Seniors vow to challenge the future

Mindy Carls
Receiving roses from junior marshals Alex Miller, far left, and Amelia Martens, far right, are seniors Alanna Anderson, second from left, and Ian Cooper, second from right.

Orion High School seniors graduated on Sunday, May 24, with the vow, “We learn from the past, test the present and challenge the future.”

Seventy-eight seniors received diplomas. 

The ceremony began with Josh Hahn directing the OHS concert band in “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Band members played “Pomp and Circumstance” for the processional and recessional.

School board president Doug Nelson addressed the seniors, who also heard from Josh Hutton, class vice president; Rob McDonnell, one of five valedictorians; and Jim Hills, class president and Student Council president.

Their speeches will be printed in next week’s Orion Gazette.

Hills presented the lancer to junior class president Ted Leuck. Festooned with banners from graduating classes, the lancer represents the best traditions of the school. 

Leuck accepted it with a promise to carry on those traditions.

Senior choir members sang “Unwritten” by Steve Zegree. Their director was Andrea Kapusinksi and their accompanist, Kim White.

Principal Ron Harris introduced valedictorians Janel Cross, Jamie Harrington, Jim Hills, Tori Matzen and McDonnell.

He also recognized the top 10 percent of the class, which included the valedictorians, Alyssa Anderson and Hutton.

Harris presented special awards to the class, including: 

• D.A.R. Citizenship Award, presented for dependability, service, leadership and patriotism to Matt Knoll.

• Senior Athletes with Highest Scholastic Average, given to Harrington and Hutton.

• DeKalb Agriculture Award, presented to Alex Samuelson as the outstanding senior in agriculture.

• Raymond Kuhn Award, named for a former OHS teacher, given for scholarship and leadership to Craig Shehorn. 

• Myron M. Robinson Endowment Scholarship Fund for Medical Education, presented to Hills.

• Alan and Mildred Peterson Charitable Foundation Scholarship, given on the basis of academic achievement, school and community activities, a student statement and letters of recommendation to Hutton.

• Arion Music Award, presented by Orion Lions Club in the junior year to Hills and Alanna Anderson.

• Charlotte Johanna Johnson Award, given to winners of a speech contest, with $500 presented to Hills for first place and $400 to Sara Clifton for second.

• Senior Journalism Award, given to Clifton.

• Tom W. and Lindsey G. Nicholson Memorial Award, presented for a congenial and principled lifestyle at school and in the community to Alyssa Anderson and Mitchel White.

• Carlson Family Educational Grant, given to Cross.

• Roger Lawson Engineering Scholarship, presented for strong character, leadership and community service to Trevor Johnson.

• Orion Lions Club Scholarship, given to seniors related to a club member, Alyssa Ellison and Ellen Garrity.

• Stephanie Jones Memorial Award, given to Hills and Ellison for living life to the fullest and finding time to laugh and love everyone.

• For the first time, the Greg Nightingale Scholarship was presented to Kory Armstrong and Angela Schmedt for their strong commitment to continuing their educations in college and for their love of soccer. Fred and Kim Nightingale established the scholarship in memory of their son, a student at OHS.

Seniors receiving diplomas were Jordan Christopher Adkins, Alanna Marie Anderson, Alyssa Karin Anderson, Kory Logan Armstrong, Bryan Michael Arnett, Cassandra Leigh Barham, Kourtni Jacqueline Barnes, Eric Alan Blackert, Lindsey Jean Burnett, Ashley Lauren Carroll, Tyler Rachelle Carter, Cassandra Lynn Catlett, Sara LeAnn Clifton, Ian Thomas Cooper, Ashley Christine Cox, Janel Adair Cross, Kaylee Ree Descamps, Caitlin Marie D’Hondt, Daniel James Driskell, Alyssa Lynn Ellison, Ellen Margaret Garrity, Kevin Mitchell Gladkin, Alexander Hugh Gombert, Andrew M. Grohne, Lucas Edward Grymonprez, Desiray Tayler Glenn Gulley, Jamie Marie Harrington, Travis Brian Hauman, Jeffry Kydel Hesler, James Wendell Hills, Thomas James Hollars, Joshua L. Houk, Brittany Nicole Huston, Joshua Michael Hutton, Trevor Dean Johnson, Casey Bryce Jones, Matthew Thomas Knoll, Ashley Danielle Koester, Melissa Marie Komadino, Katie Jo LaBelle, Danny Paul Larsen, Brandon Allen Larson, Blake James Lieving, Holly Nicole Lupinski, Alexandrea M. Martens, Tori Lee Matzen, Myles McAvoy, Robert Thomas McDonnell, Breanna Rae McKeag, Teddra Ruth Mettlin, Samantha Jenae Mitton, Ariel Sheree Morgan, Karli Ann Morse, Luke Charles Musgrove, Alexander Braxton Nation, Jenna Leigh Nelson, Chelsea Nicole Noe, Devin William Pettifer, Alex Keith Samuelson, Euin Zane Sandusky, Angela Marie Schmedt, Megan Marie Schneider, Kenneth D. Schnowske, Craig William Shehorn, Cody J. Smiley, Eric Allen Smith, Kathy Desiree St. Dennis, Blayke Richard Stiles, Amanda Leigh Stoudt, Daniel James Sundeen, Andrew Marvin Thornburg, Justin Claude Timmer, Karolina Tobor (foreign exchange student, certificate of attendance), Abigail Marie Venker, Cody Michael Warren, Mitchel David White, Cody Lee Williams and Cassandra Ann Woeber.