In a little more than one hour, including a quick stop for a fire alarm going off, 61 Nickerson High School graduates paraded across the stage, shaking hands and making memories.
In accordance with the class motto, “We have come a long way, but not half as far as we will go,” the class valedictorian, Kieryn Ontjes, said the class “has witnessed or been part of some great accomplishments.”
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“I want you to cherish your time. Life is short … this is the time to live,” Ontjes said. “The sky’s the limit. Live in the moment.”
Along with the Nickerson High School Madrigals performing “It’s Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,” which was arranged by Alan Billingsley, the class and family members watched a slide presentation featuring each graduate in graduate gear and as a toddler.
The class of 2022 presented Nickerson High School teacher Kay Farney with the teacher of the year award. She in hand presented them with cherished words, telling them that they were a wonderful class with kind eyes.
“I think this is the last time I get to stand in front of this class, and I get to see your smiling faces,” Farney told the group. “Continue to follow your dreams. Work hard and make sure you pick a career that you can enjoy because I surely am enjoying mine.”
Alexis Allen, who will attend Hutchinson Community College this fall, said the students all got along.
“We’re a pretty funny class,” she said.
Ontjes told her friends not to listen to all the chatter, and, she said, don’t doubt yourself.
“It doesn’t change who you are, and most importantly, it’s just noise,” she said. “Don’t let it hold you back. Congratulations to you and best of luck in the future.”