthington

Even when you feel like you’re stuck, Worthington said, that feeling is temporary — trees have dead leaves for a season, but in the spring, new buds come forth. She told the Class of 2024 that they are kind, generous and beautiful.

“You have a future and I can’t wait to hear about it,” Worthington said.

Teacher Michelle Andersen was already near tears as she stepped up to the lectern to welcome students to the ceremony.

Molly Adams / Lawrence Times “I knew I was gonna cry,” LVS teacher Michelle Andersen said as she stepped to the lectern to welcome students to their graduation ceremony.

“I hope you remember the lessons you’ve learned at Lawrence Virtual High School — collaboration, responsibility, adaptability, innovation, and how to handle technical difficulties without throwing your device across the room,” she said, drawing laughter from the crowd. “I hope you go forward and use those skills to tackle any obstacles that come your way and never lose sight of your goals.”

She told the students it takes a lot of courage to grow up and be who you really are.

“Someone once said the journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step,” Andersen said, “I hope you take that brave step today as you walk into your true self.”

Graduate Audrey Glynn, a governor’s scholar and class valedictorian who plans to attend KU and study French and art history, thanked the LVS teachers who she said have offered her more support than she ever dreamed possible.

Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Audrey Glynn

“We have all made leaps and bounds of progress, have had highs and lows, and have worked unimaginably hard for all our achievements big and small, inside of the classroom and out,” Glynn told her classmates. “I hope that wherever we all go from here, you are able to look back on this day with pride and remember that you earned your place here today and deserve every bit of praise you receive and more.”

And graduate Tailyre Adamson, who plans to major in biology at Newman University, asked classmates and the many family members and supporters present to do one a favor: Take a deep breath.

Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Tailyre Adamson

Adamson said that simple act can “become your anchor during moments of emotional turmoil, providing you with a sense of clarity and calmness.”

Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Lawrence school board President Kelly Jones told students about her own struggles getting through high school and told them they already have the “know-how” she was missing. “We are confident that you are prepared to go forward on your own terms,” Jones said of herself and the other school board members.
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Mackenzie Clark (she/her), reporter/founder of The Lawrence Times, can be reached at mclark (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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