Now that the Klahowya eagle graduates have received their diplomas, they can glide along into the winds of the world.
When they reflect back, they’ll remember being surrounded in an auditorium by those who pushed them out of their nests and into their futures.
A sea of green gowns, the 152 graduates listened to speakers and remembered favorite moments throughout the year, some with tears in their eyes before even crossing the stage.
Keigen Langholff, salutatorian, thanked God for giving him opportunities, including trials. He also gave gratitude to his “amazing” girlfriend of three years, Brooke Bennett.
Valedictorian Alijah Hawley thanked “brothers from another mother, and sisters from another mister.” He smiled when he talked about teachers and mentors who had assisted the class over the years, and told his peers what “fantastic people” he thought they were.
“Fly in your own path,” he told them. “To be an individual, with goals and achievements belonging to you.”
And when the graduates start flying, they’ll take a look over the years of where they’ve come from and how far they’ve traveled.
When graduates think back to commencement, they’ll remember McKenna Badkin and Grant Lawson performing an acoustic version of “Landslide” as the American Sign Language students motioned the lyrics to the crowd.
They’ll recall the tears of the senior choral members who broke down at the end of their “Everything Must Change” performance and the hugs and kisses given when the chorus could sing no more.
Long after the night’s memories have faded, they’ll remember senior Kyle Connor telling them to cherish the beautiful moments in life, including the walk across stage they took on June 13, 2014.
In the future, they’ll remember the moment of pushing through the double doors into the cool evening air and the taste of a new freedom that they’d never felt before.