Great Bend High School principal Tim Friess welcomed family and friends to the graduation ceremony at Panther Stadium Sunday, where he announced the 206 graduates of the Class of 2013. The sun broke through clouds briefly late afternoon, making it possible for the ceremony to be held outside, despite the threat of impending thunderstorms.
“I’d like to edit my previous request for sunny skies and 77 degrees on graduation day,” he said. “Make that 77 degrees and sunny from four o’clock to six o’clock.”
The senior class president, Chon Chavez, led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Friess introduced both Salutatorians, Taylor Fry and Tanner Neeland, and the Valedictorian, Tristan Yount.
Fry spoke about leaving behind all she and her classmates had always known and starting their own “dot-to-dot” game of life. Dot one was graduation. From there, there would be many failures which hopefully would lead to success.
Neeland gave a shout out to the GBHS bowling team that won the 2013 state championship. He urged his classmates to never forget they are Great Bend.
Yount commented that while high school had been a time filled with memories and accomplishments, it could not possibly be the best four years of their lives, and offered this advice to his classmates, “Have a life worth living.”
Then, Friess took the mic, and spoke about, “Stuff, like life.” He reminded the graduates that knowledge and wisdom are different. The past four years, teachers had done their best to impart knowledge.
“Now is the time to start to see the wisdom in all things,” he said. “Be respectful to your elders, and remember, it’s never too late to do the right thing.”
White stoles were worn by members of the National Honor Society. Summa Cum Laude, an honor for earning a cumulative grade-point average of 3.90 and above was designated by gold rope, while Magna Cum Laude (3.70 to 3.89 GPA) earners wore silver rope and Cum Laude (3.5-3.69 GPA) wore white rope.
Students walked across the stage to cheers and sound blasts from the audience, until finally every last student that had accumulated the 24 credits needed had a diploma in their hands.
The GBHS band played “Pomp and Circumstance” by Elgar, and the graduates tossed mortar boards into the air in celebration.