Orion High School graduates 72 seniors

Mindy Carls
The newest alumni of Orion High School receive flowers as they leave the stage on Sunday afternoon, May 22.

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

—Class of 2011 motto

Seventy-two members of the Class of 2011 graduatse from Orion High School on Sunday, May 22.

Senior Brian Doxstader designed the cover of the graduation program, which junior ushers Trent DeDecker, Cory Stiles, Austin Hepner and Veronica Talbot presented to guests.

Directed by Katie Lyphout, the Orion High School concert band will play Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance” as junior marshals Paige Diamond and Royce Woodley and the ushers led the seniors into the gymnasium and onto the stage.

President Doug Nelson spoke on behalf of the board of education.

“Find a way to make your dreams and aspirations come to life,” he told the seniors. “They are uniquely yours, and as such, they are your responsibility. The lessons that you have learned at home and at ashool will serve you well on your quest to reach your goals.”

Senior class president Maddie DePorter gave the welcome.

“The Class of 2011 has seen many successes,” she said. “But I believe our greatest strength is the fact that we have loved and supported each other.”

Then DePorter presented the lancer, which represents the traditions of Orion High School, to junior class president Katie DeBaillie.

Senior vocalists, directed by Andrea Cooper, sang Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me,” arranged by Anders and Emerson. The singers included Alex Sundeen, Suzanne Christenson, Sarah Mizen, DePorter, Megan Walters, Samantha Greene and Samantha Nimrick. Their accompanist was Kim White.

Conducting his first commencement ceremony, Principal Nathan DeBaillie presented honor awards to the valedictorians and the top students in the class.

Valedictorians were Shannon Gambon, Dillon Johnson and Taylor Larson.

Others in the top 10 percent of the class were Christenson, DePorter, Kayla Fowler and Kyle Schwinn.

After DeBaillie’s presentations, the valedictorians spoke.

“High school wasn’t always easy for any of us,” and we appreciate all of the help and support that not just the three of us, but all 72 of us, have received. We could individually thank a million people, but Mr. DeBaillie is already pointing at his watch telling us to speed it up.”

DeBaillie then presented special awards, including:

• D.A.R. Citizenship Award—Gambon.

• Senior male and female athletes with the highest grade point averages—Larson and Caleb Nesbitt.

• DeKalb Agriculture Award—Ben Martens.

• Raymond Kuhn Agriculture Award—Laura DeBaillie.

• Myron M. Robinson Endowment Scholarship Fund for Medical Education—Gambon.

• Alan and Mildred Peterson Charitable Foundation Scholarship —  De- ­Porter.

• Arion Award—Christenson, instrumental, and DePorter, vocal

• Charlotte Johanna Johnson Award for speech contest winners—Gambon, first place, and Caitlyn Henderson, second

• Tom W. and Lindsey G.  Nicholson Memorial Award—Sabrina Brooks and

Marshal White.

• Carlson Family Educational Award—Gambon.

• Orion Lions Scholarship—Sara Marshall and Jazmyn Norcross.

• Stephanie Jones Memorial Award—DePorter and Dillon Johnson.

• Gregory Nightingale Memorial Award—Travis Anderson and Fowler.

After awards, DeBaillie presented the class to Superintendent Dave Deets. DeBaillie certified the seniors have met requirements for graduation.

Orion school board members presented diplomas to the students.

The recipients included Ryan Garrette Achenbaugh, Andrew Scott Adams, Travis J. Anderson, Breno Carrilho Lins De Andrade (certificate of attendance as foreign exchange student), Taylor Hope Bingham, Dylan J. Bridgewater, Sabrina Marie Brooks, Zachary Lawrence Butler, Caitlyn May Carroll, Alexis Kelsey Ceja, Suzanne Elizabeth Christenson and Nichole Illene Cook.

Also in the Class of 2011 were Daniel Thomas DeBacker Jr., Laura Elizabeth DeBaillie, Madelyn Elyse DePorter, Brian D. Doxstader, Brooke V. Dunn, Marius Filbrich (certificate of attendance as foreign exchange student), Amy Lynn Fisher, Kayla Brittney Fowler, Jacob D. Fox, Shannon Mary Gambon, Samantha R. Greene, Brittany Ann Helg, Caitlyn Anne Henderson, Kelsey Kincella Herold and Kaleb Robert James Hougland.

Marlisah J. Jackson, Dillon Scott Johnson, Jake A. Johnson and Benjamin

Jones crossed the stage to receive diplomas, as did Payton Burke Keller, Anthony James Killion, Alexander D. Kline, Jordan Marie Knoll, Vincent Lance Krause, Austin Ryan Ladewig, Taylor Anne Larson, Summer Destiny Marie Lees, Grace Michele Leuck, Nicholas Jon Maciolek, Matthew Louis Markezich, Sara Michelle Marshall, Benjamin Patrick Martens, Stephanie Anne Mathena, Noah Alexander Mays, Kyle J. Miller, Megan Emily Miller and Sarah Elizabeth Mizen.

Graduates included Caleb Markwell Nesbitt, Nicholas Ward Newman, Samantha Joettta Nimrick, Jazmyn Lin Norcross, Taylor Glenn Peterson, Trevor William Peterson, Christian Jeffrey Schroeder, Kyle Scott Schwinn, Brittany L. Scott, Allison Nicole Seys, Jesse Omer Shattuck, Justin B. Smith, Kyle E. Solomonson, Sydney Michelle Sottos, Carly Alexis Stearns, Alexander Nylen Sundeen, Michael P. Taylor, Thorian James Twyner, Kiersten Nicole Wallarab, Megan Kathleen Walters, Holly Rebecca Wells and Marshal K. White.

Gambon, who served as Student Council president this year, gave the farewell.

“I am personally terrified of failure,” she said. “No one wants to taste failuire in life; however, according to Teddy Roosevelt, ‘The only one who never makes mistakes is the one who never does anything.’ We have to have the courage to take chances in life.”

As the seniors departed the stage and processed through the gymnasium past applauding family and friends, Lyphout directed the concert band playing J.J. Richards’ “Emblem of Unity.”