Chesterton Tribune

 

 

CHS Class of 2014 set loose at joyous commencement

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By MARGARET L. WILLIS

Thursday evening provided perfect weather as 488 Chesterton High School seniors received their diplomas and celebrated the end of high school and the beginning of something new.

The Trojan football field stands were overflowing with family and friends, schoolmates and former teachers.

The graduates filed in to their seating area on the field to the processional “Pomp and Circumstance” played by CHS band members under the direction of Band Director Michael Scheiber.

Senior Class Vice-president Megan Homme made introductions. Cole Teal, Senior class treasurer, led those gathered in the Pledge of Allegiance and CHS student Kendall Wright sang the National Anthem.

Senior Class Secretary David Gutierrez welcomed graduates, families and friends and Senior Class representative Andy Hurst introduced the CHS Science teacher Dan Paff, who gave the commencement address.

Paff, who is fighting stage three colon cancer had some hard-earned wisdom to share with the 2014 graduates. His battle for his life has put many things into perspective, he said. He urged the graduates to work hard, and never allow themselves to use excuses not to do so. He urged them to find and share love; to show their gratitude to those who help and love them; and to strive toward optimism in their daily lives. He said he had not originally thought he was destined to be a teacher, but that his teaching and coaching have become a daily joy and he looks forward to the next 30 years.

The Senior Honor students were presented and the Senior Choir members sang together one last time, sharing “100 Years,” by Five for Fighting, about the fleeting nature of life, under the direction of CHS Choir Director Kristin Morris.

Student speaker Jonathan Kindmark, who peppered his speech with movie title references, noted that the class of 2014 could include future humanitarians and CEO’s, engineers, athletes, actors, lawyers and welders. Each student can make their mark through courage, character, conscience and confidence. He urged his classmates to proceed to what’s next in their life with integrity. “Honesty and loyalty are not options,” he said. He told his classmates he feels confidence moving forward in part due to their support as friends. “I’ve got your back and you’ve got mine.”

The presentation of diplomas grew more joyful and raucous as the long list of graduates was read.

The sense of celebration culminated when the Class of 2014 turned their tassels in unison and, led by Senior Class President Mitch Winey, they threw their caps high in the air.

 

 

Posted 6/6/2014