Dealing with the bumps in the road
May 5, 2019
Thirty-two Alva High School seniors were honored for academic achievements Monday night. The Senior Academic Banquet was held in the student center ballroom at Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NWOSU). Honored students and their parents enjoyed a dinner while listening to a guest speaker before being presented with their honors.
Alva High School graduate Jerrad Hada PT, DPT, told students about his career and gave them some advice on succeeding after high school. Hada is a 2004 graduate of Alva High School, and received his bachelor's degree from NWOSU in 2008. He was employed by the Alva school system as a teacher and a coach. He later attended the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, graduating in 2016 with a doctorate of physical therapy. He owns Ignite Physical Therapy and Sports Rehab in Alva.
Hada told the students he took a non-traditional path to his current career. While he learned a lot as a teacher, "there was just something that was calling me to do something different." He said it was a big step. He was 27 and owned a home in Alva. From 2013-2016 he attended physical therapy school.
Though physical therapy jobs were few in Alva, when he graduated he was able to work for Human Performance Center. He started what was called a manual orthopedic fellowship. Just a month ago he was able to purchase his own clinic.
Hada told the students they are in a transitional period, and that's often when people offer advice. "You might think that was a pretty cool story," he said of his career path. "But in hindsight, it was a pretty bumpy ride along the way."
Hada said at one point he didn't like the way his life was going. "I set an alert in my phone." It was set for six months later and said "quit my job." He decided if things weren't different in six months, he was going to quit. But six months later, "I was engaged. I was well into finding my own business." His life was completely different.
The rest of his speech was titled "Dealing with the Bumps in the Road," he said.
"The first thing I think is important for success is attention to detail." Little things are important. "When you get up in the morning, make your bed. Those types of things separate good from great. I think we live in a world where sometimes just being good is good enough."
Hada encouraged the seniors to find something they're the best at. "Whether that be golf or playing video games ... anything. Just find something and be as good as you can at it." He said it doesn't have to be important to anyone else. "You're going to need something to lean on sometimes. Things are going to get rocky. That's just how life goes."
He recommended the seniors build meaningful connections with people. He said you meet people and connect with them, and you never know how they might come back into your life again. To illustrate, he pointed out some of the seniors present were in his very last classroom as sixth graders. "It's cool how life works out."
Hada quoted prominent football coach Lou Holtz who was primarily at Notre Dame, "Always have four things in life: Something to do, someone to love, something to hope for, something to believe in." He encouraged the students to use that as a rubric on how to live their lives.
Finally, Hada said, don't make things too complicated. He described the idea of Ockham's razor. "If you're given a complex problem and multiple solutions to that problem, usually the simplest solution is the best."
Hada closed with a quote he said some had probably heard in his classroom. Winston Churchill said, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts."
Juniors Dawson Manning, Lauren Lancaster, Liberty Bynum and Lauren Parker gave the welcome, introduced board members and teachers, and helped with the presentation of awards. As each honored senior was called to the front, AHS Principal Les Potter draped them with stoles and tassels. Seniors honored were:
Very Highest Achievement
Liberty Jennae Bird, Treyton Tyler Bogdanovecz, Braylon Lane Bradt, Braeden Donald Cook, Landry Katelyn Gaddy, Karson Elizabeth Henke, Caitlin Lea Hofen, Leah Mae Maier, Zoe Taylor Moorman, Priscila Ashley Samaniego, Gracie Dawn Scarbrough, Stephanie Lane Spellman, Jacob Russel Stewart and Isabella Rose Stout.
Sabastian Ehninger, Jacob Andrew Ervin, Allison Nicole Galindo, Cameron Drake Gordon, Saydy Lynn Graybill, Samantha Lynn Herren, Tucker Lawrence Maltby, Sasha Jenae Matthews, Kayleigh Jean McAlpin and Jonathan Dalton Rose.
Kaden Layne Hensley, Riley Jo LaVerne Lee, Dylan Eugene McGuire, Mitchell Duncan Meyer, Austin Dale Osmus-Ferguson, Jada Joy Retka, Christian Miguel Rivas and Dylan Dean Whitely.