The air was thick with excitement and a tinge of sadness as Principal Gregory Wright addressed the packed audience at the Prosper High School Commencement Ceremony on Saturday at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. Wright ends his time with Prosper ISD along with the class of 2017.

“Before you, the class of 2017, is the No. 1 class in America,” Wright said in an emotional speech to the students. “This is the nicest and best behaved class that I have ever been around in my career. The senior class exemplifies ‘We are Prosper and we are one.’ They are champions with their academics, with their performance, with giving back to society and they are champions with their behavior.”

The raucous applause and cheering that followed Principal Wright’s speech reverberated throughout church where the ceremony was held. Family and friends of graduating seniors packed the seats, filling up even the highest balcony level.

Alexis Vu was this year’s valedictorian and gave a lighthearted speech that celebrated the accomplishments of the senior class.

“I owe you the biggest congratulations on navigating the first large educational step in your life,” said Vu. “Class of 2017, you have all aged pretty well. We have undoubtedly become one of the most successful classes in Prosper High School history. Through the $12 million in scholarships, the over $40,000 raised for Relay for Life, the state titles, the national awards, the amount of times we made Mr. Wright cry. Class of 2017 you are a match!”

The excitement for the future seemed to emanate from every student, staff member and parent.

“We are so proud and beyond excited for our daughter Aja,” Carmen Hinds, mother of Prosper graduating senior Aja Hinds, said. “She is on to her next adventure and chasing her dream at NYU Tisch School for the Arts. We are forever grateful to Mr. Wright, Mrs. Grant, Mr. Stephens, the Theater Department, and the entire High School teaching staff for their support of Aja during one of the best four years of her life.”

“I wouldn’t have made it this far without my teachers, friends, and family for giving me all of their support,” Aja Hinds added. “I can’t believe I’m going to live in the city of my dreams and study what I love!”

The fervor and gratitude was felt from from every senior as they embraced friends and staff members on their way to and across the stage and onto the next chapter of their lives.