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Emmetsburg High School Class of 2008 Awarded Diplomas

By Staff | May 20, 2008

CONGRATULATIONS, CLASS OF 2008 - As friends and family looked on, the Emmetsburg High School Class of 2008 broke out the silly string to celebrate receiving their high school diplomas. Sixty-three members of the class participated in commencement ceremonies held on Sunday afternoon in the high school gymnasium. -- Lori Martinez photo

Emotions, resulting in smiles and tears, filled the Emmetsburg High School gymnasium on Sunday afternoon as 63 members of the EHS Class of 2008 were awarded their high school diplomas.

The Emmetsburg High School Concert Band, under the direction of Kristin Heldt, performed a pre-commencement concert and the “Star Spangled Banner.” The Emmetsburg High School Commencement Band then took over as graduating members joined their classmates to enter the gymnasium to the traditional music of Ployhar’s “Pomp and Circumstance.”

Marc Siemers, senior class president, served as Master of Ceremonies for the afternoon activities. Siemers introduced the Emmetsburg High School Concert Choir, directed by David Fog, which performed the songs “Salmo 150” and “Go The Distance.”

Siemers then returned to the podium and on behalf of the senior class, thanked all of their friends and families for coming.

“We made it, guys. On Tuesday night [at the Senior Awards Night], I spoke to the same crowd of kids about we were only going to be together a couple more times as a class. That was a few days ago, and I didn’t think it would come. But here it is–today is our last day,” said Siemers.

He went on to describe what he and his classmates would take away from their high school experience.

“The most important thing I can say is that everyone here has one or two senior moments that we can look back on, that make us smile. The most important thing we can take with us is a good memory of high school.”

Those assembled then viewed a video of the Class of 2008’s childhood and senior photos, which was created by students in the digital journalism class.

During the commencement address, class valedictorians Victoria Heldt and Scott Smith also spoke.

Heldt spoke on “Times Gone By.”

“It seems like we have been looking forward to this for forever,” Heldt began. “I can’t believe my days at Emmetsburg School High have finally come to an end. I have been through so much with my classmates. The thought of my high school years ending is a bittersweet thought.”

Heldt then went on to describe the classmates’ elementary, middle school, and high school years together.

“We started our journey in elementary school. We got to know our classmates who became our friends,” she said. “Then we entered Middle School. We were introduced to the concept of homework. Meanwhile, we continued to strengthen the friendships that began in elementary school. Our eyes were opened when we got to high school. We made memories during such events as prom, Homeroom Olympics, and vocal trips.”

Heldt continued, “I hope you all cherish the memories we made together because I know I will. I know that the experiences I had will serve a firm foundation for the future. Congratulations Class of 2008 and good luck in all you do.”

Scott Smith’s speech looked ahead to “The Future.” He expressed appreciation to educators for their contributions.

“I would like thank the teachers who have helped us,” Smith started. “They often do a thankless job and they’re not credited nearly enough. From our first days as freshmen to our last days as seniors, teachers have been there to guide us along the way. They have taught us academic lessons, as well as life lessons. Looking over the past four years, I realize that we have been well prepared for whatever lies ahead.”

Smith spoke about preparation for future paths.

“After today, almost all of us will take different paths,” said Smith. “Some will enter the work force; others will go to college. Still others will enter the military. All of us will face personal and career challenges in the future. However, we will be able to draw from experiences during our high school years to guide us.”

Smith concluded, “As we leave here today, we all hope for success in the future. Success means something different to each of us. For some, success is defined through wealth and career advancement. For others, success may be measured by having a great family. Last, for some, success will be personal happiness. Personal happiness is one of the most rewarding types of success. Whatever you do, you strive for personal happiness first.”

Following the remarks by the senior class president and the class valedictorians, Jay Jurrens, principal of Emmetsburg High School, presented the Emmetsburg High School Senior Class of 2008. Emmetsburg Community Schools Board of Education President Karla Anderson, Vice President David VanOosbree, and Superintendent John Joynt assisted Mr. Jurrens in the awarding of diplomas to the new graduates.