INDEPENDENCE — The weather was warm as people arrived Sunday, May 26, at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence to watch their loved ones complete a crucial chapter of life during the Smithville class of 2019 commencement ceremony.

“We are all just embarking on this grand adventure,” Valedictorian speaker Maren Williams said to her peers. “The decisions we make today will determine the days to come.”

This year’s graduating class had 212 students. Williams encouraged her classmates to explore outside of their comfort zone and to strive to move forward each day, saying that is the definition of success.

Additional sentiments were offered by district staff and Principal Tracy Platt.

“We didn’t realize we were making memories,” Platt said quoting Winnie the Pooh. “We were just having fun.”

Northwest Editor Sean Roberts can be reached at or 389-6606.

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