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EHS Class of 2012 Earns Diplomas

By Staff | May 22, 2012

IN THE MOMENT - Katie Kassel, Arik Kerr, and Andrew Garrelts (pictured at center, from left to right), new graduates of Emmetsburg High School, joined their classmates in recognizing their achievements while family and friends looked on. Commencement ceremonies were held Sunday afternoon in the high school gymnasium.

On Sunday afternoon, tears were wiped away and smiles and hugs were shared as 42 members of the Emmetsburg High School Class of 2012 took part in commencement ceremonies. A palpable sense of anticipation for the future filled the EHS gymnasium.

The Emmetsburg High School Concert Band, under the direction of Mr. Aaron Phillips, performed “Russian Folk Fantasy Song” and the “Star Spangled Banner.” The band played Ployhar’s traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” as the senior class entered the gymnasium.

Those assembled then viewed a video of the Class of 2012’s childhood and senior photos set to music, which was created by senior Kaitlyn Degen.

Jordan Bragg, Senior Class President, served as Mistress of Ceremonies for the afternoon activities. She remarked on the highlights of the class’s senior year, commenting on the fact that the magnitude of graduation day didn’t hit the classmates until caps and gowns were slipped on.

“Today, as we look around, we realize we will not see half of these people ever again,” said Bragg. “College will be fun, but in the meantime, jump at every opportunity to have a new experience and spend as much time with friends as possible for it won’t be long until you meet new people and grow apart. And please, everyone remember our class motto, ‘Together we have experienced life, separately we will pursue our dreams, and forever our memories will remain’.”

Bragg introduced the Emmetsburg High School Concert Choir, directed by David Fog, which performed the songs “100 Years” and “Defying Gravity.”

During the commencement address, Class Salutatorian Aleysha Schutz and Class Valedictorian Paige Naig spoke to their classmates.

Schutz remarked on the challenge of summarizing 13 years of being an E’Hawk into just a few short minutes.

“Throughout our time at Emmetsburg, we have had our ups and downs. We got to show our pride as E’Hawks at Homecoming and enjoyed prom,” Schutz said. “We also learned valuable life lessons. Through ‘Every 15 Minutes’ last year we all recognized how sacred and fragile life can be. And then a revelation hit home this spring. Losing Mr. Menneke was, by far, the hardest thing we’ve had to go through as a class.”

Schutz concluded, “Now, here we are in our caps and gowns. Don’t let time pass you by. Make every moment count. I wish all of you the best of luck in your future endeavors.”

Paige Naig spoke about the journey the class has been on together.

“We started together in this place, in this town,” said Naig. “I can’t think of a better place to start from. As E’Hawks we’ve been given a wealth of knowledge and values to take with us in the days ahead. High school has prepared us for the challenge ahead.”

Naig continued, “Today, our journey begins again and although everything has changed and everything seems different, it’s still the journey that matters. Thomas Edison once said, ‘If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.’ The time as come for us to enter the arena and face the world with all its unknowns. It’s our turn to shine-our chance to leave our mark on the world forever. Class of 2012, my challenge to you today is this: Go out in the world and be astounding.”

Following the remarks by the Class Salutatorian and Class Valedictorian, Jay Jurrens, Principal of Emmetsburg High School, presented the Emmetsburg High School Senior Class of 2012. Emmetsburg Community Schools Board of Education President B.J. Schany and Board of Education Member Karla Anderson assisted Superintendent John Joynt in the awarding of diplomas to the new graduates.