AHS celebrates the Class of 2024 with Friday night commencement

Published 8:32 pm Friday, May 31, 2024

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As Austin High School Principal Matt Schmit presented the Class of 2024 to the Austin Public Schools Board Friday night, he took the opportunity to remind the class of a very important life lesson using himself as an example.

Relating a fishing story on a stream, Schmit spoke of finding the place he thought the fish might be. All he had to do was step over a fence to get to the spot, never knowing that not only was it barbed wire, but it was electrified at the same time.

This was his lesson: even bad days have the opportunity to become a memory.

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“At the end of a weekday fishing, it was a good day spent with a friend,” he said, taking the opportunity to refer to the Class of 2024’s class quote at the same time.

“Never regret a day in your life: good days give happiness, bad days give experience, and best days give memories,” he quoted.

Throughout Friday night’s commencement, there were many moments that asked students to remember where they came from and to look forward to where they were going.

During the video featuring the students of high distinction, each student related who they thought they might be when they grew up before going through and individually relating their and classmate’s experiences throughout their schooling in the Austin Public Schools District.

Through this, it came down to one thing that seemed to carry the spirit of Friday night.

“Once a Packer, always a Packer.”

In his introductory speech to students and families, Superintendent Dr. Joey Page stressed how proud the students have made the district and that Friday night was for celebrating their accomplishments.

“It’s been nothing short of extraordinary,” he said, before letting them know their journey was just beginning. “Austin Public Schools will be cheering for you every step of the way.”

“Each of you has the power to shape the world in incredible ways.”

Through every notion of pride and achievement, however, it was graduate Ellen Ekins, during that same video, that chose to quote one of the greatest wordsmiths from history to sum up the night.

“In the words of William Shakespeare, ‘Goodbye,’” Ekins said.