Lyndon High School graduates make memories together for last time as class of 2016

As 24 graduates met in the Lyndon High School gymnasium for the last time as the class of 2016 on May 15, 2016, their salutatorians and valedictorian urged them to not forget the experiences and lessons learned of their schooldays, but also know that new experiences and memories are in the making.

“Do not forget as you move forward and go on to achieve your goals that this school and community helped shape you into who you are today,” salutatorian Olivia Miller said. “Remember your past and let it help guide you in the future. These moments spent in this school might not seem that important now, but someday they will be.”

Salutatorian Nicholas Ratzloff told fellow graduates to relish in the memories as they are made. “Senior year is weird because you never realize it until it’s over,” Nick said, “but this is the last time we will be doing all of these things together, as a class, or even family. It never hits you when it’s happening, it just comes all at once. This is the last time all of us will be in this gym together. We’ve taken our last high school tests, had our last prom, played our last games, and made our last high school memories. Except for this one. This is our last high school memory.”

And valedictorian Hannah Peimann encouraged classmates to seek the counsel of wisdom when experience is lacking. “We have earned our high school diplomas, but most of us do not yet have much real-world experience. I would advise you, however, to listen to the advice and words of wisdom that you get from those who are celebrating your graduation with you today,” Hannah said. “These people care deeply about you and they often have wisdom and experience that we do not yet have.”

With Madeline Volkman, senior class president, presenting the class key to Rylan Burns, junior class president, followed by guest speaker Toby Baker, and the valedictorian and salutatorian speeches, Lyndon High School Principal Brad Marcotte presented the class for graduation.

USD 421 Board of Education members presented diplomas to the following Lyndon High School graduates of 2016: Wyatt Frederick Anschutz, Alexis Cheyenne Bills, Jonathan Andrew David Bulcher, Kirsten Ann Crummey, Dalton Wade Fitch, Wyalt Lane Fitch, Ryan Scott Herdman, Zachary Alan Hogan, Travis Brian Loehmann, Austin David McWilliams, Kenna Niki Miller, Olivia Morgan Miller, Stevena Makayla Miller, David James Oakley, Hannah Marie Peimann, Kasey Michael Peterson, Nicholas James Ratzloff, Alexander Jason Sellers, Austin Charles Smith, Tyler Chase Stafford, Taylor Dawn Tillman, Courtney Renee Vande Velde, Madeline Marie Volkman, Sydney Claire Walsh.

School board members are Robert Knoernschild, Lisa Baker, David Brecheisen, Melissa Herdman, Joe Isch, Eric Ratzloff, and Lori Sturdy; USD 421 superintendent is Cheryl Cook.

The following awards, scholarships and honors were noted during the ceremony and at the school’s award night held May 13, 2016.

Scholarships

  • Elsie Stout Memorial: Madeline Volkman, Dalton Fitch
  • Lyndon Alumni: Nick Ratzloff, Hannah Peinann, Dalton Fitch, Madeline Volkman, Cheyenne Bitts, Wyatt Fitch, Taylor Tillman, Sydney Walsh
  • Cory Sprecker Memorial: Kenna Miller
  • Elks: Cheyenne Bitts
  • Masonic Lodge: Dalton Fitch, Wyatt Fitch
  • Lyndon Community Business Women and Teri Morris Memorial: Hannah Peimann, Madeline Volkman, Cheyenne Bitts
  • Alec Mounkes Memorial: Wyatt Fitch, Cheyenne Bitts
  • Lyndon Endowment: Hannah Peimann, Dalton Fitch, Madeline Volkman, Kenna Miller, Sydney Walsh
  • Behrens Scholarship: Hannah Peimann, Dalton Fitch, Madeline Volkman, Nick Ratzloff, Ryan Herdman, Cheyenne Bitts

Academic Cords

  • Kansas Scholars Curriculum Completers, Silver Cords: Cheyenne Bitts, Jonathan Butcher, Kirsten Crummey, Dalton Fitch, Wyatt Fitch, Ryan Herdman, Olivia Miller, Hannah Peimann, Nick Ratzloff, A.J. Sellers, Madeline Volkman, Sydney Walsh
  • Kansas Scholars Curriculum Completers who completed with a 3.75 GPA or above, Gold Cords: Cheyenne Bitts, Jonathan Butcher, Dalton Ftch, Olivia Miller, Hannah Peimann, Nick Ratzloff, Madeline Volkman

Citizenship Awards

  • Dale Dennis Citizenship Award: Hannah Peimann
  • KSHSAA Citizenship Awards: Madeline Volkman, Nick Ratzloff

Salutatorian, Valedictorian Speeches

By Salutatorian Olivia Miller

Good afternoon, I would like to take a second to thank you all for being here today. I would also like to thank all of our parents, families, teachers, and coaches for helping us get to this moment, we would never have made it here without your support.

Now to my class, we did it. The day we have been waiting for all year is finally upon us. I know today and this whole school year many of us were looking toward the future and what it would bring. Everyone was making plans then changing their mind and making new ones. We were all trying to decide where to go to college, what to major in, and what the rest of our lives would be like. But this year and today is not all about looking toward the future. It is also about remembering the past.

Looking back, it’s hard to believe we have come so far. It feels like just the other day many of us were in Mrs. Dawson’s room learning how to read and write, or in Mr. Bledsoe’s room learning how to do multiplication and division problems, or having our first real science class with Mrs. Stout. Over the years we have acquired more knowledge and have learned valuable lessons along the way.

In this school and town we have grown up, we have experienced both the joy of making new friends and the heartache of losing some of them. Together as a class we have experienced happiness and loss; failure and success. So as we move forward remember the lessons you learned here and the people who supported you on your journey. Do not forget as you move forward and go on to achieve your goals that this school and community helped shape you into who you are today. Remember your past and let it help guide you in the future. These moments spent in this school might not seem that important now, but someday they will be.

I would like to end by sharing a quote from Dr. Seuss, “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.”


By Salutatorian Nicholas Ratzloff

As we all sit in this gym, we’re all thinking the same thing. We finally did it, now let’s get our diploma and get out of here. At the same time, we’re thinking about how weird it is that we’re done. Our whole life has been school, friends and family up to this point. All of us are scared. We don’t know how we’re going to turn out. I can’t tell you what I’m going to be doing in 10 years, but I can tell you what I’m doing now. I’m giving a speech for my high school graduation. I never imagined it would come. None of us did. All of the good times, long nights, and hard work have led up to this point. I could never say anything to truly capture this moment. We need to also remember this isn’t only such a special moment for us, but also for our family, school administration, and the whole Lyndon community.

Through all of high school, there is one thing I have learned that will always be with me. High school is not about what grade you received on your algebra test, or if you did your science homework, it’s not even about who scored the most points in Friday night’s game. All the things that matter and you will remember, are the things that come in between all of that. As I look around I see each of your faces and can remember so many memories with each and every one of you. And none of those memories include schoolwork. What matters is the Thursday night football cookouts, the get-togethers at people’s houses, walking through the hall and saying hello to everyone you pass by, the road trips to field trips or games, or just hanging out with everyone out of school.

Senior year is weird because you never realize it until it’s over, but this is the last time we will be doing all of these things together, as a class, or even family. It never hits you when it’s happening, it just comes all at once. This is the last time all of us will be in this gym together. We’ve taken our last high school tests, had our last prom, played our last games, and made our last high school memories. Except for this one. This is our last high school memory.

So maybe we should slow down just a bit and enjoy today while it lasts. Because this is it for us as a class. All that matters is that we’ve passed the classes, we’ve made decisions and we’re sitting here ready to be handed our diploma. Now let’s get to it.


By Valedictorian Hannah Peimann

I am so honored to be standing before you all today. I thought for a long time about what I could say to you about the future. But I eventually realized that I do not have much advice to share with you about the future because we are all in the same boat: We have earned our high school diplomas, but most of us do not yet have much real-world experience. I would advise you, however, to listen to the advice and words of wisdom that you get from those who are celebrating your graduation with you today. These people care deeply about you and they often have wisdom and experience that we do not yet have. Now, I would like to present you with a few basic concepts that I hope you will be able to remember past this afternoon and apply to your own life.

First, do not be afraid to fail. This may sound a little crazy since the whole reason you are here today is because you worked hard in school and did not fail, but this is really important. If you choose not to do something because you are afraid of failing at it, you’re closing yourself off from great opportunities. Failure is a possibility in anything you do, but I have found that you often learn some of the best lessons when you have failed at something and you have to try again. You will never be able to succeed if you don’t try, so please do not let the fear of failure hold you back.

Second, always say please and thank you. I know you don’t want to hear this since you were most likely reminded of the need to say these “magic words” for the first five years of your life. But really these words are more than just good manners and they are important to use in every area of your life. They express an attitude of humility and they can have a positive impact on those around you.

Third, don’t be afraid to change your mind. All of us are 17 or 18 years old, yet we are often expected to know by now what we want to do for the rest of our lives. Whether you do or don’t know the path that you are planning to take, there can be a great deal of pressure to make a decision and stick to it. But my hope for you today is that if you ever find yourself in a place in your life where you are not satisfied with what you are doing, you will be willing to make a change. I found a quote on this subject that is not from a scientist or famous author; it is actually just from a movie. But it is so well stated that I found the need to share it with all of you: “For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it … I hope you live a life you’re proud of and if you find that you are not, I hope you have the strength to start over again.” This truly is my hope for all of you.

Next, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to those who worked to get all of us here today. Thank you to all the teachers and administrators who pushed us to reach our full potential. And finally, thank you to each of the parents and other family members who gave us love and support every step of the way. Thank you.

Photo thanks to Bill Patterson.

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