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Sedona Red Rock High School Principal David Lykins releases his last class of graduates to the world Wednesday, May 25.

The Class of 2011 will gather to be the school’s last class to graduate with Lykins as principal, as he will become Sedona-Oak Creek School District superintendent in July.

This year, our staff at the Sedona Red Rock News got to know some of the students a little bit better through the school’s journalism program.

Led by a vivacious Maureen Barton, the students shared their thoughts on life, school and the future with us and the community.

Today, Student Body President John Beeler shares his thoughts in the last Scorpion Shout Out written by a member of the Class of 2011.

We’ve gotten to know the kids studying up on the hill, and each year it will become even harder for all of us to see them go.

However, new beginnings are exciting, and I remember the excitement of leaping into the unknown.

It’s a bittersweet time in a teenager’s life when he or she says goodbye to old friends and family, and heads out alone toward an unknown future.

Some of Sedona’s graduates will be excited — they can’t wait to get out of here — while others will be scared — they’re leaving the safety net they’ve created over the years. Most will feel a mix of both emotions.

Graduating from high school is a sacred rite of passage in our culture, and when you’re at that point, it can feel like one of the biggest changes you’ve faced in your life, because it is.

As we too say goodbye to the class of 2011, our newsroom offers the following advice as graduates embark on the big adventure of life.

n Go with your gut feeling. If something in your heart, head or gut is saying “no,” there’s a reason. Follow it — you may not get a chance to change it.

n Travel, as much as possible, throughout your life. You will learn more than you can imagine.

n Always say “yes” to a new experience. Opportunities rarely come at a time of our choosing.

n Always have goals. Remember, a person without goals is destined to achieve them.

Congratulations and good luck seniors. May your hopes and dreams for the future come true. When they do, and you recognize it, it is a beautiful experience.

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