A group of 359 young men and women crossed the bridge from student to graduate on June 3, 2023, at the Vibrant Arena at the MARK during the Rock Island High School 150th Annual Commencement.
Rock Island High School Principal Jeff Whitaker says the Class of 2023 is an exceptional class of students that has accomplished a tremendous amount and persevered through challenging times in education. "In their freshmen year, they left at the start of the fourth quarter and did not come back full-time until their junior year. The class of 2023 has been asked to overcome this challenge, and they did it successfully. The proof of that is all of these great students sitting in front of us right now. "
Class of 2023...
- Will be attending at least 23 different colleges/and or universities, entering 2 apprenticeship programs, and enrolling in 3 branches of the Military
- These colleges cover at least 8 states (IL, IA, WI, KS, MO, FL, MD, KS)
- 46 are members of the national honor society
- More than 2,000 hours of community service
- 12 Illinois State Scholars
- At least 20 Rocky athletes are continuing their sports careers at the college or university level
"Whether your future plans are set in stone, or uncertain, one thing is for sure, by earning a high school diploma, you’ve taken the first step in a very successful future. Wherever you’re headed, I know your future is bright. Even though you will make new memories and meet new people, I hope you never forget the memories you made in high school," said Top Ten senior Keller Matthews. "Our futures are not going to be easy, but it will depend on you. I hope if you take anything from this speech, just remember that when life is hard, don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”
Class Valedictorian Senior Madelyn Maidak mentioned how a rock is a symbol of perseverance and strength. "A rock endures hardships; it’s challenged by the elements, weathered by storms; and it’s often molded by its environment. Each rock has its own story. But most importantly, a rock remains strong and steady as it continues its journey. Together, we are ROCK SOLID.