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Delavan's Class of 2015 celebrates graduation and the future
DELAVAN—Delavan-Darien High School moved its graduation indoors Thursday, but rainy skies didn't dampen the enthusiasm.
“Right now, I feel really excited,” said Justin Brown, who will be attending UW-Platteville in the fall. “I'm graduating with all of these people I've grown so close to.”
Many parents of the 198 graduates wore yellow stickers that proclaimed “Proud parent of a DDHS graduate.”
The class includes 15 students who are Wisconsin Covenant Scholars and 77 students who graduated on the honor roll with grade-point averages of 3.0 and above.Principal Michael Kolff introduced five students who had enlisted for military service. They received a standing ovation from the crowd.
A WELCOMING COMMUNITY
Julius Kursatz, an exchange student from Germany, recounted his perception of American high schools before he attended Delavan-Darien. He said he envisioned scenes from "High School Musical" and "21 Jump Street," but none of his perceptions were correct—except one.
“Just one stereotype that I had in my head was true: You Americans are welcoming and friendly,” Kursatz said.
“At school, the faculty and friends showed me at the beginning of the year where my next class is and helped me with my work. That made my life a lot easier in school. I grew from all of those experiences and learned more about myself,” Kursatz said.
Throughout their four years of high school, the members of the Class of 2015 have made connections with peers, teachers, coaches and directors, said Adam Drefs, valedictorian and class speaker.
Drefs said he hoped they appreciated the lessons they learned from those people.
“As you leave, I encourage you to look back on all the lessons and people you have experienced, the good and the bad. If something impacted you enough that they are worth remembering, they are not lost, and neither should you be,” Drefs said.
ALWAYS A COMET
No matter where people end up after high school, the Class of 2015 will always be a family, said class speaker Aaron Wojciechowski.
He said the class displayed the characteristics of the school's mascot, the comet.
“We are Comets because we are engaged in school and the community; we are thought-provoking, and we are culturally diverse and accepting,” Wojciechowski said.
Madison Stronach introduced the class gift: a comet mural outside the associate principal's office. In the bottom left corner of the mural is the class motto, “No matter how dark your world may seem, there are stars. But if those stars burn out, don't forget that there are still comets.”
TO THE FUTURE
Drefs encouraged graduates to engage in joyous experiences and people as they leave high school.
“Show kindness to those you meet. Always strive for goodness or better. Be and show gratefulness to anybody or anything that is a gift to you,” Drefs said.
Wojciechowski took a look ahead for the class. He quoted Abraham Lincoln, who said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
Wojciechowski said for graduates to achieve their goals, they must work to create a future they want to live in.
“Much has happened in the past, but the future is now, and it's time to show the world what we can do,” he said.