Fort Osage High School

65th commencement

Class size: 352 graduates

Valedictorian: Megan Hall

Salutatorian: Bailee Summers

Post-secondary: At least $4.619 million in potential renewable and one-time scholarships

Speakers: Hannah Kavanaugh: Life, she said, is like underwear in that change is good. In high school one finds new beliefs, new friends and interests and, most importantly, new perspectives.

“We weren't the same people we are now,” Kavanaugh said.

The future music performance major shared how she made a mistake in her all-state choir audition and didn't make the cut. While it was devastating at first, she admitted, she realized it was only failure because she let it define her.

“It's not about the awards; it's not about the recognition,” Kavanaugh said of high school years. “It's about growth.

Yes, some mistakes you make might seem big, “But it gives you a view you never would've gained through unlimited success,” she said.

Megan Lyon: She recalled her shyness as a young girl before she started to embrace her silly side as in middle school and became more than just the girl you sat next to in class.

“I started to find my voice, find my groove,” Lyon said. “Our 'flaws' are actually who we are and should be celebrated.”

Lyon said this Fort Osage graduating class was like a family in that “We helped each other and pushed each other to be the best we can be.”

“If you haven't found your voice yet, don't worry, it will be there,” Lyon said. “And when you find it, let it be heard.”

Tafailagi Thomas: Thomas described what how the hashtags #FortFamily, #FortPride and #FortLegacy likely hold meaning to many of the graduates. The hashtag #FortLegacy represents school's past, present and future, and “is what we make it.”

To make that point, Thomas had shared the Cherokee Native American tale of two wolves – the constant fight inside a person. One wolf is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The second wolf is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The wolf that wins, the Cherokee elder tells his grandson, is the one you feed.