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AHS graduates 250 Friday night

Amid a sea of bright red caps and gowns, almost 250 Austin High School seniors graduated on Friday, carrying with them what Superintendent of Schools Dave Krenz said was “a tradition of excellence.”

Seniors received their diplomas in front of a full house at Knowlton Auditorium.

Krenz asked that the members of the Class of 2017 reflect on the challenges they would face in the upcoming years, and reflect on a quote by Thomas Jefferson: “’If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done,’” Krenz said. “I challenge you to start doing something you’ve never done before.”

There were messages from several commencement speakers, reflecting on their “take” on what commencement meant. The speakers, whose ranks also included Brooke Pazurek, Livia Dyke, Jekap Omod, Christine Nelson and Trent Brown, also represented the top academic seniors in the class.

For Kaitlyn Schammel, graduation meant not only leaving the school with academic accomplishments, but celebrating a milestone that was reached with the help of family and friends.

Madison Klein said it was time to thank those who helped along the way, especially parents “for putting up with us when we weren’t as grateful as we should have been” and to teachers, “for everything that you do.”

And, especially to the members of the Class of 2017, “for the memories … thank you for being so awesome.”

Miranda Bergemann and Paige Raymond talked about learning how to work together — by giving their comments together — and Grace Thoen thanked the class’ collective circle of friends, “who always had our backs.”

But she also asked her friends that when they face struggles and challenges, “remember to have fun.”

Nora Curtis talked of how high school provided structure for the first years of their lives.

“No matter whether or not you enjoyed AHS, it has been shaping you” through good times and bad.

“We have grown up,” she said. School “has molded us — to be ready to go out into the next phase of our life.”