The future is an open road and graduating seniors can choose whatever path they want toward success, but they need to commit to make a difference, Spanish Fork High School's Class of 1998 was told Friday.

The 450 graduating seniors were praised for their accomplishment during a graduation ceremony Friday evening at the McKay Special Events Center in Orem.Honored as class valedictorians were Mike Deardeuff and Summer Chambers.

"We just need to commit that we will make a difference wherever we are, we will illustrate excellence in all that we do, and we will take pride in the fact that we are Spanish Fork High School's Class of 1998," Chambers said.

Graduates have been given the tools they need to succeed by parents and teachers, Chambers said.

She suggested that having a goal in mind will help graduates "stay on track and continue moving in the right direction."

"We have reached the point where we can no longer depend on the prodding of our parents and teachers. We need to motivate ourselves and make decisions on our own about who we are and who we want to become."

Senior class president Chersten Allred said the theme that the school's senior council had chosen for graduation was, "To reach our greatest potential, we must know where we stand and in what direction we are moving."

That and the phrase "Nothing but open road" have been the motivation for what the class has tried to accomplish this year, Allred said.

Deardeuff told graduates that their diplomas would open new doors to them. It is a foundation that will help them through the challenges of life.

"It is important to remember that the diploma that you are about to receive is not the capstone of your education but is instead a cornerstone upon which the rest of your life will be structured," he said.