CHS Class of 2014 graduates Sunday, May 18

The California High School Class of 2014 tosses their caps at the end of graduation Sunday, May 18.

The California High School Class of 2014 tosses their caps at the end of graduation Sunday, May 18. Photo by David Wilson.

California’s 128th High School class graduated on Sunday, May 18, with 100 of the 103 seniors taking the walk across the stage to receive the diplomas marking them as the Class of 2014. Three of the early graduates did not attend commencement due to military obligations. Jonathan Goans and Nathan Goans are both in United States Air Force Basic and Seth Wyatt is in advanced training with the United States Marine Corps.

The afternoon graduation included performances by the California High School Concert Band and the Senior Choir. Accompanied by the Processional of “Pomp and Circumstance,” each of the senior girls carried a red rose, the class flower, as the class entered the CHS gym for Commencement. After being joined by the seniors, the band performed “Conundrum,” by Robert Sheldon.

The speakers, one salutatorian and three valedictorians, were introduced by Superintendent Dwight Sanders.

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Valedictorian John Wolken speaks to CHS Class of 2014 Sunday. He plans to study civil engineering.

The salutatorian - Caitlin Meyers talked about how excited she was to start school 13 years ago and how many people helped along the way. “It’s up to us to create our future,” she said. Valedictorian Alex Davis said this speech was like all of his assignments - he started it the day it was due. “This speech is like all of us,” he said. “It could go anywhere.” If the speech didn’t go well, Davis said he could start over. “Everyone can always start over, just like Darth Vader in Star Wars”, Davis said. “He started over and that’s history. Right?” His final words were, “Be unashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and may the Force be with you.” Valedictorian Abby Lueckenotte spoke of graduation being the perfect time to be the person you always wanted to be. “You have the opportunity to leave your weaknesses behind,” she said. “Ultimately our outer image is completely within our control. Whether the bubble you live in was your creation or not, you have the opportunity to step out of it.” Valedictorian John Wolken said, “The years seemed to drag on, but in reality, they flew by.” He continued on and discussed the future and how the Class of 2014 is a class of excellence and friends. Mentioning those of the class who are in the military and considering service, he said “The Class of 2014 will defend you because that is what friends are for.”

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Valedictorian Alex Davis speaks to CHS Class of 2014 at Commencement. He plans to study theology.

High School Principal Mike Hight presented the Class of 2014 followed by School Board President Jay VanDieren accepteing the class and the diplomas were presented by school board members Craig Ash, Paul Bloch, Joe Kirby, Rhonda Meyer and VanDieren. The class sang “Alma Mater” by Johnson.

In her closing remarks, Class President Emily Ziehmer encouraged the Class of 2014, saying, “You should be overjoyed at your accomplishments.” After the tassels were switched to the other side of the caps, many of the caps were tossed in the air to resounding applause.

The Concert Band performed the Recessional of “Rondo” from “Premiere Suite.” The Senior Choir, directed by Michele Bilyeu, sang “I Was Here” arranged by Alan Billingsly. The class had 30 members in the National Honor Society.

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