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District 209 Congratulates Class of 2016

June 1, 2016 09:05 AM
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Family and friends joined with 880 members of the Class of 2016 as they said "goodbye" to Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy at commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 21, at UIC Pavilion.
 
The seniors at the three schools graduated with pomp and circumstance during the ceremonies that were a mixture of congratulations for their efforts and hard work, happiness for graduating, and sadness in leaving friends and high school behind them as they move on to a new chapter in their lives.
 
Mrs. Teresa McKelvy, president of the Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Board of Education, cited notable figures such as Walt Disney, author J.K. Rowling, and Harland "Colonel" Sanders who failed multiple times before finding success. She encouraged the graduates to have passion, patience, and perseverance as they moved on to the next stage.
 
"Life is a process where you can achieve anything you can dream," she said. "You must dream big, trust the process, and most importantly, believe in yourself."
 
Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209, said that the graduates’ individuality was a strength in helping them succeed.
 
"Your individuality is what makes you special and what will help you succeed," she said. "You have left a great legacy at Proviso. Now go out and continue to make us proud."
 
The individual ceremonies also featured special keynote speakers.
 
Mr. Michael Finley, a 1991 Proviso East graduate who went on to a 10-year career in the National Basketball Association, spoke at the Proviso East graduation ceremony on his experiences in growing up in Maywood and achieving success. He said that one key to succeeding in life is found in the acronym PEHS – Passion, Experience, Heed, and Success. He said that students can learn from the obstacles in front of them and use what they have learned to be successful.
 
"You have what it takes to make your mark in this world," said Mr. Finley, currently the assistant vice-president of basketball operations for the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks. "Now that you have your diploma, you have the chance to shine and to be a success story."
 
At the PMSA ceremony, State Senator Kim Lightford spoke of her being elected to the Illinois State Senate for the first time in 1998 as her "a-ha moment." She encouraged the graduates to dream, to be brave, and to be themselves despite what may get in their way.
 
"I want you to remember that everyone fails," said Sen. Lightford, a 1986 Proviso East graduate. "I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy. I’m telling you it’s possible."
 
Congratulations to all of our graduates!
 
For photos of the Proviso East graduation ceremony, please click here.
 
For photos of the Proviso West graduation ceremony, please click here.
 
For photos of the PMSA graduation ceremony, please click here
 
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