The largest campus, Refugio High School graduated 49 students, 14 with honors, and more than $600,000 in scholarships, with $48,000 coming through local organizations.
The second largest school, Woodsboro High School, graduated 34 students and $219,450 was awarded in scholarships.
Austwell-Tivoli, the smallest campus in the county, graduated 12 students and presented $27,550 in scholarships.
During graduation Friday, June 1 at each respective campus, the top graduates presented parting messages to their classmates, friends, family and teachers.
The top graduate at A-THS explained to the audience in his speech the derivative of valedictorian.
“We are all valedictorians at some point in our life,” said Jonathan Rees, valedictorian. “The derivation of valedictorian is valediction, which is a farewell, and it just so happens that every year the student with the highest grades is given the honor of presenting the valediction on the whole class’ behalf, therefore being the valedictorian.”
However, Jonathan challenged the need to say farewell.
“This class is not saying farewell to Austwell-Tivoli because we will take what it has given to us wherever we go,” he said. “What Austwell-Tivoli has taught us will be with us in our careers, when we raise our families, and in every aspect of our lives until we die.”
A-THS Salutatorian Garek Duenez thanked the teachers and family members and admonished his classmates to stay in touch.
“We can encourage each other to pursue our dreams, to keep the attitude and the spirit of the ‘you want to be one, too’ class,” he said in parting.
RHS Salutatorian Carolina Palomino told the crowd that she is originally from San Diego, Calif.
“I speak from the deepest essence of my heart when I say that I thank God every day that I moved here and that I am a part of this graduating class,” Carolina said.
The salutatorian compared her classmates to a magical bird called the Phoenix which bursts into flames when it dies, only to be reborn from its ashes.
“Every person on this stage has risen from their ashes, to prove themselves stronger, wiser and ready to embrace the adversities the future holds...” Carolina said.
RHS Valedictorian Danielle Varela challenged her classmates to make wise choices.
“Our choices will no longer be fixed simply by calling our mom or dad or grandparents or whoever your guardian may be,” Danielle said. “We are now on our own. We must figure out how to deal with the consequences of our choices, good and bad.”
Two WHS graduates shared the top spot as co-valedictorians, Toni Bouck and Hannah McMichael.
“Tonight, we celebrate our accomplishments and tomorrow we face our futures,” said Toni.
“Let us take the smiles, the laughter, the tears, the joy, but mostly the memories with us tonight and always hold them close to our hearts,” Hannah said.