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Craig graduates set sail into the future

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Jake Magee
Friday, June 6, 2014

JANESVILLE—Craig seniors donned uniform caps and gowns, hugged and laughed, and tried to contain their nerves Thursday night in preparation for their graduation ceremony. The excitement was palpable.

Stands selling yet-to-be-released DVDs of the ceremony and bouquets of flowers lined the walls. Senior Jesse Bell almost seemed more interested in the cap and tassel-wearing stuffed corgis for sale than wearing his own cap and gown.

“Corgis with hats!” Bell exclaimed. “I'm gonna buy one. I'm gonna buy five.”

Despite his love for dogs, Bell is most in love with his new job at the Edgerton Fire Department. “I'm glad to go out and do something I want to do.”

Bell expressed how quickly he made it to graduation. “Four years ago they said we'd graduate really quick and I never thought we would, but we're here now.”

The Craig band roused the crowd with renditions of “Louie, Louie,” “Sweet Caroline” and “I Get Around” before the graduates proceeded into Monterey Stadium to applause.

'We're an ocean'

School Board Commissioner Deborah Schilling welcomed and inspired the students with five tips: never pass up an opportunity, it's never too late to decide what you want to be, always speak your mind, never stop having fun and never stop learning.

Schilling was interrupted by a plane overhead bearing the message “Congrats Craig Class of 2014,” a present from the seniors to themselves.

Senior Madelynn Schultz took the stage to address her fellow graduates. “It's almost limiting to see graduation as a crossroads. Graduation is an ocean.”

Schultz compared the unforeseen future to setting sail on the vast, unexplored waters of the sea. Sometimes sailing is smooth, and other times storms come, but “no one sails alone,” she said.

Just as the oceans make up one united body of water, so too does the graduating class of Craig make up one body of accomplished young adults.

“We're one single class united in our accomplishment of completing high school,” Schultz said in closing. “The future is going to be great, so let's set sail together.”

Three P's

Class of 2003 Craig graduate Timothy Elliot delivered the keynote address, challenging students with his three P's: positivity, personality and politeness.

“We're all kind of winging it,” he said. “Take a chance and get our of your comfort zone. That's how you learn.”

The choir performed an arrangement of “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus and “I Will Remember You” by Sarah McLachlan before the diplomas were awarded.

Craig principal Dr. Alison Bjoin told students to move their tassels, the band played “Hey Jude” and fireworks exploded over the river as the seniors celebrated with strands of Silly String.

“As you begin to write your chapters, remember to thank those who got you there,” Bjoin said, embracing the class motto. “Good luck with the rest of your stories.”

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