Despite the overcast weather on Sunday, the 2016 Great Bend High School Graduating Class took to the field at the Great Bend High School Memorial Stadium for their anticipated rite of passage.
Principal Tim Friess welcomed the graduating class and opened the ceremony with a speech and told the class what they meant to him over the last four years.
“You are a great group of students and it has been a true pleasure having you here for the last four years, and I have enjoyed working with each and everyone of you.” Friess said. “You have really made a difference, you have help shape the culture of this school in a positive way.”
After his speech he introduced Salutatorian Taylor Huslig to give her farewell speech and she was followed by the Valedictorian Abigail Stiner, each offering their own words of wisdom and special thanks to the students, friends and families at the ceremony.
“After today, some of us will be attending college, some of us will be going straight into the workforce and the best of us will be serving our country,” Stiner said. “But we all need to remember that we might not always end up where we thought we were going to. Plans change and that is ok. It teaches us how to fight for what we want and how to persevere.”
Members of the USD 428 Board of Education then presented diplomas. As Friess read the names of the students, one by one the 213 students took the stage to receive their diploma and returned to their seats waiting patiently for that last name to be called to celebrate with a long standing tradition of the hat toss.
The high school band played the recessional “Pomp and Circumstance,” by Edward Elgar, As the students gathered their things, a flood of family, friends and loved ones came on to the field to congratulate their student and to get those everlasting memories and photos that these students will treasure for the rest of their life.