BROOKFIELD - The annual commencement ceremonies for Brookfield High School were yesterday afternoon for the Class of 2013. This class featured seven graduates who were the first in their families to graduate from high school, and 14 oldest children crossing the stage.
Before the ceremony, the seniors presented flowers to their loved ones, as “Hall of Fame” by The Script, featuring Will.i.am, the class song.
“Pomp and Circumstance” was played by the BHS Concert Band, as Amanda Hueffmeier and Brock Wright led in the graduates. School Board President Jim McIntyre gave the welcome speech.
McIntyre thanked the parents for sharing the graduates with them, as well as the teachers and administration for guiding the students. He urged the students not to be afraid of making mistakes, and urged them to remember the solid foundation that they received in their time at BHS. He also asked the graduates to take a moment and thank their teachers for all they had done over the years.
Principal Vicki Enyart then took the podium and presented the awards for the Class of 2013. The top 10 percent of the class were: Micah Blakely, Katie Falconer, Trent Hoover, Cassie McKenzie, Katie Swift, and Caitlin Troutman. Enyart also pointed out that the Class of 2013 sported two Bright Flight students, and that 25 percent of the class was at or above the national ACT average. Lastly, she noted two special students; one who is headed to the Air Force Academy, and another who will study abroad through Oxford.
The Concert Band then played “Above the Clouds” by Chris M. Bernotas.
Superintendent Dr. Paul Barger addressed the graduates next, asking for a standing ovation for all of the mothers in attendance. Barger then asked the graduates heading into military service and noted the pride that all in attendance feel for them. He wished them safety on their journeys, and noted the unselfish nature of their decision. Barger addressed the class as a whole, and recapped their accomplishments over their 13 years in the District. He noted that some of life’s questions will be hard, some will be easy, and other will take deeper thought. He cautioned that the answers to these questions are answered by actions, and not words. He suggested that the graduates discover a deeper meaning in life through service and helping others.
Enyart then introduced Salutatorian Katie Swift, and remarked about her using comments from her teachers and family. Swift relied heavily on the 1999 song “Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen)” by Baz Luhrmann, which was taken from a Chicago Tribune article by Mary Schmich in 1997.
Among the pieces of advice in the speech were:
“If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.
Page 2 of 2 - Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind side you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.”
The senior choral members then sang “Friends, Always in My Heart” by Roger Emerson, featuring solos by Caitlin Troutman and Jeremiah Domon.
Dr. Barger and the Board of Education then presented the graduates their diplomas.
Enyart then introduced Valedictorian Trent Hoover, with comments from his family and teachers.
Hoover talked about the cheerleaders in the lives of his classmates, and remembered two special cheerleaders, Jack Noble and Pat Swift. He encouraged his classmates to be cheerleaders for others. He concluded by noting his fascination with the map on the wall showing where the are all headed, and the concluded with a prayer.
After the senior choral members led the crowd in the singing of the “Halls of Brookfield,” the seniors tossed their caps, and left to he recessional.