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Parkview graduates remember good times, celebrate future

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Ashley McCallum
Sunday, June 4, 2017

ORFORDVILLE—Serena Slove, an officer for the Class of 2017,  addressed what she considered the “finest and best-looking” class Parkview Jr./Sr. High School has ever seen during Sunday's commencement ceremonies.

Sixty-five graduates strutted, fist-bumped and exchanged Ring Pops while entering the event.

The Class of 2017 was the second group ever to walk across the stage at the new Parkview Jr./Sr. High School, which opened in 2015.

Graduating class officers presented Dr. Steve Lutzke, superintendent of Parkview School District, with a new 'PHS' sign to be displayed outside as a gift from the class.

Principal William Trow recognized graduates who did not take part in the ceremony including one who didn't have the option due to a car accident.

Slove reminisced on a laundry list of firsts she and her classmates experienced together. She then recognized the "lasts"—reminding her peers to not be upset about the end of their time at PHS, but to be grateful for the memories they will share.

A field of floral gratitude

Slove prompted the graduates to share a flower with a person in the crowd who had supported them during the last four years. With red carnations in hand, graduates walked to the seats of parents, friends, family members and significant others.

Hugs were shared and tears shed as graduates shared their last moments in the gymnasium with their loved ones.

Everyone can be a valedictorian

With assistance from Trow, valedictorian Colleen Toberman began her speech with a card trick. She tried to blindly identify cards Trow drew from the deck, failing twice.

Toberman used the situation to point out there is significance in not doing everything well. She listed the accomplishments and goals of many of her fellow graduates and said she could not do the things they do despite being at the top of her class.

Toberman also celebrated the diverse futures she and her peers will pursue and said everyone is a valedictorian in their own specific set of skills.

“Make your parents proud, don't forget your roots, stand up for what's right, be smart, be childish, be humble and take risks,” she said, fighting back tears.

'Sorry about your cake'

For salutatorian Haley Balch, graduation day was shared with another celebration: her dad's birthday.

Balch thanked her dad for being a good sport about sharing a cake that said 'Congratulations, Haley,' and she thanked her teachers and the school's faculty for helping their class grow together during high school.

Balch assured parents, teachers and faculty that despite how much the graduates fought with them or complained about them, they appreciated all the help and support.


Last updated: 4:59 pm Sunday, June 4, 2017

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