OMS promotes 69 to high school

Mindy Carls
Orion Middle School

If butterflies are self-propelled flowers, then Orion Middle School sent a big bouquet to Orion High School on Friday, May 28.

Sixty-nine eighth graders were promoted that night to OHS, which hosted the 42-minute ceremony.

Pianist Kim White played “Dorothy,” an old English dance arranged by Seymour Smith, as the processional.

Eighth grader Blake Matson, president of Student Council, gave the welcome. He spoke about recognizing how much the class grew during its three years at OMS.

As sixth graders, he and his classmates mastered class schedules and locker combinations.

They discovered seventh grade classes were harder, but they participated in Prairieland Conference sports, he said. They were expected to be role models for the sixth graders.

Eighth grade brought even more expectations, Matson said.

“But I believe we did a great job,” he said.

Eighth grader Julie Gombert read the class poem.

“Middle school is past,” she said. “I wish I could make it last. C.R. Hanna’s history. High school’s a mystery.”

Eighth grader Angel Schnerre gave the farewell.

“Today is the day everything changes,” she said. “We start the journeys that will take us to our futures.

“No matter what happens, we will always remember the friends and teachers who stuck with us,” she continued.

“Eventually we will branch away after high school, like trees,” Gombert said. “No matter how far away we go, we will always come back to our roots.”

The Honor Choir sang “Don’t Stop Believin’,” arranged by Alan Billingsley. In the absence of vocal director Andrea Kapusinski, band director Josh Youngs conducted the choir.

Principal Gary Heard presented the Citizenship Awards for quiet leadership, honesty and helpfulness to Julie Gombert and Jon Allen, who served as role models for their fellow students.

Superintendent David Deets presented Honor Awards to the top 10 percent of the class, including Haley Anderson, Darby Hepner, Madi Schulenberg, Dylan Schulenberg, Clayton Vanderheiden and Baillie McCunn.

School board members Jon Zahm and Kim Nightingale presented certificates of promotion to the eighth graders.

Heard spoke briefly about the class.

“Each class leaves some memories,” he said. “This particular group always used to tell me a lot, ‘You’re getting old, Mr. Heard. You’re getting set in your ways, Mr. Heard. You have got to be kidding me, Mr. Heard.’”

Kim White played “Dorothy” as the recessional.

Seventh graders served as marshalls and ushers. The marshalls were Shonna Gainey and Tara Gambon, and the ushers were Emily Gritton and Abby DeBaillie.

New freshmen include David Aguilera, Jon Allen, Haley Anderson, Christopher Anselmi, Alana Bainter, Miranda Barnhouse, Tyler Bialobreski, Holland Block, Catlyn Boyd, Jayde Brossart, Jordan Brown, Cassidy Campbell, Payton Carey, David Cohrs, Jacob DeVolder, Dakota Ditzman, Bailey Driscoll, Bailey Eastin and Reagan Emmert.

Also moving on to high school are Morgan Engnell, Mary Fielding, Tanner Flowers, Jennifer Fowler, Shawn Gallens, Julie Gombert, Angela Greene, Gayle Grundstrom, Darby Hepner, Camden Holper, Emily Hull, Cody Hutcherson, Erika Johnson, Nicholas Johnson, Lauren Kahley, Amber Kern, Jacob Klauer, Colin Lapaczonek, Alexandra Larson, Logan Martens, Alec Mason, Blake Matson, Alexandria Mays and Baillie McCunn.

Others in the OHS Class of 2014 are Taylor Meyers, Jacob Miller, Angela Minas, Michael Morrison, Branton Nelson, Rachel Newman, Allison Nordstrom, Megan Orr, Karli Pettifer, Dylan Richardson, Matthew Richardson, Trisha Rutledge, Angelica Schnerre, Dylan Schulenberg, Madison Schulenberg, Justin Schultz, Shea Sievers, Hailey Streight, Zackary Swedeen, Benedict Terronez, Clayton Vanderheiden, Thomas VanIseghem, Alison Walters, Madison Weiss, Adrienne Wittenauer and Zachary Zurcher.

The Honor Choir sings “Don’t Stop Believin’,” arranged by Alan Billingsley, during Orion Middle School’s eighth grade promotion on Friday, May 28, at Orion High School.