It was standing room only at last Friday’s graduation ceremony for the 2023 Bowling Green High School graduating class.
It looked as though the entire community had come out to honor this year’s class of graduating seniors.
Superintendent Matt Frederickson welcomed everyone to the ceremony and then introduced High School Principal Larry Lagemann and Assistant High school Principal Elizabeth Fleer, as well as the school board, who had joined him on the platform—Bob Kirkpatrick, Holly Delgman, Scott Smith, Roger Colbert, Tamera Scherder, and Scott Hunt.
He also recognized the high school’s career counselors—Katie Splain, Beth Holland, and Misty Smith.
“I also have the honor of wishing my best to the class of 2023. A class that has accomplished so much,” he said. “This has been an excellent year. We have had multiple final-four appearances with our athletic programs, several all-state recognitions in our practical and fine arts programs, and continued improvement of our ACT composite, scoring in the top-two high schools in Northeast Missouri.
“You have embraced excellence,” he added, “which is what we should all strive for in life to reach our potential.”
He congratulated the graduating class on all their achievements in their high school careers.
After a song by the school choir, Lagemann said he appreciated the school board for giving him the opportunity to be part of “this great school and community.”
He asked that all the parents and guardians of the students stand and be applauded for their efforts in helping to get the graduates to this point in their lives.
Lagemann presented awards to some special students.
“These students have excelled both in and out of the classroom,” he said.
“We have a Bright Flight Scholar and six students who have achieved a GPA greater than 4.0,” he said. The Bright Flight scholarship is a merit-based program that’s been in existence since 1986. In accordance with Missouri statutes, eligibility is based on a “composite score on the ACT or the SAT achieved in an eligible student’s high school sophomore, junior, or senior year that is in the top 5% of Missouri test-takers, as established at the beginning of an eligible student’s final year of secondary coursework.”
“Because our awards are chosen by the faculty,” he said, “now would be an appropriate time to recognize them.” They had to agonize over their choices because there were so many deserving students this year, he noted.
“I’m very proud of our teachers. They are hardworking, caring, and tough. They bring out the best in our students.”
Only two students earned standing ovations from the audience. They were the two young men who decided to serve in the U.S. armed forces—Dalton Thomas, who completed his enlistment process for the Army National Guard; and Colin Prior, who is in the process of enlisting in the U.S. Army.
Lagemann said that this is the last year the school district would use the terms valedictorian and salutatorian, instead moving to the Latin terms cum laude, meaning with great distinction. This, he said, is to recognize students for the GPA and ACT scores.
Andrea Korte was selected as the class valedictorian for 2023. She plans on attending the University of Missouri-Columbia, to study health science.
This year, Katelin Houchins was selected as salutatorian. She will be attending William Woods University to study business administration.
The top 10% of the class was also recognized. They were Andrea Korte, Katelin Houchins, Dylan Dalton, Megan Niemeyer, Joshua Carroll, Gabriel Maier, John Gamm and Levi Summers.
One student, Lagemann said, earned summa cum laude—Andrea Korte, with a GPA of 4.05 and a 26 ACT.
Earning magna cum laude were Joshua Carroll, Dylan Dalton, Katelin Houchins and Gabriel Maier. Earning cum laude were John Gamm, Devin Rue, Rylee Steiert and Levi Summers.
Senior Class President Andrea Korte addressed the audience. She admitted that she spent too much time during her high school career caring about things that don’t matter.
“What will they think of me?” she asked about her fellow students. “Will they judge what I’m wearing; what I’m saying?” At times, she added, this left her feeling that high school was a joke that she did not understand.
This led her to believe that putting one’s trust in superficial things would always be a letdown.
After reading Henry David Thoreau, Korte said, she learned that people often give their minds and better judgment in exchange for materialistic things.
“In life and high school, we have all found ourselves giving away our intellect for short-lived salvation,” she said. “This is something that I hope we can all let go of as we begin this new chapter in our lives.” She is hoping for deeper and more meaningful conversations, not taking the thoughts of other people.
Although people give lots of advice on how to be happy, Korte said, it was cultivating relationships with the people she interacted with that made the difference for her.
“Living a life full of superficial things, but lacking in people and relationship skills, will never be fulfilling,” she said. “Most importantly, don’t forget to live.” Spend your lives with the people that matter the most to you.
The second speaker for the ceremony was Nathan Krumwiede. He has elected to enter the workforce as a welder after graduation and has already secured employment.
His message was clear—don’t let one’s doubts prevent you from achieving your life’s goals.
“While doubt can sometimes be healthy by allowing us to consider other perspectives,” he said, “it can also be paralyzing.” That could prevent you from moving forward, he added.
He advised the students to seek out information, get support from others and sometimes, “we just have to take a leap of faith”—believe in oneself.
“So, whatever the future holds, we will know that wherever doubt comes from in our lives, we can overcome it,” he said.
With that, Lagemann came forward to present the class of 2023. They moved across the stage when called to receive their diplomas and, when given the word, moved their tassel from the right to the left side of their mortarboard to signify they had graduated and the ceremony concluded.
Sorry, there are no recent results for popular commented articles.