Seniors graduate into real world

Sandy Hull
On Saturday, May 16, Cambridge High School graduated its Class of 2009. Members of the class are, from left, front row, Erica Nimrick, William Burklund, Nichole Wilson, Sarah Fink and Marc Goodwin; second row, Elizabeth Spangler, Megan Green, Jasmine Harp, Cayla Walsh, Kristin Helg, Arie Yenor and Kody Nimrick; third row, Jessica Beam, Jessica Lindquist, Daniel Walsh, James Cheek, T. J. Kane, Meagan DeKezel-Anderson and Kristie Williamson; third row, Andrew Frew, Andrew Prevost, Nichole Owen, Blake Banovitz, Kale Lookingbill, Terrin Walker, Kyle Rusk and Chase Maertens and fourth row, Andrew Johnson, Laurel Whitford, Brinton Vincent, Steven Lenertz, Anthony Moody, David Deppe, Jake Young, Lucas Kirlin and Jared Wells. Jordan Summers was also a member of the class.

 Thirty-seven members of the Cambridge High School Class of 2009 received diplomas during the 135th annual commencement program on Saturday evening, May 16.

 Marc Goodwin gave the invocation.

 “Father, we invite and invoke your divine presence at this graduation ceremony and to be with us graduates,” he stated. “We ask that from this day forward you help us to remember your son, Jesus and his words.As we walk out the door of Cambridge High School and through other doors in our lives, help us to remember that Jesus said, ‘I am the door.’ As we seek enlightenment through greater knowledge, help us to remember that Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world.’ As we seek our path through life and are tempted by many distractions, help us to remember that Jesus said, ‘I am the way’. As we seek to understand the deeper and ultimate meaning of our lives, help us to remember that Jesus said, ‘I am the truth’. As we seek fulfillment and the pursuit of happiness, help us to remember that Jesus said, ‘I am the life, abundant and eternal life.’ Father, watch over us, protect us, provide us, guard us, guide us, and give us your grace to enable us to persevere to the end. In Jesus’s name. Amen.”

 The welcome was given by Sarah Fink. 

 “Welcome family, friends and special guests to the commencement ceremony for the class of 2009,” she said. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people who have made a positive impact on our lives these past four years of high school. To the school cooks who have kept us nourished and realize the power behind fresh basked cookies. They take time out of their long hard day to search for lucky tray prizes and to make goodie bags and sweets for the seniors on their last week of school. They also make eye-catching posters for congratulate the clubs and teams of the school for their accomplishments.

 The maintenance team for continually cleaning up after us and not acting like a parent by rolling their eyes. Our teachers, who have given of their time and concern to teach, mentor and encourage us. There have been times that they had to push and encourage us. There have been times that they have had to push knowledge into our heads and then fervently pray that it stayed there.

 The secretaries for reminding us when and where to be and for keeping us financially responsible. The administration, that while enforcing the rules, still realized that we are teenagers. Our parents and families for giving us the love and support needed to mature into successful adults.

 And lastly, again, to the school staff, our families and friends who have helped us. We may not have always shown you a lot of appreciation for all of your help, but all of you have contributed into making us the young adults that we are today. And we do appreciate it all. Thank you.”

 William Burklund gave the first of two honor addresses as follows:

 “Over the past few years, the Class of 2009 has be held many memorable experiences,” he stated. “As we prepare to finish high school and begin life as adults, let us take a moment to reflect upon our past. 

 When the Class of 2009 first came in to high school, there were many older students to look up to. Since then, there have been changes in our class, the student body, and our school, but it is important to remember the people who have helped us along the way to achieve graduation. I am certain that everyone up here would agree with me in saying that friends, teachers, especially family, and the Academy have been an integral part of our success. 

 Extracurricular activities have been a very special part of school here in Cambridge. Sports like football, basketball, volleyball, and track, and other activities such as Scholastic Bowl, FCCLA, music, FFA, dance, and art have given each student opportunities for self-expression. As each activity gave us the chance to do what we want, these experiences will be remembered for many years to come. 

 There have also been many school events that my classmates and I will surely remember. About two years ago, the Cambridge Football Team came within inches of winning the state championship. Around that time, Mr. Reagan left his position as Spanish teacher to become our principal. The Class of 2009 created floats for Homecoming activities over the past four years. Homecoming, along with prom, has been especially memorable to me. For last year's prom, we as Juniors had an opportunity to ride in the Celebration Belle on the Mississippi River. The view of the Quad Cities was incredible. After-prom activities were exciting as well, whether they involved sumo wrestling, live bands, karaoke, movies, games, or even some fabulous prizes. In school, we had new superintendents, lucky tray days, “SanFran-tastic Viking Days”, as our superintendent Mr. Akers put it, the CHS News Show, and countless other things that would be impossible to list here. 

 As we walk through these halls for the last time, we of the Class of 2009 will have to say goodbye to many friends. While we all have had different experiences here, memories of high school will stay with us for the rest of our lives. Growing up in a small school has given each of us a spirit of close-knit community that will influence us wherever life may lead us.”

 Following the first honor address, the Cambridge High School choir sang “Family”.

 Nichole Wilson gave the second honor address.

 “On behalf of the senior class, I would like to welcome you to the graduation ceremony for the class of 2009,” she stated. “First of all, I would like to thank all of the people who helped get us here today, including teachers, coaches, the Viking staff, families, friends, and especially our parents. 

 To our coaches, we appreciate all your time and effort you put into passing down your knowledge of the activities that we love, and we thank you for your patience, your selflessness, and your advice. To many of us you were more than just a coach, and we thank you for your friendship. 

 To all of our teachers, we thank you for academically preparing us for our futures. Even though we made class time unbearable for some of you with our constant inside jokes, talking, and our ‘Just let us do what we want’ mind sets, we had a lot of fun with all of you. The knowledge you have passed down will stick with us forever, along with the memories. 

 To our administrators and Viking staff, thank you for your dedication and positive attitudes, you made Cambridge a fun place to learn. We also acknowledge and appreciate your endless attempts to keep us in line, and your inspiration to keep us concentrating on a positive path. You tried your best. 

 To all of our friends and family members, we thank you for your support, your advice, and your sanity in helping us make it to this day. 

 To all our peers, we thank you not only for the memories made that will never be forgotten, but also for the mistakes that we have made together that have taught us valuable lessons in life. 

 And last but not least, thank you to all our parents. There are no words that can possibly thank you for all you have done and sacrificed to see us up here today. You know what you have done for us, and we truly owe it all to you. Although we, as your children, are getting ready to face a new world, we know that we are not alone. Your roles in our lives are not yet fully played, and we will continue to need you through the years. We thank all of you for holding our hands, and leading us through our adolescent years, but it is now up to us where we will go from here. We appreciate all that you all have done for us, but it is time for every individual on this stage to step up and become his or her own leader.

 We are a class of many colors. There are no two personalities alike of the students among you today, therefore, there is a wide range of decisions that we will, or already have made about our futures. What to do after high school is the most important question we, all as seniors, have to face, and our decisions now will forever affect our lives. Some of us have chosen a life of higher education, while others have chosen the military. Some will enter the work force, or may begin a family of their own. 

 In making these decisions we all have proven that we are ready to take control of our lives. Along with our decisions, we need to understand that we must be held responsible for these decisions, and we must stand behind them. There is no room for uncertainty in success, and to get there we must step up and be responsible for our choices, and for our actions. This is a crucial time in our lives, and any mistakes made at this point may affect our lives forever.

 Some of us believe that we have a firm grasp on reality, but our pride is about to be tested as we step out from all that we know and venture into new experiences. Life is about to get real for all of us in many ways. We will be moving away from our families, taking control of our own finances, beginning our own families, and entering a diverse world filled with much uncertainty. Our small town has somewhat sheltered us from some truths we are about to face, and we must be ready. Ready to fend for ourselves, ready to fail and not let it stop us, ready to encounter heartbreak, and ready to truly know what it means to be on our own.

 Whatever we do, we must remember to stay true to ourselves, and to never forget where we came from, with an open mind. We are ready.

 As we have learned over the years, the word success means something different to everyone. There will be success of many kinds in the lives of each graduate here today, but all will have one thing in common: No matter what our success in life, it will require motivation, determination, self-reliance, and will power. 

 For some of us, our life success will be reached the second we are handed our diploma, but please do not let your success end there. Once you have accomplished success in one aspect of your life, set a new goal, and seek new and greater success. Challenge yourself, and be all that you can be, even if you do not think that is much to someone else. A dream is a dream, no matter how big, and all dreams are equally important. At this moment in our lives, we, who will soon be graduates of CHS, are successful. We have overcome all obstacles in our first 18 years of life, and we have prevailed. As your fellow classmate, my advice to you is do not let your success end when you walk off this stage. It only gets harder from here and those who never let fear get in their way, and somewhere in their life journey find where they belong in this world will feel success.

 At times, success seems impossible to reach, therefore we may choose to run from it, and settle for less. True success not only takes motivation, determination, self-reliance, and will power, but also humility, failure, and loss. Some times we will fall short of success because of a lost battle or a difficult situation, but it is the people who overcome humility, failure, and loss who will truly be successful. 

 The future is here, staring us in the face the second we walk out the door. We are no longer sheltered as we once were, and we are about to be faced with the realities of this world that are now our generation’s responsibility. We will be facing world issues of financial independence, job security, economic unsteadiness, and environmental threats. The world we are about to enter is being handed down to our generation in pieces, and it will be up to us to put it back together, but we are ready. 

 We never truly know what is to come in the future, but you all have done your best to prepare us. It is up to us from here. When I leave this room today I know that I am ready to take whatever is thrown at me, knowing that I may not always succeed. I also know that there is reality and success in the future for all of us, it is just a matter of personal choice to live up to the full potential that all of us have to achieve success. Demand all, fear nothing. To all my fellow graduates, I wish you the best in life and all the happiness in the world. We are ready. Thank you, and congratulations to the Cambridge High School graduating class of 2009.”

 The diplomas were presented by Tom Akers, Cambridge superintendent and Mary Richter, vice president of the Cambridge School Board.

 Receiving diplomas were Blake Banovitz, Jasmine Beam, William Burklund, James Cheek, Meagan DeKezel-Anderson, David Deppe, Sarah Fink, Andrew Frew, Marcus Goodwin, Megan Green, Jasmine Harp, Kristin Helg, Andrew Johnson, Timothy Kane, Lucas Kirlin and Steven Lenertz.

 Other graduates include Jessica Lindquist, Kale Lookingbill, Chase Maer­tens, Anthony Moody, Erica Nimrick, Kody Nimrick, Nichole Owen, Andrew Prevost, Kyle Rusk Elizabeth Spangler, Jordan Summers, Brinton Vincent, Terrin Walker, Cayla Walsh, Daniel Walsh, Jared Wells, Laurel Whitford, Kristie Williamson, Nichole Wilson, Arie Yenor and Jacob Young.

 The benediction was given by Erica Nimrick.

 “Let us bow our heads in prayer: ‘Thank you Heavenly Father for blessing our time spent together, so now we leave to go our separate ways, we cherish all we have learned. We treasure all the frineds we have made. We give thanks to our teachers and families, for their support never fades. We pray that God will take us in his hand, and as we seek to find our fondest dreams, we pray that the good Lord will guide us all the way. Let him be with us and smile on everything we do. In Jesus’ holy name we pray, Amen’.”