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Delavan-Darien students ready for life

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Friday, June 10, 2016

DELAVAN—Smart kids, artistic kids, athletic kids--all prepared to take on the future.

That's how Delavan-Darien Principal Mike Kolff described the group of young adults that left high school behind on Thursday night.

Here are a few highlights of the graduation ceremony:


Kolff told the audience 46 percent of the graduates had a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. Of those, 26 earned high honors of 3.75 or above.

In addition, 60 seniors took 147 Advanced Placement tests in 12 areas ranging from engineering to foreign languages.

In their four years at the school, the 186 members racked up 4,602 hours of community services. Fifty-five students had put in 40 hours over four years.

The audience gave the three students who signed up for military service a standing ovation.


In her speech, valedictorian Cristina Bahaveolos pondered the nature of time.

She cited a study by 19th century French philosopher Paul Janet. He believed that as we get older and new experiences decrease, “the objective pace of time speeds up.”

“In order to master that relativity, you have to create new experiences because ... (they) create new memories to add to the timeline of your life ...” Bahaveolos said. “In other words, it's cliché but true when they say it's the memories not the minutes that count.”

She encouraged graduates to throw themselves at life, to “Do all the things you love, work hard, go to bed late, spend every extra second and then some with the people who make you happiest.”

Speaker Melonie Wright said she wanted her speech to inspire her classmates, but realized that “half of you are probably going to tune me out as you think of how humid it is in here.”

That said, she advised graduates that “happiness and success rarely come easily. And they're often misused terms, used interchangeably."

Instead, it will be the challenges they take on that will create their identities.

Wright, who has excelled in music and drama, delivered her speech with verve.

When Kolfff returned to the stage to present the diplomas, he joked that he was “a little bit intimidated” as Wright was a hard act to follow.


For the first time in school history, three students were at the state softball tournament in Madison rather than at graduation.

Team members absent from graduation included Katelyn Gonzalez, Shelby Gramly and Jennah Speth.

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