Cambridge High School graduates 44 seniors

Sandy Hull
Trent Fransene receives a hug from his mom, Julie Fransene, following the Cambridge High School graduation ceremony Saturday evening, May 17.

CAMBRIDGE—    Forty-four members of the Cambridge High School Class of 2008 received diplomas Saturday evening, May 17.

    Alyssa Wilson gave the invocation.

    Carli Schieferdecker gave the welcome.

    Kourtnie Janson gave the first of two honor addresses as follows:

    “Hello everyone, I would first like to say that it is an honor to be standing here today in front of my peers. We have traveled so far to reach this point and I think that it is important to acknowledge a few of the accomplishments that we have made along the way. It should be a satisfying feeling to look back, not only for us, the graduating class, but also for our parents, grandparents and family friends. You helped us to reach this point in our lives and there are not words enough to expess our gratitude. You pushed us to set goals, and you helped motivate us to reach them. You helped bring us to where we are today. I am sure I speak for all of us when I say we hope that you will continue to push us to succeed in the future.

    “Just the other day I was talking to one of my teachers and she pointed out that nearly 90 percent of this graduating class has been involved in a school activity at some point during their high school career. That is truly an amazing figure. Everyone has done their share in contributing to our school’s excellence and look at how far it has taken us.

    “One of the best examples that I can give to support this is the class competition. Each year for homecoming, we have a hallway decorating and a float-building contest. Sometimes these ideas are almost too big for the amount of time and work that they require, but it has never stopped us. We always found a way to pull it off and make our hallway and our float look good. For example, junior year we replicated downtown Cambridge with buildings, houses, street signs and all. This year we made our hallway a blast into the past by recreating the groovy seventies. One of our most extravagant floats was our ‘Grease the Geese’ float with our inspiration coming from the movie, ‘Grease.’

    “For Spirit Week, when we all had to dress up, we were always the class to have the most people participate. The fun thing is, that we didn’t only participate, but we really had a good time with it all. We always tried to think outside of the box and come up with something original and fun to wear. For example, this year we had an Egyptian, Pebbles and Bam-Bam, and some girls who were definitely rockin’ it in the ‘80s.

    “You see that is the neat thing about our class. When you give this class a reason to come together, you will always get something more than what you expected; something original. We are a lot like a puzzle. Throughout the years our teachers have been flipping us over and arranging all the pieces to make sure that the bright, shiny, colorful sides are face up. But then, the pieces started to sort themselves out. And finally after being given just enough time, all these pieces came together and created something awe-inspiring. They created something bigger than what they ever would have been able to create individually and that is the Class of 2008.

    “In closing, I would like to share with you a quote from Erin Bridget Doyle: ‘When we begin life, we are all given a puzzle--each one very different, yet special. As we continue through our lives, we meet people and have some type of effect upon their life, as they do on ours. We share with them a piece of our puzzle and they share a piece of theirs with us, in return. No matter what type of impact they had upon our life, we still carry along with us, a piece of their puzzle. Meaning that everyone we encounter has a special impact upon our lives, because they have shaped us into what we are today. This is called the puzzle of life. Each puzzle growing and changing throughout our lives, but always becoming better and always having the same foundational pieces.

    "'Know that you do make a difference in people’s lives! I thank you for sharing a part of your puzzle with me.’”

    Natalie Sheahan gave the second honor address.

    “They say there is no one older than a high school senior and no one younger than a college freshman,” she said.

    “From the day we had to be pried away from our parents to attend the first day of preschool, we have been on a mission to get where we are today: high school graduation.

    “We made it through grade school and junior high, learning our ABC’s and 123’s, doing our best not to get our names on the board, or be stuck in the principal’s office. We grew up together and experienced some hard times, but they have only made us stronger. We have gone through our class trips, sporting events and homework - all learning together and helping each other along the way.

    “So after kickball, eraser wars and long division, we were finally in high school. High school was it: the best time of our lives. It was a time for change and experience - the place where we would figure out who we are. We started out as freshmen, at the bottom of the totem pole, and learned the ropes of high school. We had the best of times with dances, competitions and famous Friday night football games. We made lifelong friends and acquaintances, sharing laughter and tears. I honestly could not ask for better classmates. We made our way through the good and the bad, pushing our way to the top, and doing everything we could to get here, to be up on this stage, and to be graduating.

    “We are now able to say, ‘I finished high school,’ and we can feel as if we’re on top of it all. We should be proud of ourselves. We have made an amazing accomplishment. But this accomplishment would not have been possible without the help of our parents, grandparents, school staff, friends, coaches and community members. You all have made it possible for us to be up here on this stage, and while I know we do not thank you enough, on behalf of the Class of 2008--thank you.

    “Being here today is awesome, but it is not the end. As we go on with our lives, and venture off to wherever we choose, whether it is college, a tech school, work or the military, it is like we are starting all over again, and we are back in preschool. We have made it all the way to the top, only to turn around and start all over. Once we have begun our new journey, we will be the newcomers, the ‘freshmen,’ and we will have to work our way back up to the top, just like we did to get here today.

    “Life is a big circle bringing us from one experience to the next with incredible memories and new acquaintances along the way. We have made it this far and achieved one major success, but it is now time to keep going, to move on, and begin a new chapter in our lives. It is going to be hard to say goodbye, to leave, and to move on, but we can do it. We have the ability, we just need to use it. The future awaits us and it is up to us to create it. We cannot fear the future, or we will never experience all that life has to offer. All of us need to reach out and open that door that no one thought could be opened. Life is behind it. We do not have an eternity to realize our dreams, only the time we are here. If we risk nothing, then we risk everything. This next step in our lives is a big one and it will be a challenge. We need to look at it as a goal, something I know we all can achieve. We have made it this far: what’s going to stop us now?

    “To everyone who has supported us to this point: dare us. Dare us to do something impossible, unreachable--something that has never been done before. Watch what we can do. Our strength is unmeasurable and our possibilities are endless. We are going places and we will do big things. As long as we keep our eyes on our goals, we can overcome every obstacle that life tries to throw at us. I truly believe in our ability to succeed. If I didn’t, I would not be standing here right now and I would not be able to say with pride and admiration, ‘We are the graduating Class of 2008.’”

    Superintendent Steven Fink presented awards.

    Parent and former board president Steve Brandau introduced the graduates.

    Graduates are: Bradley R. Beam, Jacob Andrew Eli Borkhart, Jared Eric Brandau, Brittney Ann Briggs, Abigail Christine Carlson, Andrew B. Collis, Courtney Marie Conrad, Cason McKinley Silas Dean DeGroot, Joseph Damian DeKezel, Ashely Lauren DeMoss, Cortney Lynn Eagles, Jacklyn Suzanne Elliott, Trent Theodore Fransene, Aubrey Michelle Gradert, Lindsey Ann Horberg, Tyler Reed Horberg, Ashley Lynn Hutchinson, Kourtnie Sue Janson, Timothy Richard Johnston, William Perry Jones, Brittany Jane Koster, Samantha Marie Kotch, Richard Harlin McSwain, Katherine Ann Dalton Menard, Lexine Jay Merrill, Dustin Michael Miner, Carlie Eliza?beth Nelson, Joel Richard Palmer, Danielle Lee Price, Angela Christina Rapp, Bobbie Jo Reeves, Jordan Marie Richter, Carli Kay Schiefer?decker, Lacey Rebecca Schmoll, Natalie Jane Sheahan, Daniel Ray Smith II, Lindsey Kristine Sovey, Zakary Alan Swanson, Heather Marie Underwood, Markus DeVon Underwood, Mariah Catherine VanDeRostyne, Austen Nelson Vincent, Jamie Allen Williamson and Alyssa Christina Wilson.

    Jesse Elise Smith was a mid-term graduate.

    Music included the high school choir performinig “Like An Eagle.”

    Heather Underwood gave the benediction.

    The recessional was “Freedom.”

    Honorary ushers were Nichole Wilson and Sarah Fink.

    Bill Burkland, Marc Goodwin, Erica Nimrick and Chase Maertens were also ushers.

Junior usher Erica Nimrick presents Cortney Eagles the class flower following commencement exercises Saturday evening, May 17, at Cambridge High School.