Rural seniors ready to graduate

Published 9:46 am Friday, May 29, 2009

Three local school districts will be bidding their seniors good-bye this weekend.

Blooming Prairie and Southland high schools will have their commencement ceremonies Sunday afternoon, while Grand Meadow Public Schools will be hosting their graduation tonight. Thirty-two students will be graduating from Grand Meadow, a 10 percent increase from last year, superintendent Joe Brown said.

Brown said this class has an unusually high number of students who are open-enrolled; six students — or 18.75 percent — live outside of the district. Three girls even commute each day from Rochester.

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“The senior class this year is just genuinely a very nice group of students,” Brown said. “Most of these graduates really know where they are going. This group is very focused.

“The vast majority of kids are planning to go to school,” he said, pointing out that is not the case with every senior class in Grand Meadow.

Several students are pursuing careers right out of college or are already employed. Unlike in recent years, however, no students have plans to enter the military.

Brown said he believes it is important for students to make plans for their future when they are graduating from high school, whether it be to enter the job world or college. He quotes a favorite song by the Beatles, which he plans to recite at the commencement ceremony: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”

Seniors were honored at an appreciation night last week, when the class also reminisced with a slide show.

Grand Meadow’s graduation will be held at 7 p.m. in the gymnasium. Speakers include valedictorian Amy Gehling and salutatorian Bailey Gomer.

Southland to graduate 44

Southland High School will graduate 44 students on Sunday afternoon, the district reported.

Secretary Carol Kiefer said the number of graduates is down this year.

The Honors Address will be given by Matthew Schroeder and the Senior Address will be given by Danielle Irvin. A senior video will be shown and scholarships will be awarded to graduates. A baccalaureate service was held May 17.

Graduation begins at 2 p.m. Sunday in the high school gymnasium.

BPHS to add national anthem to commencement

Blooming Prairie High School will also have its graduation at 2 p.m. Sunday in the gym.

The district will graduate 43 students, what school counselor Mary Worke calls “one of our smallest classes ever.”

Valedictorian is Katelin Strand and salutatorian is Israel Clark, who will both speak during the event.

New to commencement this year will be the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner.” The anthem will be sung by Sara Sorensen.

A baccalaureate service was held Wednesday.

Worke reported that 42 percent of the Blooming Prairie graduating class plans to attend a four-year college; 23 percent are attending a two-year community college; 30 percent will enroll in a technical program; and 5 percent (two graduates) are entering the military.