Archive for Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Graduates trade memories at ceremony

May 24, 2006

A few drops of rain couldn't spoil graduation for the McLouth High School Class of 2006.

A little precipitation fell during Saturday's commencement exercises at the Bulldog Sports Complex, but it couldn't ruin the day in which 41 MHS seniors graduated from high school.

Class president Jason McGhee gave the welcome address, while Ryan Perry, Catherine Gunther, Heaven Mills and Devyn Roberts alternated telling about highs and lows in high school during a speech entitled "Memories."

For instance, the group spoke about the senior football players going winless as freshman and sophomores. Later in the speech, the group mentioned the team's Delaware Valley League crown garnered after MHS defeated Pleasant Ridge last fall.

The foursome also admitted the classmates did their share of toilet-papering teachers' houses.

"Talk to us after graduation and we'll tell you who did it," Perry said to teacher and coach Harry Hester, whose house fell victim to the toilet paper antics.

Audrey Deeken and Kevin Stewart, who were named co-valedictorians, addressed fellow classmates together for the valedictorian address.

Stewart said Deeken and he could talk about how perfect the class was and how it was one big happy family, but said that wouldn't accurately reflect the Class of 2006.

"The truth is, we're not perfect, as no class is, but we're unique," Stewart said.

The two seniors shared the poem "Anyway," author unknown, and borrowed phrases from Dr. Seuss:

"Be who you are and say what you feel," Stewart recited. "Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."

Some excerpts from the "Anyway" poem:

"If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.

"What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.

"If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway."

Deeken and Stewart also left each of their classmates an envelope under their chair. Enclosed were memories of that classmate or a special quality they possessed.

Although the class, as Stewart said, may not have been perfect, the students did accumulate plenty of scholarship money. The seniors were awarded $204,000 in scholarships and awards, MHS counselor Cliff Weeks announced at the ceremony.

Class treasurer BreAnna Barker announced the class song, "Time of Your Life," by Green Day. The tune played through the football stadium's speaker system.

Classmates Christine Glover and Devon Masqua, with guitar accompaniment from choir and drama instructor Michael Brandel, sang Sting's "Fields of Gold."

Although the ceremony celebrated the graduating seniors, it also honored a classmate who would have been in the Class of 2006.

Seniors presented a cap and gown and mementos to Carl and Carol Latham, whose son, Chris, would have been a senior. Chris died in 2003.

Saturday's graduation concluded with presentation of diplomas and the playing of the MHS alma mater.

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