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Clinton High School graduates told to go forward but not forget their roots

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Xavier Ward
Sunday, June 4, 2017

CLINTON—As the sun began to set and the high temperatures dropped, the members of Clinton High School's Class of 2017 readied themselves to enter the next phase of their lives.

Ninety-six students lined up outside the gym and marched in to the traditional processional as flashes from the cameras of proud parents could be seen around the gym.

The gym was packed wall-to-wall as the ceremony began.

Never forget your past

Amid raucous cheering, confetti flying and speeches from students and administrators alike, one theme remained constant at Saturday's commencement: Don't forget where you came from.

Student council President Cameron Klein delivered the welcome address.

“Welcome to the last time you'll be in this gym as a CHS student,” he said.

After asking for students who are joining the armed services to stand and be recognized, he shared a quote from the Tim McGraw song “Humble and Kind.”

“When you get where you're going, don't forget to turn back around and help the next one in line,” he said, noting it serves as a reminder to not forget your past and the people who helped you get to where you are.

Salutatorian Abigail Wiedmer followed Klein's address.

“We were a grade that encouraged, accepted and wanted to help others,” she said, noting she and her classmates were the noisiest group from the last few years.

She also said Clinton will always be the place to come back to.

Following your dreams

Matt Shallenberger said he remembered his time at Clinton as being quite the musical time. He took part in 10 different musicals during his time at CHS.

But his college studies won't be as melodious. Shallenberger said he'll be following his dreams of studying video game design at UW-Whitewater.

Goofing around, making memories

Graduates Cole Ciochon, Spencer Ostrander and Jack Gunnink have been friends for a while now, they all agreed.

The three admitted they had their fair share of fun, and now they're all going to take part in collegiate athletics at their respective institutions of higher learning.

Ciochon told a Gazette reporter about a time the three of them talked a McDonalds worker into giving them 200 free chicken nuggets.

Their most recent hijinks, Ostrander said, involved camping out during the senior walkout day, when the entire Class of 2017 left the school on one of its final days and decided to have a barbecue.

Ciochon, Ostrander and Gunnink decided to pitch a tent and chill out for a little while, Gunnink said.

Things change, things stay the same

Amanda Sullivan, a high school English teacher, has been teaching in the Clinton School District for the past 14 years.

Sullivan said even though every class gets up to mischief and eventually graduates, they're all still a bit different.

“They (Class of 2017) were fun, they made me laugh,” she said.

Sullivan said she had the opportunity to get to know some of the graduates because she's had them for up to three years.

Giving back

In line with not forgetting where they came from, Klein suggested students give back when and if they can because others have helped them along the way.

“It is our students—that's right, you—who make this school great,” added Jim Brewer, district administrator.



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