The Class of 2012 attended the 125th commencement at Great Bend High School on Sunday, with 194 candidates for graduation.
Class president Hannah Wondra led the Pledge of Allegiance after the high school band played the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” for the processional at Memorial Stadium.
Seniors Brandi Schneider, salutatorian, and Donna Craven, valedictorian, addressed their classmates. Both thanked their parents and teachers as they recalled the past four years.
“I can’t believe it is over,” Schneider said. “We look forward to what our futures have to offer.”
“I was going to talk to you today about being yourself, and how that’s the key to happiness,” Craven said. “It seems kind of weird talking about individuality though, when we’re wearing identical gowns and these ridiculous hats ...
“From this point on, we’re going to go in completely different directions. Whether we go on to college, start working or go into the military, there’s one thing we should all remember: No matter where this crazy world takes us, nothing will ever change so much to the point where we’re not still friends. ... I’m proud to be part of the class of 2012. And to each and every one of you, good luck with whatever you decide to do with your life. I really wish you the best, and I look forward to seeing what the class of 2012 can accomplish in its future.”
Principal Tim Friess also addressed the graduating seniors, advising them that life’s lessons go beyond rote learning. “You don’t need book smarts to treat people with respect,” he said. “And you don’t need book smarts to be successful in life. You have already started to make a difference.”