By Conrad Dudderar
Family members and friends will converge on Miller Stadium this Friday night to watch the Yukon High School Class of 2022 accept their diplomas as newly minted graduates.
YHS Commencement starts at 7 p.m. May 20 on the football field, 1777 S Yukon Parkway, marking the third straight year the graduation ceremony has been on campus.
The program will be livestreamed through Yukon Public Schools’ website and Facebook page.
Yukon’s 2021-22 school year officially concludes Thursday, May 19.
YHS Valedictorian Kinley DeLeon will speak at Friday’s commencement as the representative of 23 white-robed valedictorians, the top ranked students in the Class of ’22.
Kinley described this year’s graduating class as a “tough” group of students.
“We’ve gone through so much together with COVID knocking out half of our sophomore year and half of our junior year,” she said. “We were forced to grow up a little bit faster and be independent sooner.
“We got back for our senior year trying to get things back as close to normal as we could. I’m proud of us for pushing through all that ‘mess’ to get to where we are today.”
Kinley is ending her high school career with 4.52 grade point average.
On the ACT test, she had a composite score of 32 and “super” score of 34.
Besides her academic achievements at YHS, Kinley’s been active in choir, band and theater. She’ll also pursue the fine arts in college.
Kinley will major in biochemistry at Oklahoma State University, where she’ll be part of the freshmen research scholars’ program. Her goal is to become a veterinarian.
“I’m extremely proud of this entire class and I know we’re all going to do great,” the top YHS scholar said.
“I’m extremely proud to be a Miller, and I couldn’t ask for a greater class to be graduating with.”
This year’s 22 YHS valedictorians are quite literally the “best of the best.”
To be eligible, a graduating senior must have a minimum 4.0 GPA, score at least 29 on the ACT and take at least five AP (Advanced Placement) classes.
“We’re all the cream of the crop,” Kinley explained. “We all worked really hard to get here.”
Other YHS valedictorians are Jacob Breedlove, Miles Brock, Ayden Cason, Linsey Christian, Alisabeth Covey, Bailey Cox, Lynlee Cummings, Alisyn Dunn, Candace Griffith, Josh Joseph, Tatum Keller, Don’Derek Lane, Kylie Mass, Logan Murphy, Tate Nease, Abigail Palmer, Kenna Priest, Andrea Reyes Vega, Arjumand Shafiq, Austin Smith, Nathan Waggoner, and Maximus Wrather.
LOTS OF CLASS
YHS Class of 2022 officers are ready to celebrate this year’s 616-member graduating class.
“We’ve been through a lot together,” Class President Abigail Joseph said. “Knowing that we persevered through it all makes this really special.”
Abigail will pursue a pre-med degree at the University of Oklahoma. She hopes to become a doctor.
Abigail shared a farewell message for her classmates: “Just remember, faith, family and fight.”
YHS Senior Class Vice President Arjumand Shafiq started in Yukon during her freshman year. She’s been National Honor Society president in 2021-22.
“Being here the last four years has made a tremendous impact on my life,” Arjumand said. “I’ve met so many great people – a variety of different kinds of people.
“If I had gone to any other school, I wouldn’t have become the person I am today. I definitely thank the entire graduating class for making me who I am.”
Arjumand will major in chemistry and biochemistry at OU, while minoring in calculus or biology.
After earning her undergraduate degree, Arjumand hopes to attend medical school and become a heart surgeon.
“I wish everyone good luck,” Arjumand tells fellow YHS graduates. “I’m proud of everyone for what they’ve done.”
Class Secretary Yvette Perilla said this year’s Yukon seniors have been “very connected” – with each other and underclassmen.
“Especially at the football games and basketball games,” Yvette said. “We all get connected and have a good time.
“That what I really like about our class – we’re all fun.”
She encourages other YHS students to remain active and attend all events so they can “make new memories.”
Yvette is headed to Oklahoma City Community College this fall but will transfer to OU next spring to major in architecture.
THE BEST – AND TALENTED
Admitting she may be biased, YHS Student Council President Alisyn Dunn believes the Class of 2022 is one of the most talented ever – and destined for success in life.
“I’m very, very proud of each of my fellow classmates,” she said. “This is such a huge accomplishment for all of us.”
Alisyn has attended Yukon Public Schools since pre-kindergarten and started in student council during middle school.
“It’s going to be a great graduation and I can’t wait to come back for reunions to see all the amazing things we accomplished,” she added.
For now, Alisyn is headed to the University of Central Oklahoma on a President’s Leadership Class (PLC) scholarship. She plans to major in business and software engineering.
Many 2022 YHS graduates will spend overnight Friday at Redlands Community College in El Reno celebrating their accomplishments during Project Graduation.
Attendees will stay up throughout the night to enjoy casino games, bingo, inflatable, midway, hypnotist show, karaoke, food buffet, prizes, and more.