Weather cooperates for Craig High School graduation ceremony
One area high school got lucky with its outdoor graduation ceremony Thursday night.
Warm temperatures and a cloudless sky greeted the Janesville Craig High School Class of 2012 at Monterey Stadium for its graduation ceremony Thursday night.
Seating was already sparse in the home seats 20 minutes before the ceremony got under way.
As the seniors crossed the stage, a purple and yellow hot air balloon floated across the sky. The ceremony was closed with a fireworks display from Bartolotta Fireworks Company.
Excited to cross stage
Devonte Poe said he couldn’t wait to graduate.
“You all are gonna see me dancing when I cross the stage, that’s how excited I’m going to be,” Poe said. “It (graduation) is a big deal to me, because school was kind of boring to me.”
But he made attending school a priority so he could graduate.
“I once thought I wasn’t going to graduate, but I pushed myself and I did it,” Poe said. “I’m not nervous about the ceremony. I’m excited.”
Poe was wearing a beaded chain with President Barack Obama’s likeness on the end of it.
“I just wore it, I just put it on,” Poe said. He said he was looking forward to casting his first ballot for Obama in November.
‘Thriller’ thrills senior
Alyssa Zeimer recounted a low point in her high school career.
“My most embarrassing moment was freshman year, on the first day of school,” Zeimer said. “I walked down junior hall, which was our busiest hallway, and someone spilled water. I fell, my feet went completely up in the air and I landed on my back. The entire junior hall laughed at me. Very embarrassing.”
She had at least one good memory of her time at the school.
“At our last pep assembly, every staff member at Craig was out on the floor and had a routine dance,” Zeimer said. “They were dancing to ‘Thriller,’ and music from right now, and there was booty-shaking and everything going on.”
Zeimer didn’t come to the ceremony empty-handed.
“We’ll have Silly String and beach balls,” Zeimer said. “I have my Silly String hidden up my sleeve, behind my name tag.”
An all-day affair
Principal Alison Spiegel was pulling down navy blue bows from the white railing in front of the stage after the ceremony.
“It’s a full-day event for us,” Spiegel said. “We start at about seven in the morning, getting the rental truck loaded up. Then we have various vendors come with the chairs, the stage, and everything. We rehearse at 1 p.m. with students, and that went quickly this year. We’re back here at 4 p.m. to make sure everything’s ready, and meet with the florist and those kind of things.”
Spiegel had kind words for the class.
“I think they’re a fun group, but they’re also a very accomplished group,” Spiegel said. “This class organized the largest service project we’ve ever had at Craig High School: They raised more than $30,000 to bag food for starving people in Haiti. They certainly have a lot of fun, but I have also seen them accomplish a lot.”
Alumnus remembers teachers
Blair Kessler, a 2008 alumnus, was selected by the student council to give the keynote address. He said he plans to graduate from Northwestern University in the fall with a degree in economics.
“When I got a call from Dr. Spiegel, I thought I was in trouble or had a detention that I missed four years ago,” Kessler said. “But it was her calling to ask me to give the commencement and I was absolutely honored to come back.
“My memories of Craig are the great teachers. They really built a foundation to help me get to where I am at Northwestern, and travel, and really opened up the opportunities I’ve had.”