In the newly-renovated gym, the Hudson High School Class of 2019 stepped across the stage to receive their diplomas.

The class was the first to graduate after the completion of the school's extensive renovation project. School Board President Jamie Johnson said the night was a benchmark for the whole community.

"This class of 2019 will have something to brag about," he said.

Senior Class President Cameron Knott encouraged his fellow graduates to be compassionate, intuitive and empathetic people.

"By being this person in someone else's life, the kindness that you can spread and the courage that you can instill will work wonders for them, just as the people in my life did for me," he said.

Valedictorian Sun Li Xin Hao Batten thanked the Hudson school community for all the support over the years, from Principal Peg Shoemaker to her own parents and the parents of her classmates.

"Whether you're extremely athletic, smart, musical, artistic or even if you don't feel like you excel at any of those, it is with hard work and determination that we can become excellent people," she said. "Trust in your actions and trust in yourself as that is how you'll become the best you can be."

English teacher Kim Behnke shared lessons with the graduates she's learned from her family and friends, as well as herself.

"No matter what you are feeling, as you move on to the next chapter of your lives, remember you have people who care about you. Send that text, email, visit your parents spontaneously, however you choose to do so, keep in touch," she said. "Your parents, family, friends, teachers have stuck with you throughout the years. It's true when they say it takes a village."