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Emmetsburg High School Class of 2009 Awarded Diplomas

By Staff | May 19, 2009

CONGRATULATIONS, CLASS OF 2009 - As friends and family looked on, the Emmetsburg High School Class of 2009 turned their tassels before breaking out the silly string to celebrate receiving their high school diplomas. Sixty-one members of the class participated in commencement ceremonies held on Sunday afternoon in the high school gymnasium. — Lori Hall photo

Emotions, resulting in smiles and tears, filled the Emmetsburg High School gymnasium on Sunday afternoon as 61 members of the EHS Class of 2009 were awarded their high school diplomas.

The Emmetsburg High School Concert Band, under the direction of Aaron Phillips, 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.”

Katelyn Schany, senior class president, served as Mistress of Ceremonies for the afternoon activities. Schany tearfully thanked the parents for their help throughout the years, and the faculty at Emmetsburg High School for always pushing the class to be the best they could be.

“I also want to thank the senior class for all that they have done for the Emmetsburg community over the past 12 years,” said Schany. “We have left our legacy at EHS in the trophy case with our state championship title, in the vocal room with all of our awards and titles, and in the classroom.”

Those assembled then viewed a video of the Class of 2009’s childhood and senior photos. The Emmetsburg High School Concert Choir, directed by David Fog, then performed the songs “Iddem-dem Malida” by Makil and “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” by Buckholz.

During the commencement address, Class Salutatorian Bridget Rouse and Class Valedictorian Bailee Moore spoke.

Bridget Rouse reminisced about growing up as classmates.

“We shared times together that no one else can experience,” said Rouse. “We participated in elementary track meets, we had fun in Mrs. Schany’s social studies classes, we went to an Iowa Cubs game for our eighth grade class trip, we had Mr. Hough for eighth grade algebra where we got to mingle with the Catholic School kids, and we heard a lot of good stories. We shared bus rides, we shared lunches, and we shared memories.”

Rouse continued, “Freshman year we got our first taste of what high school was really going to be like. We got thrown into a world of activities that began with Mr. Hoover’s freshman English class. Homeroom Olympics brought out our competitive natures. We got a lesson on passive voice in sophomore English and learned all the capitals of South American countries in Spanish. Everyone had something to do, whether it was athletics, vocal, band, FFA, speech or Student Council. We have fun but we pull together when it really counts. This is the reason for our state football championship, our numerous Division I ratings in band and vocal, our All-State Speech participants, our National Soil Judging Team, and many more accomplishments we’ve achieved in our school years.”

Rouse closed with the refrain from the Vitamin C song “Graduation”: “As we go on, we remember all the times we had together, and as our lives change from whatever, we will still be friends forever.”

Bailee Moore extended appreciation to the parents and discussed taking chances despite being afraid.

“Life is all about taking chances and trying new things,” Moore began. “Four years ago I took a big chance. I decided to open enroll to Emmetsburg and now I’m class valedictorian. All of you took a chance four years ago, too. We all started out our journey as little fledglings. We were scared of looking at the seniors the wrong way. We were too timid to voice our opinion because we were afraid our peers would judge us. And we were worried about what we wore to school because we wanted to be popular. However, for most of you who know us, we can safely say we no longer care what others think.”

Moore concluded, “We’re here today wanting to express our individuality, but we’re dressed identically in our caps and gowns. You may look at us and think that we are an ordinary class, but we have accomplished extraordinary things, whether it be academics, athletics, music, speech, or ag. Our paths are still unpaved and our futures undiscovered. We face hardships and let-downs, but also a lifetime of wonderful unexpected moments and glorious successes. So, my question for you is ‘What would you attempt to do if you knew you couldn’t fail’?”

Following the remarks by the senior class president and the class salutatorian and valedictorian, Jay Jurrens, principal of Emmetsburg High School, presented the Emmetsburg High School Senior Class of 2009.

“I want to share a couple facts with the audience about this class,” said Principal Jay Jurrens. “At the beginning of the year, I challenged these students to leave a positive mark here. We all know about the successes they’ve had throughout the year in athletics, in music, speech activities, and many others. They’ve definitely left their marks. However, one thing you may not know is that they did this while maintaining very challenging academic schedules. It takes 44 credits to earn a diploma from Emmetsburg High School. The average student sitting before me today earned over 53 credits. I look forward to hearing about all your accomplish in the future.”

Emmetsburg Community Schools Board of Education President Karla Anderson, Board Member Kent Egland, and Superintendent John Joynt then assisted Mr. Jurrens in the awarding of diplomas to the new graduates of Emmetsburg High School.

Look for the listing of awards and scholarships in The Democrat this Thursday.