By Grace King, GTNS News
The Class of 2019 is ready to walk into their future.
Henry County graduates from Mt. Pleasant Community High School, New London High School, WACO, Winfield-Mt. Union and Mt. Pleasant Christian School will receive their diplomas during graduation ceremonies over the next two weeks.
Graduation from Mt. Pleasant Community High School (MPCHS) is Sunday, May 19, at 2:30 p.m. in the high school gymnasium. There will be 152 students graduating from MPCHS and WisdomQuest.
WisdomQuest will host a separate reception after the graduation ceremony at WisdomQuest on Sunday, May 19.
“It’s a celebration for the end of one part of their life and beginning of the next,” said Michael Wilson, MPCHS associate principal. “It’s their culminating activity. It usually goes really well and the students that get to speak, the valedictorian and salutatorian, every year they do a really good job of sending a good, positive message.”
The ceremony will begin with greetings from Principal Todd Liechty and superintendent John Henriksen. Eagle Scouts and students who have enlisted in the military will be recognized.
The salutatorian will address their classmates. Then the choir made up of sophomores, juniors and some graduating seniors will sing a few songs before the valedictorian gives a speech.
The salutatorian and valedictorian will be announced at MPCSH’s awards ceremony on Thursday, May 16, at 7 p.m. at the high school.
Mt. Pleasant Christian School will graduate two students this year on Saturday, May 25, at 10 a.m. at Mt. Pleasant Christian School. Delanee Arnold is the valedictorian and Levi Moberg is the salutatorian.
“These two have just been very fun and special,” said Melissa Peiffer, administrative assistant at Mt. Pleasant Christian. “With (it) being just the two of them, we’ve gotten to know them really well. Both students are really active and do lots of things and are really involved with the school and younger students.”
Mt. Pleasant Christian School’s graduation ceremony will begin with a slideshow of pictures of the graduates. They will get a moment to take a flower to their mothers and greet their families.
Terry Vance, former pastor of First Church of the Nazarene in Burlington, will be the keynote speaker during the graduation. He pastored both Arnold and Moberg.
The Class of 2019 will graduate from New London Community Senior High School in the gymnasium on Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m.
The graduation ceremony will begin with concert band playing the processional, a greeting from the salutatorian and a vocal selection from varsity choir.
The valedictorian will address their peers. The commencement address is being given by Todd Henecke.
New London’s Class of 2019’s motto is a quote from Huey Lewis and the News, which says, “We’re not here for a long time. We’re here for a good time.”
WACO Jr. and Sr. High School will graduate 30 students during a ceremony on Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m. in the gymnasium.
Amy Pullis, guidance counselor at WACO, said she is really proud of all the Class of 2019 has accomplished and the milestones they’ve achieved.
“They just keep on doing what they need to do. They get senioritis, but push through and get stuff done,” Pullis said.
While WACO does not traditionally recognize a valedictorian, Joe Edeker is the No. 1 student in the Class of 2019, Pullis said.
Vicki Reynolds, retired WACO Elementary School principal, will be the guest speaker during the ceremony. Reynolds was chosen by the students, who had her as a principal throughout their entire elementary career, Pullis said.
An alumna also will be recognized and indicted into the Wall of Fame during the graduation on Sunday. Anna Marie Peterson, who graduated from Olds High School before the district consolidated as WACO, will be recognized for her work with Civil Rights issues, said Renea Reichenbach, social studies teacher at WACO, who will be introducing Peterson during graduation.
Peterson attended Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas. While there, she joined a program where she had the chance to attend Spelman College, a historically black liberal arts college, as a part of an integration program, Reichenback said.
“She’s been active and engaged in all sorts of Civil Rights issues,” Reichenbach said.
Twenty-nine students will graduate from Winfield-Mt. Union Jr. and Sr. High School on Sunday, May 26, at 1 p.m. in the gymnasium.
The guest speaker will be Lindsey Pogmore, a vocal music teacher at the high school. She was chosen by student suggestion.
The valedictorian, Sabrina Moody, also will address her peers.
“They’ve been a good, fun group of kids, said Dave Edwards, principal of the high school. “They’re having some success here this spring with golf and track. Your year tends to be led by the seniors, and they’ve done a nice job.”