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Parkview graduates christen new high school
ORFORDVILLE—The Parkview High School Class of 2016 christened the high school's new gymnasium Sunday, as it was the first class to graduate from the newly built school.
"Our class had many ups and downs," said Hanna Kearns, class president. "But I think finishing in this new school has brought us all together."
The new middle/high school was opened to students for the first time this school year. The former high school was renovated and now is the district's elementary school.
Kearns said the graduates began a new tradition this year of walking the halls of the former high school in their caps and gowns to visit with former teachers and younger students in the district.
"Being able to graduate in this new building is something I will always cherish," Kearns said.
This year's class also chose to have boys wear blue gowns and girls wear white ones.
"Everyone used to wear blue," said graduate James Schroeder. "My older sister said when she graduated, everyone wore blue."
The Class of 2016 formed another new tradition this year. Each graduate rose from his or her chair at the start of the graduation ceremony and handed a hydrangea to someone in the crowd who had a positive impact on his or her life.
"My advice to younger students is to be prepared, have a lot of friends, be yourself and don't miss opportunities," said graduate Anthony Coffey before the flower exchange.
"Never rush, and always focus on what's important," Schroeder said.
Practice makes perfect
Before the start of the ceremony, Sierra Coleman, Brandi Buss and Aimee Card approached Principal William Trow and asked if they could practice walking up and down the stairs to the stage.
They wanted to perfect their balance while wearing high heels and climbing the stage steps.
"It's complicated, and you want to make sure you don't biff it," Coleman said. "I've gotten a sprained ankle from falling in heels before. Today is the last of the last; you want to take your time to make it look better. It isn't the time to fall in front of everyone."
"I don't know how they do it," Trow said. "I'd break my ankle, I honestly would."
Luckily, all three girls made it on and off the stage without incident.
In the 1993 film "Jurassic Park," those are the infamous last words of game warden Robert Muldoon before becoming a victim of a velociraptor pack that "you didn't even know were there."
Graduate Elizabeth Gumtow used the film as inspiration to create a design on her cap with the movie's logo, her name and the phrase "Clever girl."
What Gumtow didn't expect was more than 20 friends and family showing up to graduation wearing neon green shirts with the logo and phrase on it.
"She told us not to do it," one family member yelled.
"I just found out they were doing it when they all walked in," Gumtow said.
"But, that's what I grew up watching," she said. "I was looking for something to put on my cap. I looked at a bunch of them (film logos), but when I saw that one, I knew it was the one I needed to do."