|32 HHS seniors receive diplomas Sunday|
|Written by Chris Lee|
Graduates Severine Barras, Megan Colglazier, Ryan Baumgartner, usher Seth Baker and graduate Shelby Beavers share a laugh during salutatory address by Logan Krueger.
Graduates from Holyoke High School woke to cool and rainy weather Sunday, May 16, but by the time the tassels had been turned, tears shed and hats thrown, the skies cleared up to allow friends and family to greet them outside HHS after the graduation ceremony.
Thirty-two students crossed the stage Sunday afternoon and finalized their career at HHS by receiving their high school diplomas.
Supt. Bret Miles welcomed everyone and congratulated the seniors on their accomplishments and wished them the best for the future.
Guidance counselor Summer Maloney announced Elise Nelson as class valedictorian.
“Our class has been very successful and has met many milestones throughout our schooling years, but our time spent in the Holyoke School District is only the beginning of each of our journeys,” Nelson said.
Nelson thanked classmates, parents, friends, community members and the teachers and mentors for the support given to the Class of 2010 throughout the years.
“You are the ones that had the patience to put up with us and the skills to give us the opportunities needed to flourish,” Nelson said. “You have selflessly given yourselves to make us better.”
Nelson continued, “All of the people I thanked, plus many more, taught us most of the things we have needed to get us this far. However, upon reflection, we did pick up a few things on our own along the way.”
The valedictorian shared a few memories with the audience and closed by saying, “Remember that the successes and failures you’ve had here are only reminders and motivators. It is the continuation of your hard work that really leads you to your dreams. The future is ours and the sky is the limit, so lets keep our eyes on the stars, take chances, make mistakes and never stop learning and paving the way for others.”
Logan Krueger was named class salutatorian and said there are many memories and stories the class has shared together. He shared just a few with his classmates and audience.
“Our class has had so many moments together. I know we have and will continue to leave our mark on the community of Holyoke and wherever we venture to,” Krueger said.
He ended with a quote from teacher Lynette Hudiburgh. “Whether you are black with white stripes or white with black stripes, you is what you is.”
Shirley Kadlec of American Legion Post #90 and Susan Roll Walters of the Legion Auxiliary presented this year’s citizenship awards, which went to Taylor Haidle and Elise Nelson.
Principal Susan Ortner presented the class and shared a short video titled The Push. She also announced she would present each graduate with a feather to represent their wings they will fly on from here on out.
As students received their diplomas, Maloney announced their future plans, as well as scholarships they earned. Board members Kris Camblin and Kim Killin presented diplomas.
The Class of 2010 earned $1,467,794 in scholarship money this year. Ortner said it was by far the most a class has earned since she has been here to the best of her knowledge. “This is truly an amazing accomplishment and shows your dedication and drive towards your future success,” Maloney added.
Nearly one third of the class will participate in college sports, 24 of the 32 will continue on with their education at college, three will be heading into military, four will work for awhile before beginning college and one exchange student will return home to continue her education.
Graduates presented those special people in their lives with gerber daisies. In a touching moment, four seniors presented former classmate Justin Strode’s mother Paula and grandmother Carol Koontz with an arrangement of flowers.
Justin, who died Nov. 13, 2008, was remembered by the class throughout the day during slide shows at the baccalaureate and commencement as well as during speeches.
Musical performances for the HHS Commencement included Breakaway by the high school choir, under the direction of Marcia Dalton, and Zeal by junior and senior high bands, directed by Pat Wiebers.
Class president Duncan Brandt shared special memories of the senior class which produced smiles and laughs from the graduates and the audience, during his farewell comments.
“It has been a long and interesting journey for the Class of 2010, as I am sure it was for the many classes before us, and they came to know, just as we have, that with every beginning there must be an end,” Brandt said.
“We may not have been the most cooperative group throughout the years, but while moving in and out of the faculty’s and the administration’s good graces, we have always managed to stick together,” Brandt added.
He ended by leading the class in a hat toss as they left the HHS gym.
Junior class grand marshals were Ella Stewart and Preston King, while Mallory Bennett, Heather Duester, Seth Baker and Brian DeBoer served as ushers.
A baccalaureate was held before the graduation ceremony on Sunday with Pastor Gary Rahe of Zion Lutheran Church delivering the message, “Why Walk When You Can Fly?”
Seniors Nora Roth and Megan Colglazier sang Keep Holding On before a senior slide show.
Also during the baccalaureate, Rev. Max Hines of Assembly of God gave the welcome and Chad Rozelle, associate pastor of First Baptist Church, offered the benediction. Pat Wiebers was the pianist.