WHS Class of 2023

Westmoreland High School Celebrates First Graduation
Posted on 06/05/2023

The Class of 2023, all 98 of them, stepped onto the Eagle football field and made history by becoming the first graduating class of Westmoreland High School. They were cheered on by a raucous crowd of parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends. Both the WHS principal, William Bowen and Westmoreland Pubic Schools’ Superintendent, Dr. Michael Perry, reminded the students of this historical moment.

For many new graduates this was a stepping stone to another school; a college or proprietary school to learn a new skill or trade. For others, it was a segue to military commitment or beginning of a new job. But for all of them, this was a proud moment in time. They were the first graduating class of Westmoreland High School. They were now in the history books.

Former W&L 2009 graduate, Trey Jones served as a prologue of things to come by opening the program with a rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. The students on the program were liberated to share their expressions and to honor the class of 2023. The Pledge of Allegiance was given by senior Matthew Fisher. Honor graduates Kahalia Morris and Trinity Wise both spoke to their classmates, parents, and attendees of the challenges the class endured during a pandemic.  They thanked their families and teachers for helping them in obtaining their goals.  Two other honor scholars, Elizabeth Rector and Julissa Valdez, were featured in the program in leading the turning of the tassels.

As students crossed the stage to receive their diplomas, their individualism showed.  Whether it was a raised fist, kisses blown to parents, or selective dances to the cries and roars of their peers, they showed their excitement.  Collectively, they all were excited and proud to reach this important milestone. Dr. Michael Perry, Superintendent; William Bowen, Principal, Wil Hernandez, Assistant Principal, and Mr. Ralph Fallin, School Board Chair had the privilege of presenting the diplomas. Because this was an inaugural graduation, the were met on stage and congratulated by School Board members, Dr. Daniel Wallace, Iris Lane, and Kathy Lewis.  Deputy Superintendent Cathy Rice was also on stage to congratulate the students.

It was a bittersweet moment when it all came to an end. After all the tassels were turned and Dr. Perry had declared them graduates, the new graduates strode through the cheering throngs of parents, past graduates, balloons, flowers, and friends, for the last time, before heading off to their new chapter of adventures. They are the first of a new generation of WHS graduates. Congratulations to the class of 2023 and fond memories to all who are Eagles.