Great Bend High School graduates received diplomas Sunday evening.
After days of rain and storms, the future was so bright for Great Bend High School seniors, many had to wear shades.
On Sunday, May 17, 187 seniors of Great Bend High School took the field at Memorial Stadium for a much anticipated rite of passage. With blue skies and mild temperatures, Principal Tim Friess noted his annual graduation day wish had again come true, and welcomed the class of 2015.
Senior Class President Alex Morgan led the students, along with family and friends in the stands, in the Pledge of Allegiance, then Friess introduced Salutatorian Maycie Hestand to give her farewell speech. She was followed by Co-Validictorians Michaela Cape and Anna Frizell, each offering their own heart-felt words of advice to their classmates and thanks to their parents and teachers.
Friess then noted students were leaving Great Bend High School with much more knowledge than when they arrived, and urged them to remember the difference between knowledge and wisdom.
“Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is really a fruit,” he said. “Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.” The analogy was well received.
Members of the USD 428 Board of Education then presented diplomas. Students were first congratulated by Superintendent Brad Reed as they stepped up to the stage, then received further congratulations from Friess and board members, then took their seats again.
Finally, the moment they had worked toward for 13 years, the hat toss. Some were simple, red with black tassels, while others carried elaborate decoration marking their favorite memories and their aspirations for the future. Into the air they flew, amongst a volley of silly string from all directions.
The high school band, under the direction of Mark Dewald, played the recessional, “Pomp and Circumstance,” by Elgar, as students collected their items. Parents flooded onto the field, and congratulations and photos were taken, until finally, the graduates exited the grounds, bound for their futures.