HEBRON | Don't discount the little things in life, English literature teacher Jared Grigsby told Hebron High School graduates during Thursday's commencement.
Grigsby, who started teaching at Hebron High in 2010, said the little thing in his case was a bowl of peppermints he kept on his desk for his students. The candy symbolized to his students he had a caring nature and it also helped form a lasting bond.
"The realization is it's the small things in life," Grigsby said.
Grigsby said sharing the candy with his students was his way of paying homage to one of his favorite teachers, Mr. Johnson, who also taught literature.
"Mr. Johnson was an ex-smoker and always kept peppermints on his desk. It gets expensive keeping a supply of mints on my desk, but it just might be the sweetest part of a student's day," Grigsby said.
Grigsby also told students to say please and thank you, and to talk to people they will encounter.
"Talk to people; don't hide behind your cellphone," Grigsby said.
Co-valedictorians Katherine Clemens and Natalie Kaczmarski spoke of their pride of being part of Hebron High School's Class of 2014.
"Wow, graduates, it's really here. It's incredible to see how far we've come," Clemens said.
Clemons told fellow graduates to do what inspires them.
"You inspire me, so this song is for you," Clemens said.
Clemens then played and sang a song dedicated to classmates.
Kaczmarski chose to give her speech in rhyme, reminding classmates of the good and bad times during the last four years.
"Be who you want to be and always work hard," Kaczmarski said.
Class President Rachel Pauer told classmates that many will go on to become CEOs of companies, while some will be on the street.
"Driving on the street, naturally," Pauer was quick to add.
Principal Mark Lutze, who presented diplomas to the 82 graduates, said 80 percent are going on to post-secondary education, while four are going into the military.
Forty percent of students in the class received at least one scholarship.
The commencement exercises, held at the high school, marked the 125th annual service.