This is the 14th entry in the Class of 2023 series.
It was standing room only Friday evening at the White Hall High School commencement.
Both sets of bleachers and overflow seating at Bulldog Stadium were full, leaving some guests standing. Twenty-five of the approximately 219 students graduated with honors.
Jacob Thien Tai Pham was named the 2023 class valedictorian and both Manas Patel and Parker Wiley served as salutatorians.
"Today, we stand at the threshold," said Wiley. Patel's topic was, "The path before us ... Embrace the future."
Pham said, "We must challenge ourselves, push ourselves." In a moment of levity, he encouraged his fellow classmates, "Go big or go home."
Before starting his speech, Pham expressed his sympathy for the family of Benjamin Redix, who was shot and killed the night before in North Little Rock. Redix was a classmate and a star athlete.
Prior to the presentation of diplomas, and to a standing ovation, WHHS Principal Nathan Sullivan handed Redix's diploma to his mother.
White Hall School District Board President Raymond Jones and teacher Bradley Boast, along with a few others, handed the diplomas to students.
The high school band played the school's alma mater.
In her remarks as part of Friday evening's welcome, White Hall High School senior and honor student, Reese Owens, said, "Class of 2023, let's graduate."