THS Class of 2002 graduates in style
Class members receive thousands in scholarships
Members of Tonganoxie High School's Class of 2002 celebrated their accomplishments Saturday night at Beatty Field.
They heard that their class had been awarded more than $335,850 in scholarship money from outside the community.
"That is more money than any class in Tonganoxie history," THS Principal Mike Bogart said. "Congratulations. I knew you were special."
They watched as fellow class members received 50 scholarships bestowed by community members.
And they heard that seven graduating seniors had maintained 4.0 grade-point averages during their final four years in the Tonganoxie school system.
Then each of the 111 class members received a diploma and moved the tassels on their mortarboards from left to right. They were graduates.
For Nancy Milleret, the evening held special significance. Milleret was named Tonganoxie's sole valedictorian, based on her grade-point average and her scores on the ACT exam.
"To be chosen as the valedictorian is quite an honor for me," she told the many family members and friends of graduates packed into the stands at the athletic field.
Milleret, however, also recognized the other Class of 2002 members who also had achieved a 4.0 grade-point average: Bryan Gurss, Andrea Korb, Sarah Mages, Sarah Melchior, Alicia Stauch and Kerilyn Walker.
Four years ago, when these students were about to start their freshman year, Tonganoxie added the ACT examination to the selection requirement for the valedictorian. So in previous years, the school has had numerous valedictorians.
Gurss was this year's salutatorian.
Milleret said her classmates and teachers had played a key role in her success. And she said her parents had always allowed her to pursue her dreams. In fact, her father often told her as she left home in the morning, "Make it count."
"Just as my dad challenged me, I challenge the Class of 2002 to make it count," she said.
Walker welcomed family and friends on behalf of her classmates. "We're so excited to share this memory-in-the-making with all of you," she said.
The graduates, said Superintendent Richard Erickson, should be proud.
"You've accomplished a great deal during your school experience," he said. "Don't stop now."
Graduates, starting with Steven Adams Adcox, walked across the stage, shaking hands with school board members and Erickson. Proud parents and other relatives whistled, shouted, applauded and, occasionally, rang cow bells or blew air horns in approval.
Once Cynthia Marie Worden received her diploma, a wild display of silly string streamed into the air above the Class of 2002. Several beach balls lazily bounced through the graduates. And it was all over, except for the hugs, the smiles and the celebrating.
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