EHS Graduates Begin New Chapter In Their Lives
There were tears, yet there were plenty of smiles and laughs, too, as the Emmetsburg High School Class of 2010 attained the status of graduates, paying farewell to their high school days and welcoming the next step in their lives.
Commencement exercises were held Sunday afternoon in the high school gymnasium. A large crowd of family and friends were in attendance to celebrate the graduates’ accomplishments. Sixty-seven members of the class were awarded diplomas.
The Emmetsburg High School Concert Band, under the direction of Aaron Phillips, performed the song “Kindred Spirits” 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.”
Class President Kathryn Malm presided over the program, serving as Mistress of Ceremonies. She opened her comments by offering thanks to her parents.
“You have given me all the love and support I could ask for over the past 18 years,” said Malm. “They have been standing behind me, pushing me to do my best.”
Malm also thanked her teachers.
“Because of all their help and encouragement, we are here as a class ready to graduate,” she said.
Lastly, Malm addressed her fellow classmates.
“I realize that I really don’t consider us just a class, instead I think of us as a group of friends that has stuck together since Kindergarten,” Malm said. “I could wish you all ‘good luck’ but I know that every single one of you has enough determination and passion that you don’t need luck.”
Malm concluded with a quote from Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Those assembled then viewed a video of the Class of 2010’s childhood and senior photos. The Emmetsburg High School Concert Choir, directed by David Fog, then performed the songs “Dare to Dream” and “100 Years.”
During the commencement address, the Class Salutatorian and Class Valedictorian spoke.
Blake Schany, Class Salutatorian, tearfully addressed her classmates, “Today is where our futures begin, but when we leave we must remember where we came from. We spent 13 long years together. That’s 13 years of smiles, laughter, heartache, and growth, and through it all we’ve become a family.”
Schany noted that the class’ growth took the support of those around them.
“We’ve been surrounded by people who care about us, whether it be friends, family, or teachers,” said Schany. She referred to the time the classmates spent in Kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, and finally, high school.
“We didn’t realize when we walked through those doors [high school], some of the best years of our lives would be spent there,” Schany noted. “We each have special memories that will be in our hearts long after high school has ended. The Class of 2010 has left its mark on Emmetsburg High School forever.”
Class Valedictorian Frankie Schmidt then addressed the audience.
“Class of 2010, today is the last time we will share together for many years. After today we begin a new chapter in our lives. This chapter will take us away from each other, but the memories that Blake discussed will continue to stay,” began Schmidt.
“The question now is, what comes next,” Schmidt stated. “I wish I had the answer to this question but all I can say is that some of us may go to college, while others of us go right into the workforce. Everyone has to find his and her own path. You not even know what you, yourself, will become.”
Schmidt advised that the class needed to be people “who make things happen.”
“Always remember the future is what you make of it,” said Schmidt. “I hope to see you all at our future class reunions. So wherever you are, come back and share all the things that have happened to you after high school.”
Schmidt ended with the following quote: “Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.”
Emmetsburg Community Schools Board of Education President Karla Anderson, Vice President Stephen Pelzer, and Superintendent John Joynt then assisted Mr. Jurrens in the awarding of diplomas to the new graduates of Emmetsburg High School.
A complete listing of awards and scholarships can be found on Page 7 of today’s Reporter.