STANTON — Central Montcalm High School principal Tony Petersen told the 108 graduating seniors that they would always be Green Hornets, but it was the district’s superintendent that advised them to be “be ready.”
“You are all ready to embark on your tomorrow,” Superintendent Kristi Teall said. “What does ‘being ready’ mean to you?
“To me, it means being determined. Set your mind on a goal and achieve it, no matter how big or small. Every success paves the way to a larger one.”
The class of 2014 donned the school colors — green and white — though many embellished their caps with logos from their future colleges, congratulatory statements or sequins, glitter and bows.
“Being ready means believing that you can even if others do not,” added Teall. “If you believe you can’t, you won’t. Believing is the first step to doing. You can do it.”
Five seniors played with Matt Reed’s high school band one final time as the musicians played a prelude. The seniors then joined their classmates as the younger students performed “Pomp and Circumstance” as the Class of 2014 marched in pairs to find their honored seats up front.
Aaron Daggett gave a welcoming address to his fellow classmates and told them “There are 1,140 minutes in every day. Make sure to make these few moments memorable.”
Recognition was given to honor students, and foreign exchange students prior to speeches presented by class salutatorian Hanna Christensen and valedictorian Jonathan Beach.
Christensen reminded the class of elementary school times, whether in Sheridan or Stanton, and the big move in fourth grade to the Upper El, where they all became one class. She reminded them of sixth grade camp, and helping in fundraisers for friends and Cool to Be Kind.
“And now we begin to take a new path,” said Christensen, who will be attending Michigan Tech to study civil engineering.
Beach, who will attend Central Michigan University in the fall, advised the new graduates that while they look ahead to the future, they should treasure the memories.
“Some of the great things will not happen a second time,” he explained.
Though commencement is one of those great moments, the new graduates faced it with a lot of mixed emotions.
“I’m excited, but also sad,” Daggett said. “I almost wanted to cry. It is hard to believe we have been here 13 years, and now it’s done.”
Tyler Lewis, Taylor Miller and Bethany Wheeler are three of the many Central Montcalm students who will be attending Montcalm Community College in the fall, so won’t move from their hometowns.
“I have tears of joy,” Miller said. “It’s been a long journey for me.”
Lewis agreed it will be different.
“Some of us are going off to other places, and it will be weird not to all hang out together,” said Lewis.
Friendships are what made the class of 2014 so close, said Wheeler.
“I got to walk in with my best friend. We became friends in kindergarten, and many of us have gone to school together for 13 years,” she said. “It’s hard to think about missing friends, but it is exciting to be looking to the future.”
Correspondent Lori Hansen is a Greenville-area resident.