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On a warm and breezy evening at Lobo Stadium, the Class of 2019 donned cap and gown to celebrate their graduation from Longview High School... and begin the first day of the rest of their lives.

Class of 2019 is 'alright alright alright'

Fri May 17, 2019

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On a warm and breezy evening at Lobo Stadium, the Class of 2019 donned cap and gown to celebrate their graduation from Longview High School... and begin the first day of the rest of their lives.

LHS salutatorian Ejehi Ihionkhan greeted the crowd, sharing an impassioned and light-hearted exhortation to her peers.

“On the note of inspiration, I am happy to say that this class has no scarcity,” she said. “I personally have been inspired by this class, a class that pulls one another up and is only satisfied when every member is risen.”

Class of 2018 valedictorian Nitin Rangu challenged his classmates to let their graduation sink in, and reflected on the years they've all shared together.

“We played in some big games; we found out we’re pretty good at those big games,” he said, and joked that: “We took some hard classes, and found out hard classes are easy with the internet.”

Rangu also took time to thank his family, specifically his mother.

“I’m here because of you, for you,” he said. “Kevin Durant told his mom she’s the real MVP. I’m not good at basketball, so that will never happen, but you’re the real valedictorian to me.”

Commencement speaker, Class of 1988 graduate (and Academy Award-winning actor), Matthew McConaughey encouraged the students to always remember where they came from.

"Longview, Texas: that's your home, and that's your heart," he said. "No matter where you go or what you do, always keep that with you [...] always remember where you came from, and always remember where your heart is."

McConaughey credited his many career achievements to always remaining grounded in who he is, and what he values most in life.

“Thirty-one years ago, I was you, a graduating Longview Lobo,” he said. “The most important reason for my success, and I believe what will be the most important thing for your success, the one thing that we all have that should never be for sale, the thing that we give the most of and should protect with our life, that thing is our heart.”

After his address, McConaughey was presented with a gift that his alma mater has had for 31 years — his original high school diploma.

“Proof,” he said after receiving it.

With some offers still pending, scholarships total $8,530,705 for the 581 seniors who received their diplomas, that's around $2 million more than last year's class.

The Top 2 percent of the Class of 2019 includes (in alphabetical order): Amanda Dominguez, Allison Howe, Ejehi Ihionkhan, Nitin Rangu, Morgan Roberts, Kathryn Roper, Payton Schaap, Wyatt Scott, Magdalen Shen, Alyssa Shobert, Samantha Taylor, and Anna Ward.

Graduates finishing in the Top 10 percent of their class includes (in alphabetical order): Cristina Angelica Adame, Blake Lawrence Aldridge, Grace Ann Buie, Sophie Jordan Bunn, Kimberly Angcon Diez, Alexis Paschée Freeman, Emma Grace Frierson, Autumn Ranay Gauthier, Maritza Nicole Gonzalez, Austin Barrett Greifenkamp, Mary Claire Henderson, Alexa Hernandez, Aslan Paul Joseph Hilliard, William Joseph Holloman, Measha Brianna Jones, Claire Elizabeth Long, Madelyn Claire Mack, Daniel Jesus Mancha, Blake Andrew Martin, Laura Yesenia Martinez, Alondra Martinez Martinez, Fatima Maria Massare Somers, Myles Shane Meader, Jessica Tanya Mena, Brady Cole Miller, Paul Morin, Evan Salvatore Pistone, Tania Melissa Ramirez, Emily Aguilar Rico, Morgan Riley Roberts, Keithan Lamont Ross Jr., Jonathan Wyatt Scott, Natalie Marie Serrato, Gaurav Singh, Benjamin Cole Taylor, Karina Torres, Mouminatou Jisca Traore, Kasey Makala Whitenack, Noah Armstrong Williams, and Meredith McCall Wright.

2019 graduates who also completed their Associates degrees during their time at LHS include (in alphabetical order): Luis E. Aguirre, Kalyn Reign Anderson, Celina Baeza, Rynie Keayla Barnes, Shadda Lynn Botkin, Akarrius Kani Boyd, Mara Ceyna Cooks, Deborah Grace Cortez, Margie Starr Davis, Kimberly Angcon Diez, Kysean Tyrell Dixon, Angela Mercedes Dominguez, Ghnytra Keilana Ford, Ariana Vanessa Garcia, Alaiya Michelle Hawkins, Jaydyn James-Rollins, Garrett Taylor Johnson, Erin Jone Kelly, Monica Lozano, Brycelyn Durell Lynch, Laura Yesenia Martinez, Dijon Maxie, Rachel Nicole McCarty, Ryley Davis Nelson, Tania Piedra, Prisila Ester Reyes, Jackeline Rojas, Natalie Marie Serrato, Key'yon'tae Devon Shaw, Kristian Keith Shumaker, Marquel Ti'Shawn Smith, Mark Laronn Thompson, Michael Antione Traylor, Morgan Monique Vance, Daiton D. Wells, and Alyssa Gabriel Williams.