More than 400 area residents can no longer call themselves Sherman High School students. By 11:30 a.m. Saturday, the SHS Class of 2018 had completed its symbol of graduation at Bearcat Stadium and had sung the SHS Alma mater for the last time as students.

Vera Carden gave the invocation and opening remarks congratulating her classmates on how far they have come and passing along encouragement about the future.

Then, SHS Principal Chris Mogan helped the class of 2018 honor the teachers who died during the school year. The students that were taught by Gerald Plumlee who was a teacher and a coach at Piner Middle School stood out of respect and then students stood for Paul Turner who was an SHS construction and architecture teacher.

Salutatorian Avery Kahl both gave remarks during the ceremony reminding his classmates that there is no yen without a yang. He said there would be no success without failure and quoted Wayne Gretzky saying, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take.”

“Take risks,” Kahl encouraged the graduates.

And, valedictorian Spencer Langton reminded everyone that life is like a blank canvas.

“Paint strokes to create your own masterpiece,” he said. “There are three pieces to making a masterpiece: learn, plan, and act. … The whole process of life is a process of learning.”

He also said we should see each problem in life as a challenge and find joy in the journey.

Graduate Alexis Hare's journey will take her to Angelo State University in the fall. She said the class she will miss the most as well as enjoyed the most was biology.

“I am looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life,” she said. “I want to go to school for genetic counseling.”

Michelle Bell said she is happy about being done with school. She said she will attend Grayson College in the fall and then possibly move to Maryland to attend a four-year school.

“I want to be a nurse practitioner,” she said. “At the end, high school was hard because I began taking college classes, but I am ready for what comes next.”

Rachel Hoover will be attending the University of North Texas in the fall to study psychology. She said she had a lot of family attending the ceremony Saturday and the class she enjoyed most was health science.

“I would tell the students that will be returning to the high school to work hard and stay in school,” she said. “That way you can be exempt from your finals which is always fun.”

Each of the teens agreed that what they will miss most about high school will be spending every day with their friends and seeing the teachers at the school.

Mogan ended the ceremony by announcing that this graduating class had racked up nearly $4 million in scholarships. He also spoke about time and opportunity.

“Graduates you have the talent and ambition and literally the world at your finger tips at this moment now more than ever,” he said. “My impassioned plea to you this morning is to take hold of your opportunities; to make the most of them; go through the doors; do take risks; live for those who can't; value and deeply cherish your family, your friends and those valuable relationships; and use your talents and abilities.

“The year 2048 will be this classes 30th reunion. When you all reunite back here in Sherman, Texas, will your message to each other be, 'I have taken advantage of everything in front of me, lived to the fullest so far, and have so much left ahead' or will it be, 'I thought I had more time' and 'I wish I had more time'?

“Go do great things Sherman High Class of 2018. You are ready.”