The 124th-annual Great Bend High School commencement starts at 5 p.m. today in GBHS’s Memorial Stadium. Gates open at 3:30 p.m.
When Jake Schridde walks across the stage with is diploma during Great Bend High School’s commencement Sunday afternoon, he ends a family tradition that spans more than three decades.
Jake follows in the footsteps of his eight older siblings in graduating from GBHS. That means for the past 35 years, Calvin and Jolene Schridde have had at least one child in at least one Great Bend school.
“It was crazy at times,” Jolene said. But, after nine kids, the morning and evening routines became, well, routine. “We had it down pretty good, I guess.”
There was a time when she went to work at 7 a.m. “They had to help themselves and get each other ready,”
Although it was a busy household, “it wasn’t too bad,” Jake said.
Jake is one of six brothers and three sisters, all of whom were involved in sports of some sort. There was baseball, softball, wrestling, track and even football.
“That was the hectic part,” Jolene said.
It all started when the Calvin and Jolene’s first child, Brian, was 5 and started going to school. That was 1976.
As the others came along, Jolene said she stayed busy keeping the house humming along. “You just do it,” she said.
Bringing up the end of the line has its advantages. “It was kind of nice,” Jake said. “The teachers all knew who I was because of my brothers.”
That could be good or bad, but, “they were all pretty good kids,” Jolene said. Most made it on the honor roll. “That makes it easy.”
Brian recalled growing up in the home. “There was a lot of roughhousing. But, it was a lot of fun. There was always something to do.”
However, by the time Jake came along, Brian had left the nest. “There is a 21 year difference. He didn’t even know me as his brother,” Brian said.
Also, Brian’s youngest son, Zach, is a freshman this year. That means he went to school with his dad’s youngest brother.
As for Jake, he plans on going to Barton Community College next fall to get his general education classes out of the way while he decides what he wants to pursue.
The other children, from oldest to youngest, are Terra Sanders, Kerry Bauer, Mike, Tim, Jenny Elliott, Joe and Cody.
And what about Calvin and Jolene? The couple is not completely through with the educational system. “We still have grand kids,” Jolene said.