By Jim Doepken –
On Monday evening, May 16th, 41 students from Seward High School Class of 2016 graduated in a ceremony attended by family, friends, and many community members from Seward and Moose Pass.
As with many graduation ceremonies, the festivities started with the “Pomp and Circumstance” playing and the graduates processing in. Then Emily Crain and Susannah Doepken sang The National Anthem with many in the gathering singing along. The crowd was welcomed by Hannalyn Ohlsen.
Moriah Doepken gave the Salutatory Speech, introduced by her sister, Susannah Doepken. Moriah talked about how graduation may seem to be a peak of their lives but there are other peaks yet to climb and a summit somewhere in the distance. The graduates need to keep climbing and not be satisfied with having their dreams merely be dreams.
Principal Trevan Walker introduced the Valedictorian, Garrett Foote, a recent addition to the Seward High School family. Garrett, in turn introduced the guest speaker Mr. Jason Bickling. Mr. Bickling was the Middle School principal for many of the graduates during their time at Seward Middle School. Amidst cliches and platitudes, he said that the reason there are cliches and platitudes at graduations is because they hold some truth. But he wanted to remind the graduates that they were loved more than they know and that there were many persons pulling for them as they graduated.
Taylor Stewart and Alyssa Leisure introduced the musical performances for the evening. They were performed by Paxson Berry, Emily Crain, Susannah Doepken, and Moriah Doepken.
Madeleine Rae was the Student Speaker for the evening and she gave a big thank you to all of the staff and teachers who have helped the students along their journey. Iris Anderson and Seth Brewi presented the Senior Gifts; a gift to Mr. Bickling and a banner for the “snack shack” in the commons room.
A slideshow was presented by Hannalyn Ohlsen which had both baby and “senior” pictures from the students plus many photos from their years growing up in (and out of) Seward. This was followed by a presentation of the graduates by Principal Trevan Walker and the presentation of diplomas by Superintendent Sean Dusek and School Board Member Lynn Hohl.
Graduate Matt Moris closed out the evening with a rousing send-off, noting that this is “the time when the mama bird kicks the baby birds out of the nest” but that Seahawks always soar.
Tassels were moved to the other side of their caps. Caps were thrown. And the graduates danced away with the song “Time of our Lives.” A reception followed for family and friends of the graduates.
If you happen to know one of this year’s graduates (or one of their parents) make sure to congratulate them on their accomplishment and wish them well as they find their next peak to climb in life.
To view more graduation photos by One Shot Photography, please visit: http://oneshotphoto.photoreflect.com/store/thumbpage.aspx?e=9826523