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Rome High School 2022 graduates celebrate under blue skies at Barron Stadium

May 29, 2022–8:33 p.m.


The morning sun glistened over the emerald-green turf of Historic Barron Stadium today as friends, family, and supporters gathered to witness and celebrate one of the most important walks a young adult will take. 

The traditional grandeur of “Pomp and Circumstance” led a sea of red and gold onto the field. The Rome High School class of 2022 walked with pride and profound procession, standing tall in front of the stage across which they would take their last walk as high school students. 

After the Presentation of Colors by the RHS Air Force JROTC, Senior Class President, Carter Lewis, gave the welcome address laced with gratitude for all who supported him and his classmates along the way.

“I never pictured this day would come so quickly,” he said, “but you know the old cliche that time flies when you’re having fun. While the last four years have been some of the best times of our lives, they have also been some of the toughest. We probably could not have gone through all of those tough times without the help of you all, our family, friends and teachers. So thank you, for loving us and supporting us.”

Lewis also took the opportunity to honor retiring Superintendent Louis Byars with a plaque for his dedication and hard work during his time with RCS.

Valedictorian, Joanna Cordle, took the podium and addressed her fellow graduates with a little perspective about their time together. 

“Rome High School has given us best friends, mentors, knowledge, confidence and more, all in just 720 fleeting days. Just a sliver of our lives, but still some of the richest and fullest that we’ve had.” 

She spoke to the growth and resilience that she and her fellow graduates have sustained during their time at RHS.

“The last 720 days have contained some of the darkest days in recent human history,” she said, “and yet we survived, no we thrived. I do not know what the future holds, I do not pretend to have a clue about what’s next, but I do know this, we are ready. The class of 2022 is ready, ready for anything.”

Through much adversity and uncertainty, the class of 2022 has surely shown their determination and drive to get to Historic Barron Stadium. 

“There is a reason why it’s called a march to Barron Stadium,” Valedictorian Griffin Girard said in his commencement address. “A march signifies that we walk together on this journey, not alone. It’s no wonder why our class has had so much success, we have marched together and learned from each other for four long years.”

Principal Dr. Eric Holland exchanged his traditional fist bumps for hugs as he presented the Principal’s Awards to Anna Garrett and Carter Lewis.

Superintendent Louis Byars then presented the Superintendent’s Award to Griffin Girard and Nebrea Askew. 

The crowd couldn’t help but release their elation as their beloved seniors took that walk across the stage, solidifying all that they have accomplished on their educational journey. 

“While we may walk alone on this stage,” Girard told his fellow graduates, “we reunite, not as students but as graduates. This is not a separation, but a rebirth into a class cemented in Rome High School legacy. Our march to Barron Stadium is over today, but our march together through life has just begun.”

As tassels were turned and caps were thrown, that sea of red and gold celebrated the first day of the rest of their lives.