Ponte Vedra High School celebrates 2018 graduates


Ponte Vedra High School held its graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 19 at the University of North Florida Arena in Jacksonville.

St. Johns County School District Superintendent Tim Forson, School Board District 4 Member Kelly Barrera and others delivered remarks at the ceremony.

"On behalf of the St. Johns County School Board, I congratulate the class of 2018," said Barrera to the graduates. "We are so very proud of you and your successes and accomplishments and talents that you have achieved through your years, from kindergarten through senior year. You have met many challenges and overcome many obstacles, which seems to be a theme in life."

Barrera noted that graduating high school is an achievement worthy of celebration, and students will now have a chance to find their own success in the real world. She also exhorted the graduates to pursue their dreams and never miss an opportunity to learn and try new things.

"Which is worse? To fail or to never try?" she asked. "Use your failures as an opportunity to grow and become a better person."

Barrera added that enduring life’s difficulties and pain often helps people mature over time.

"You are all Sharks, and Sharks are meant to swim," she said. "As you take the next steps on your journey, I encourage you to be more. To be more than what you were yesterday, to give more than you gave today and to cherish each and every day. Thank you."

Alexa Sarci performed the national anthem to start the event. PVHS principal Dr. Fred Oberkehr delivered a welcome message and closing remarks, while Harrison Snowden delivered a salutatory address. Frank Lukens, the school’s valedictorian, also addressed his fellow graduates.

Following the ceremony, graduates met with friends and family outside the arena for pictures as an aerial banner with a congratulatory message flew overhead.