Graduation talk extols hometown

Sentinel photo/Jessica Shepard
Van Vleck Salutatorian Justice Brooks and her fellow graduating seniors create a crowded selfie at commencement Thursday night.

   In the opening of his Valedictorian address, Van Vleck High School’s class of 2015 valedictorian Trevor Smith listed the reasons why his community was the best. 
   “I am proud of this place,” he said. 
   “Some people wonder which school’s the best, that conversation really ends here. We are the best.” 
   Smith credits the success of the community to its individuals. 
   “We’ve produced phenomenal athletes: AJ Mangum, Charles Austin, Richard Blackmon and  this town has heroes and leaders like John O’Brien, Burt O’Connell and Joe Ros, may he never be forgotten,” Smith said. 
   “All of these people and so many more have built and maintained a superior community that has people from counties over trying to get in.” 
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