‘Remember this day’
Blooming Prairie High School will no longer have a valedictorian or a salutatorian because of board action a few months ago.
The Class of 2019 does have a valedictorian and salutatorian and both carried a stimulating message for their classmates.
The 117th commencement at BPHS on Sunday, June 2 saw 36 seniors cross the stage to receive their high school diplomas.
Payton Simon, valedictorian, was the first to bring a thoughtful message. "What is success?" Simon asked. "I feel that success isn’t a defined moment or singular point or thing," he explained.
"It is the process and progress of becoming the best version of ourselves. As we celebrate today, remember this day, Graduation, it isn’t the end. This is just the beginning and a stepping stone to whatever you want to be when you grow up……(I’m still hoping to grow a little more).
"Don’t go forward and miss out on something that could be great because it could also be difficult."
Simon's counter part as a commencement speaker, Seth Peterson, salutatorian, challenged his classmates to: be humble; be grateful; be faithful; be careful and be confident.
Senior Rachael Oswald gave opening remarks as a representative of her class. The 2018 Blooming Prairie High School Homecoming Queen said, "We are here today to celebrate 12-14 years of hard work.
"We have come so far and today we have hit a home run," Oswald continued. "We are here to start a new journey and today is a beginning of something new," she said.
"We made it," proclaimed Simon. "Like my stature, this class is small in size but we have done really big things, really GREAT things," he said.
"We did them maybe before we knew exactly what we were doing," Simon confessed.
"It's been my pleasure to walk these halls (at BPHS) and to always work hard to do my best," Simon said.
As a counter to the opening words by Oswald, Riley Millam said "time is something we don't have enough of or use it in the right way."
"I learned about life my senior year," Millam remarked. "Enjoy the time you have," Millam challenged.
Guidance counselor Mary Worke announced all of the scholarship winners by reading off the recipients' names in record time. She said this year's senior class earned $661,000 in scholarship awards.
Retiring Superintendent Barry Olson presented the Class of 2019. "This is the last graduating class I will speak to," Olson said.
"You are entering the next phase of your life," Olson told the graduates. He emphasized "Trust" as a key word for the future. He challenged the graduates "to trust yourself, peers and the system."
Olson identified four key words that will guide the future of the 2019 graduates: scholarship; character; service and leadership.
Diplomas were presented by Olson; by Principal John Worke; by BP Elementary Principal and incoming Superintendent Chris Staloch; by Ali Mach, associate principal and by Rodney Krell, board chairman.
The National Anthem opened proceedings with song being led by Raeann Grundmeier, Jaclyn Hyland, Brett Motl and Ian Wayne.
The closing featured highlights from "Mama Mia." Band director Ross Reishus led the band offerings. Mckenzie Jensen was the lone senior to be part of the band. She played the clarinet.
Seniors graduating at Blooming Prairie High School on Sunday were: Cody Anderson, William Cardenas, Cassandra Jo Green, Zachary Haberman, Dustin Hensrud, Colton Ivers, Hanna Kinny, Colin Lerum, Corey Lyman;
Riley Millam, Rachael Oswald, Clint Peterson, Preston Rieken, Joseph Schiefert, Trenton Swenson, Emily Trihus, Micah White, Matthew Wurst;
Jackson Baltazar, Domingo Deluna, Raeann Grundmeier, Isaac Hanson, Jaclyn Hyland, Mckenzie Jensen, Caleb Kubista, Jeannette Lozano, Alexyss Magnuson;
Brett Motl, Ryan Pena, Seth Peterson, Daniel Escandon, Payton Simon, Brian Torres, Ian Wayne, Timothy Wolf and Antonia Zamarripa.