Class of 2018 takes memories with them as they graduate

Submitted by Karen Fried The Class of 2018 takes one last class picture together on the steps of the school. In front are kindergarten guides MaKenzie Wiemerslage and Bernt Morken. On the left and right sides are junior escorts Takoda Boyd and Rhiannon Skauge.
By : 
Jordan Gerard

The 113th annual commencement exercises went off without a hitch on Sunday, June 3, and there were many tears, laughter and final high school memories to be made.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” Valedictorian Claire Bratland quoted Charles Dickens’s “A Tale of Two Cities.”

“Junior high was a little rough, but we’ve come a long way, and we respect each other and our differences.”

Bratland said each of her classmates’ passions will take them far, and that the class is united in reaching their goals.

She thanked teachers, school staff, families, friends and the community for supporting the class. 

“It takes a village to raise a child,” Bratland quoted an African proverb. “We always know our community is supporting us.”

Honor student Zach Folstad said he was a little surprised to be asked to make a speech about the class motto, “Go as far as you can see: when you get there, you’ll be able to see farther” by J.P. Morgan.

He told his classmates they have new goals for life and there will be new things to see after high school.

“Keep making progress and new goals for ourselves,” he said.

The high school choir, under the direction of Bethany Engen, sang “Homeward Bound” by Marta Keen, arranged by Jay Althouse. This would be the graduates’ last choir performance. 

After, honor student Lauryn Bohr took her classmates and the audience down memory lane, including a few trips to the principal’s office for the girls, adventurous boys getting into shenanigans and an early start into dating in fourth grade.

She also noted the volleyball team’s winningest season, the state football championship, the trap team’s trip to state and Knowledge Bowl’s state meet.

There were also individual honors, such as Hannah Borreson earning her Associate’s Degree before her high school diploma and Sam Sanness’s first place win at the FFA State Convention.

“We each have unique talents,” she said. “There are so many memories that make me laugh and cry.”

Tied with Bratland for Valedictorian, Vendela Parker spoke about leadership in her valedictorian’s speech and encouraged her classmates to be self-motivated and achieve their goals.

“Your goals are achieved by you and you alone,” she said. “Believe your goal is possible.”

She told classmates to think about why they set their goal in the first place and told them “success is possible.”

After, the graduates played their last performance in band. Under the direction of Willy Leafblad, the band performed “Air for Band,” by Frank Erickson.

Superintendent Rachel Udstuen presented the seniors and talked about the impact they made on the school.

“It was exciting as you guys did your last walkthrough, but there’s something you didn’t get to see,” she said. “After you guys left, elementary kids were crying because they didn’t want you to leave. At the end of the day, it’s what you gave back to us that made us better.”

She added the class had a good work ethic and connected with their community very well.

Principal Nancy Gulbranson presented the diplomas and as graduates walked back to their seats, they changed their tassels to the left, signifying they have graduated.

The receiving line was outside on the north side of the school. Weather was sunny and partly cloudy as graduates greeted friends, family members and loved ones.