McKINNEY — Melissa High School held its 2014 graduation ceremony on Saturday at Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church, marking the end of one chapter of life and the beginning of another.

The students decorated their caps with bright, shining designs meant to represent their post-graduation plans as they participated in their final acts as MHS students. Graduation ceremonies have roots dating back to ancient Greek customs. The ceremony itself represents a re-transitioning of the individual back into society as a young adult. The cardinals have long held traditions of excellence, which is precisely the word to describe both the ceremony and graduating class. Valedictorian Christian Leithner’s speech was dignified when pointing out that no one can say anything better than one could themselves.

Families of the graduates filled Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church’s spacious pulpit to full capacity. The considerably sized room held everyone who was cheering for their loved ones when their names were called one by one. Within the crowd following the ceremony there were laughs, there were tears, families hugging their proud graduates, some on their way to a successful college career and others on their way into distinguished service in the armed forces.

The Cardinals are expected to continue soaring into their bright futures. The hopes of the staff who have seen them grow into fine young adults include seeing the world and taking in all the great it experiences it has to offer.

Family and friends packed the Anna High School gymnasium on Friday night to celebrate the high school career of more than 140 AHS graduates.

It was a night they will never forget, as students reflected on 13 years of hard work and dedication and celebrated a new chapter in their lives. Several students have committed to colleges or have decided on careers, while three students signed letters of intent to join the military.

The night started with an invocation from Breeanna Dilldine, leading off the pledges of allegiance before the school song was preformed by the AHS band. For some, it was hard not to sing the fight song version of the song sung by so many at football games during their career at Anna.

Kaitlin Gibbon and Michelle Leyba read a poem to the class before Jeremy Gee and Fresh Sekung preformed "Can’t Go Back Now."

Salutatorian Kristina Lob addressed the crowd, and then Miguel Martinez Cano, the 2014 Valedictorian and a career-long Anna ISD student, took the stage for a funny, emotional speech to his class, school and family. Haley Cain then performed "For Good."

With all of the formalities out of the way, one by one the class of 2014 crossed the stage. With tears, cheers and a few air horns to route them on they shook the hand of AHS Principal Andy Cellars and said farewell to grade school and on to the next chapter in their lives.