Cambridge Commencement

Mindy Carls
Cambridge senior David VanHouten, right, receives his diploma from school board member Chad Humphrey during graduation on Sunday, May 16, in the gym.
At the end of graduation on Sunday, May 16, Cambridge seniors move their tassels from right to left before leaving the stage in the high school gym.
During graduation on Sunday, May 16, Cambridge seniors were instructed to look under their chairs for one of four gift certificates randomly distributed before the ceremony. Olivia Akers, left, found a Dairy Queen card as Victor Snook, right, watches

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” — Abraham Lincoln, Class of 2021 motto.

Cambridge High School awarded diplomas to 28 students during its 147th annual commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 16.

Senior Brendan Allen gave the welcome address and prayer.

To his classmates, Allen said, “Always know that whatever path you find yourself on, you will have people around you and God is always there to guide us through.”

With gold cords draped around their necks, the honor students of the class — Olivia Akers, Annie Johnson and Victor Snook — gave the honor addresses. All three are Illinois State Scholars.

Johnson addressed the past, Akers the present and Snook the future.

“In the past 13 years, we have all experienced many milestones and amazing Cambridge traditions,” Johnson said. “The impact of these traditions and faculty we have experienced have stayed with all of us and made us all smile.”

“Seizing today affects not only our present but our past and future as well,” Akers said. “We know life has difficulties that affect us at any time, but using the present to challenge those problems and learning how to grow from our experiences is one of the best ways we can affect the world around us.”

“If you want to succeed in life you must keep moving forward,” Snook said. “Never waste a day. We have been placed here to help others, to encourage others, to be strong where others are weak. We are here for a purpose and a calling. We must remember to live out today to the fullest.”

Superintendent Tom Akers delivered the guest address, which he said was only four pages long — in 6-point type.

He encouraged the seniors not to forget their connection to Cambridge.

“Many of you might be thinking you can’t get away from here fast enough, but please remember you are always welcome back,” Akers said. “You will always have a place in Cambridge if you want it.”

During the superintendent’s speech, the seniors gave two standing ovations — one when he mentioned the contributions of the school board to their education and the other when he mentioned the faculty and staff.

The superintendent announced that gift cards had been randomly attached to the bottoms of four chairs. When his daughter Olivia found a Dairy Queen card, the superintendent quipped, “House gets half.”

Senior Tatum Miller received recognition for enlisting in the Illinois National Guard.

School board president Chad Humphrey presented diplomas to the seniors, and Tom Akers then greeted each one.

Crossing the stage wearing maroon and white cords were National Honor Society members Olivia Akers, Brendan Allen, Lauren Anderson, Sarya DeLeon-Harreld, Nick Janson, Annie Johnson, Kendall Lewis, Jarrett Lund, Kaley Martin, Kiley Martin, Baylee Palmer, Victor Snook and Colton Stahl.

After the diplomas were awarded, Principal Robert Reagan introduced the class, which included:

Olivia Jo Akers, Brendan Allen, Lauren Marie Anderson, Brant Anthony Castel, Payton Michael Catour, Adeline Dean, Therron DeBackere, Sarya Angela DeLeon Harreld, Kaylin Marie Grant, Kelista Jacobs, Nicholas Eugene Janson, Annie Johnson, Kendall Paige Lewis and Jarrett Scott Lund.

In addition, Kaley Grace Martin, Kiley Faith Martin, Tatum Lea Miller, Jordyn Avery Murzyn (December graduate), Baylee Kay Palmer, Taylor Marie Sall, Kash Raymond Schnowske, Logan Paul Segura, Sebastian Michael Sharp, Victor August Snook, Colton Howard Stahl, Braedon Starberg, Isabella Hope Tucker and David VanHouten.