By Conrad Dudderar
Three premier members of Yukon High School’s record-large graduating class are sharing their thoughts about the 2023 seniors and hopes for a great future.
“We’re all great, and I think we’re going to do great things!” said Asher John, who has been selected to present the valedictory address during Friday night’s YHS Commencement.
Yukon’s annual graduation exercises begin at 7 p.m. May 19 on the Miller Stadium football field, 1777 S Yukon Parkway.
The audience will hear speeches from Valedictorian John, Class of ‘23 President Sutton Clark and Student Council President Olivia Wright during the ceremony on the YHS campus.
Sutton Clark will lead the 660-member senior class as they walk across the stage to accept their diplomas.
In his class president’s address, Sutton plans to share inspirational words to his fellow graduates.
“I’m going to push the message that ‘this is it’ – this is one of the last times we’re all going to be together,” he shared. “Set aside your differences and let’s make these last moments together special.
“We’ve done a lot, and we’ve really been a close-knit group.”
This year’s YHS seniors have stood out as such a spirited and energetic group, the class president added.
“We helped lead and make a lot of new things happen at the high school,” Sutton said. “I’m super proud of what we’ve accomplished, what we’ve done and what we’re going to do.
“I’m happy that my classmates had trust and faith in me to lead the way.”
Besides being elected class president, Sutton was active with the high school’s spirit committee, ran cross country and helped with Special Olympics.
The son of Chad and Keleigh Clark, Sutton will attend Southwestern Oklahoma State University where he plans to join the spirit committee.
‘BIG GOALS AND DREAMS’
Olivia Wright has led the 97-member YHS Student Council for the 2022-23 school year.
“Our graduating class of 2023 has some big goals and dreams,” she said. “Our seniors are paving their own way and have great aspirations for what they want to do with their future careers.”
In Olivia’s graduation night speech, she will provide sage advice to Yukon’s senior class.
“Whatever this next stage of life brings them, I want to encourage them to really find out who they are, find their purpose in life and what brings them joy,” Olivia related.
“It doesn’t matter what you do, it matters who you are and how you treat other people.”
Olivia has excelled in leadership positions with the YHS Student Council, helping organize blood drives, an annual philanthropy week and other service projects.
“We pride ourselves in the fact that we are a family,” she said. “Every single council member plays some role in every event that we plan.
“Yukon Student Council is just so tight-knit, and that helps us work better together as a whole.”
Besides her Student Council participation over the past four years, Olivia has been active on campus with the YHS Choir, Partners Club and Art Club.
Away from school, she’s helped with Camp Hope America for foster children and participated in an internship program for aspiring occupational therapists.
The daughter of Stefanie and Jeff Wright, Olivia will major in psychology at the University of Central Oklahoma. She plans to become an occupational therapist for children.
LOTS OF PERSEVERANCE
Asher John was chosen by his fellow 19 white-robed valedictorians to represent them when he offers the valedictory address at this Friday’s YHS Commencement.
“Since we are now just becoming adults and are graduating from high school, there are so many different paths we can go down,” Asher will advise the 2023 grads. “So, right now we’re free to decide our future.
“The Class of 2023 has definitely done a lot after having been through the COVID-19 pandemic and online school. We’ve been able to make it this far and we’re going to accomplish great things in the future.”
Yukon’s graduating seniors are a hard-working group that has persevered through challenges, the class valedictorian added.
“We don’t get dismayed by adversity; we just keep on pushing,” Asher pointed out. “We are loving and supporting to each other.”
The Class of ’23 valedictorian has especially thrived as a member of the high school’s academic team.
“There is a lot more of an emphasis on teamwork,” he said. “As a student, I’ve been more focused on working by myself. Being on that team has allowed me to see the world from different perspectives and helped me work better with others.”
The son of Varughese and Elizabeth Eyadiel, Asher will attend Southwestern Oklahoma State University as he pursues a career as a pharmacist.