660-member YHS graduating class to cross stage

Record number will earn diplomas at May 19 Commencement

Members of the Yukon High School 2023 celebrate as they prepare to graduate this Friday night: From left, Ethan Gavin, Ashton Stringer, Kaitlynn Samuel, Natalie Hernandez, Sutton Clark (class president), Emily Schneider, Nathan Seright, and Hayden Cromwell. The YHS Commencement ceremony will be 7 p.m. May 19 at Miller Stadium, 1777 S Yukon Parkway. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Yukon High School continues to set records as the largest-ever senior class gets ready to graduate.

Some 660 members of the YHS Class of 2023 will be eligible to receive their diplomas during next Friday’s annual Commencement ceremony. YHS graduating classes totaled 616 in ‘22 and 557 in ‘21.

“There’s something special about every graduating class,” YHS Principal Melissa Barlow said this week. “This group, especially, has that old-fashioned Yukon Miller spirit.”

Melissa Barlow

Yukon’s graduation ceremony will be 7 p.m. May 19 at Miller Stadium, 1777 S Yukon Parkway.

It will be Barlow’s 10th graduation as YHS head principal.

“This is a special group of kids,” said Barlow, a 1998 YHS graduate. “This group is just a really active and involved class.

“They support each other. They’re at every sporting event together supporting their peers. They’re volunteering. They’re focused on academics.”

Yukon students especially enjoy celebrating this achievement on the YHS campus, she pointed out.

This marks the fourth straight year that Yukon’s Commencement will be presented at the football field.

“For them to graduate on this campus is so special; they love it!” Barlow added. “Graduation is really celebrating the kids and the true Yukon Miller spirit. One of my favorite things about it being on the football field – as family and friends coming to watch will see – is how special that place is to these kids.

“Every kid really has some kind of connection to that – whether as a fan, a participant, or they marched in the band or played a sport. Our kids will be in their element, in their home. It’s always such a special event.”

Valedictorians of the Yukon High School Class of 2023 will wear white robes for the Friday, May 19 Commencement ceremony: From left, Halen Furnice, Clayton Berg, Albin John, Dylan Brannen, Hayden Griffin, Jay Agarwal, Asher John, Keira Flenniken, Samuel Johansen, Heath Sperry, Cooper Horst, Lydia Laverty, Ryley Cooper, Chloe Rich, and Joy Mosisa. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)


Each YHS graduating senior receives 10 tickets to invite people to the 2023 Commencement. Everyone who attends – regardless of age – must have a ticket.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and all seating is general admission.

Next Friday’s ceremony will kick off with Yukon’s seniors, dressed in their caps and gowns, walking onto the field to take their seats.

YHS Commencement speakers will be Class President Sutton Clark, Student Council President Olivia Wright and Class Valedictorian Asher John.

After the speeches, members of the Class of ’23 will cross the stage to accept their diplomas presented by Yukon Public Schools’ Board of Education.

Following the ceremony, the newly minted YHS graduates will be bussed to Redlands Community College for the overnight Project Graduation celebration.

This will be one last chance for them to be together before heading off to college and career.

Future YHS graduating classes are expected to be even larger, mirroring the growth across the Yukon school district. This year’s freshman class has some 800 students.

There were 1,726 students enrolled when YHS moved to Yukon Parkway 12 years ago.

The high school’s enrollment now exceeds 2,900 – having grown an average of 100 students per year.



Twenty members of the YHS Class of ’23 will wear white robes for next Friday night’s Commencement.

The valedictorians are Jay Agarwal, Cadence Barnes, Clayton Berg, Dylan Brannen, Ryley Cooper, Keira Flenniken, Halen Furnice, Hayden Griffin, Cooper Horst, Samuel Johansen, Albin John, Asher John, Anton Kusik, Lydia Laverty, Joy Mosisa, Paola Murillo, Colin Nelson, Chloe Rich, Heath Sperry, and Joanna Zachariah.

These top-ranked seniors each have a minimum 4.0 weighted grade point average, scored at least 29 on the ACT or 1330 on the SAT, and completed five AP (Advanced Placement) courses and six courses per semester.

This group of high achievers selected Asher John to give the valedictory address.

Forty members of the YHS Class of ’23 have been honored as 2023 Oklahoma Academic Scholars. These students will be given gold cords to wear at graduation:

Jay Agarwal, Riley Armstrong, Harper Barlow, Cadence Barnes, Clayton Berg, Taryn Blazevich, Dylan Brannen, Camilla Brown, Kathryn Clift, Ryley Cooper, Levi Cosgrove, Kaylee Cox, Elena DeVarenne, Reagan Eskew, Ronan Feronti, Keira Flenniken, Halen Furnice, Hayden Griffin, Gracen Hoke, and Cooper Horst.

Also, Hayley Jacob, Samuel Johansen, Albin John, Asher John, Anton Kusik, Lydia Laverty, Jaycee McKee, Taya McReynolds, Kaci Miller, Joy Mosisa, Paola Murillo, Colin Nelson, Samantha Perry, Chloe Rich, Hunter Smith, Heath Sperry, Hanna Swanson, Benjamin Tess, Kinsleigh Thomas, and Joanna Zachariah.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education recognized this group of YHS seniors for having a minimum 3.7 unweighted GPA and a minimum score of 27 on the ACT or 1220 on the SAT.

Some 113 members of the Class of ’23 are eligible to wear black robes at graduation for achieving a 4.0 weighted CPA during high school.