Nine seniors who got straight As in high school shared a theme of memories, friendship, family, and ambition in the graduation address Saturday at Marion High School graduation.
Caitlyn Maloney opened with “thank-yous” to all the friends and family in attendance and unable to attend for their support through the years. Lauren McLinden said Marion has been a beginning point, and a good one, for all of the senior class, and it will always be part of their history, even if they move somewhere far away.
Kaelyn Thierolf spoke about the memories the class has made together, filled with laughter and smiles. Nick Meyer said the class has succeeded academically, athletically, and in activities because classmates had a friendly rivalry that pushed them to excellence.
Alicia Maloney said that because of those friendly rivalries, classmates always had someone they could turn to for support. She then got choked up before saying that some classmates might not see each other again after graduation.
Interspersed throughout the address, Kelli Hess shared quotes and poems about making dreams come true, friendships, parting, and perseverance.
Amanda Stuchlik cautioned her classmates that their futures won’t be perfect. They will have challenges, and failures, but that doesn’t mean they should listen to the doubters. She also urged them not to pass up greatness while waiting for perfection. Katey Ehrlich told her classmates not to settle.
Noting that seven of the nine 4.0 students will attend Kansas State University in the fall, Zach Robson taped a “Powercat” logo to the podium. He closed the address by describing the graduating class as a family that has always been there for one other and always will be there for one another, even though life may separate them by great distances.
“Family is forever,” he said.
Ehrlich, Hess, McLinden, Meyer, Robson, Stuchlik, and Thierolf were recognized as valedictorians, and Megan Davies was recognized as salutatorian.
They and Alicia Maloney, Caitlyn Maloney, Megan Richmond, Jordan Laurin, Kaitlyn Frese, Cheyenne Jeffrey, James Jones, Jared Hague, Clinton Kroupa, Rachel Neil, and Taylor Heidebrecht were recognized as honor students for keeping a 3.5 or higher grade point average in high school.
Robson and McLinden received the Outstanding Senior awards from the high school faculty.