Frenship HS Class of 2011: Graduating class prepared for life’s tests

The 409 graduating members of the 75th class of Frenship High School are ready for more tests since their graduation Sunday afternoon at United Spirit Arena.

Valedictorian Abby Drake said the class of 2011 has been tested over and over through the years, ranging from TAKS tests to the ACT, but she said the most important tests are ahead.

She assured classmates that they have prepared for the next tests, and where they fail sometimes, there will always be more tests around the corner.

Drake’s speech to her classmates started with the assurance that only one thing was keeping them from their diplomas on Sunday afternoon: her speech.

She quoted from Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken” just before citing Professor Dumbledore’s advice to Harry Potter that choices are more important than abilities.

Her classmates responded to her speech by crossing their legs each time she said the word “test.”

Drake also mentioned her classmate, Barclay White, who was recently diagnosed with lymphoma, and said he, too is facing a test even while bringing comfort to family and friends worried about him.

“Sharpen your pencils and take your seats,” Drake said in conclusion. “Class of 2011, you may now take your test.”

Salutatorian Shane Metzler’s speech began by referencing his beginning at FHS.

“When I started school at Frenship, I considered myself a loner, a lone wolf,” he said to some laughs from his classmates on the floor at United Spirit Arena.

But over the years, he said his outlook changed.

When he participated in drama, when he played sports for the Frenship Tigers and when he became sick with other classmates on a Spanish trip, he said, “My pack grew.”

Metzler thanked parents and teachers who helped him over the years — even school administrators whom he said caught him ditching on occasion.

But he said as he thought over his time at Frenship, he realized his pack had grown to 408 other students.

Senior members of the FHS choir sang “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” at the beginning of the graduation.

Superintendent David Vroonland asked students to please spend some time during their celebration considering what their parents, families, teachers and friends have done for them over the years to get them prepared for graduation.

Principal Kim Spicer told the students of several truths they may need to remember over the coming years. People in their lives are available for counsel, but students should figure out the difference between good advice and bad advice, and between right and wrong.

Spicer told the students that their futures may also change in the blink of an eye, and cautioned them to be flexible before telling Frenship Board President Brad Draper and his fellow board members that the students had met all state and local requirements for graduation.

As students crossed the stage to collect their diplomas and shake hands with school board members, two students were awarded with standing ovations from half of the senior class. Barclay White, who recently started treatment for lymphoma, and his twin, Bryce White, were roundly applauded by those at United Spirit Arena.

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