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Friday, June 7, 2013

Rockwood Class of 2013 Graduation: We Did It! (Videos and Pictures of the Ceremony)

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On Tuesday, June 4, one of the best classes to ever set foot in the school of Rockwood completed its education.  The graduation ceremony was an emotional one, full of great speakers and much emotion.  For those that were unable to attend, I have chosen to include all that had happened in this post, including video footage of all major speakers.

At seven o’clock, we began the ceremony, walking from the back of the auditorium to the stage in pairs of two.  As valedictorian, I had the frightening role of being the first one to set foot in the stage with my girlfriend, Kylie Putman.  Behind me were two of my best friends, salutatorian Sam Gary and Hannah Holt.  Fortunately, we made it to the stage without making any major accidents!

Here is the video of the rest of the students walking to “Pomp and Circumstance.”

After the class took the stage, Ashley Beener made her way to the podium to sing for the Rockwood Area School District one last time.  Instead of having the students sing with the band, Mr. Bower found it appropriate to let her sing the national anthem.  As evident in the video above, she sang it AMAZINGLY well and kicked off the ceremony with a good start!

Mr. Bower then made his way to the stage to thank all of those that had helped throughout the year to make the ceremony possible.

After thanking the staff, teachers, and community members, Mr. Bower introduced National Honor Society President Elizabeth Chrise to give a speech about the leadership exemplified by the Class of 2013.  She showed just how many leaders were part of the class by asking them to stand up whenever she described a leadership trait or role that described them.  By the end of the speech, the entire class was standing.

Following Elizabeth Chrise’s speech, Mr. Bower introduced me as this year’s valedictorian.  I gave an inspiring speech about the definition of success and the importance of having a purpose in life.  In addition, I thanked all of those in my life that had contributed to making me the person that I am today.

Following my speech, the salutatorian and one of my best friends, Sam Gary, took the stage.  He gave an amazing speech, describing the kind of people you want “to ride your bus” in life.  He talked greatly about success and brought tears to the crowd when he concluded his speech with an emotional thanking of those that had helped him in life.

Following Sam’s speech was the awards ceremony.  It was a long presentation, in which many scholarships were given out to members of the Class of 2013.  My friends and I received numerous monetary awards and are thankful for those members in the community that have contributed to making our future lives possible.  Because of its long length, I have chosen to omit the awards ceremony from this blog post.

After the awards ceremony, the senior chorus members took the stage to sing their rendition of "Seasons of Love."  They did an excellent job, as shown in the video above, and brought great emotion to the auditorium.

After the senior chorus members finished their chart, Mr. Bower made his way back to the podium to describe the class and give his words of wisdom.  Kylie Putman then took over with a poem that she wrote about the class, bringing forth great laughter at parts and almost bringing me to tears at other sections.  She included several hilarious verses, including one about Luke and Brayden's band being "kind of a big deal" and Joel's famous quote, "Love is not a game."  Overall, her speech brought great excitement and emotion to the class and community.

Following Kylie's poem and Mr. Bower's speech, members of the Class of 2013 were called by name to receive their diplomas and shake hands with the Rockwood School Board President. 

I then took the stage one last time as class president to address the class its final farewell and describe just how great of a class we truly are.  At the end of my speech, I had to hold myself together while describing all of the memories that we made as classmates.  I then instructed my classmates to turn their tassels, and we threw our hats in the air.  We then sang the Alma Mater and marched off the stage one by one.

I have been truly blessed and gifted to be a member of such a great class and will miss all of those that I have spent the last 13 years with.  We have made so many memories, and I am confident that we will all take a road to success, no matter what path we choose in life.  In addition, I thank all of those that helped me to become the person that I am today, and I will not forget the sacrifices you made for me.
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