‘We’re ready for change’: Class of 2018 says farewell to Austin High School

Published 10:05 am Saturday, June 9, 2018

The class of 2018 said goodbye to Austin High School as they graduated together on Friday night.

Before taking to the stage, 288 participating seniors had prepared in the cafeteria. Lined up in rows, they took their last “selfies” and hugged each other tightly. Many sat in groups and tried to shake the nerves out of their system. For many of these seniors, new chapters of their lives would soon begin, like Lauryn Bell, an 18-year-old senior, who planned to attend the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities this fall.

Austin High School seniors have some fun while preparing for their graduation ceremony at Knowlton Auditorium on Friday night.
Hannah Yang/hannah.yang@austindailyherald.com

“I’m so excited,” Bell said with a nervous smile. “This is the biggest moment in our high school careers. We’re ready to move on and make more memories.”

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As teachers and administrators signaled to the seniors, the students’ voices fell into a hushed whisper.

The seniors walked up the dark stairwell from the cafeteria and into the hallways in waves of red caps and gowns. Hearing the muffled sounds of “Pomp and Circumstance” blasting through the auditorium doors, the students were walking closer to the end of their high school journey.

As they marched into the auditorium, families cheered loudly for their senior and took their seats in the audience. The night’s ceremony was an emotional one for several seniors. Some wiped away tears, and others sat quietly, waiting for the ceremony to begin.

Superintendent David Krenz lauded the seniors on completing their journey through the Austin Public Schools District, and implored them that when they work together, they can accomplish so much more.

“Don’t lose track of your friends you made here at Austin High School as you move on,” Krenz said. “You can accomplish so much more together.”

Series of student speakers also shared their sentiments throughout the night. Some spoke of striving for excellence or embracing the road that lies ahead of them.

Anh Le, a graduating Austin High School senior, gives as speech as one of the class of 2018’s student speakers during the graduation ceremony on Friday night.
Hannah Yang/hannah.yang@austindailyherald.com

Others spoke of overcoming adversity in challenging times. Isaac Christopherson spoke firmly to his classmates about embracing the “light at the end of the tunnel” when situations grow difficult and to lean on loved ones for support.

“We may have had some bad memories,” Christopherson said. “However, it is from the bad, that something good can happen and that there’s common strength undoubtedly in each and everyone of us to overcome.”

Although it’s uncertain what the future holds, many are waiting to see what comes next, and they’re ready.

“We’re ready for change,” said Anh Le, a student speaker for the ceremony. “We dealt with change and we will make changes. We have shown that we can be successful.”