Marais des Cygnes Valley High School graduates Class of 2014

Marais des Cygnes Valley High School Principal Steve Burkdoll presented 27 members of the MdCVHS Class of 2014 for graduation Sunday in front of the students’ friends, family and well-wishers during Sunday’s commencement ceremony at Melvern.

MdCV counselor Laurel Ladewig announced seniors’ awards, and introduced salutatorian Caleb Dickey and valedictorian Kaden Vanderpool. (See speeches below.)

USD 456 Board Member Robert Bailey presented diplomas to graduating seniors Ashlie Nicole Bailey, Ashleigh May Beery, Brianna Lynn Bogue, Andi Loree Bush, Ashley Morgan Coffman, Erin McKenzie Coffman, Ethan Andoe Davis Criqui, Caleb Mikal Dickey, Lukas George Ferris, Tayelor Rena Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Nicole Ann Hewelling, Trey Alexander Irey, Matthew Brett Jones, Wyatt Del Rey Jordan, Brittany Elizabeth Kramer, Dakotah Christopher Lee, Isaac Taylor Lynn, Turner Evans Meade II, Katie Lynn Miles, Henry Lee Mitchell IV, Alayna Laran Montague, Robert Tucker Nance, Mark Lee Price, Corey Wayne Priddy, Brett Shawn Michael Schimmel, Kimberly Lynn Smith, and Kaden Cole Vanderpool.

Presenting the 2014 graduating class of Marais des Cygnes Valley High School.

Presenting the 2014 graduating class of Marais des Cygnes Valley High School.

Photos thanks to Tammy Vanderpool.

Awards announced during the commencement ceremonies were:

  • Citizenship awards: Ashleigh Beery, Kaden Vanderpool
  • Dale Dennis Excellence in Education Award: Ashleigh Beery
  • Governor’s Scholar: Kaden Vanderpool
  • Community service awards: Caleb Dickey, Matt Jones
  • Carol and Jessie Thurston Memorial: Morgan Coffman
  • Barb Kellum Memorial Scholarship: Ashleigh Beery
  • MdCV Booster Club: Ashlie Bailey, Matt Jones, Wyatt Jordan, Brittany Kramer, Kaden Vanderpool
  • Woodward, Belt, Heilmann, Arb, American Legion and Auxiliary scholarship: Matt Jones
  • Hometown scholarship: Morgan Coffman, Caleb Dickey
  • Hometown agriculture scholarship: Matt Jones
  • MdCV FFA scholarship: Andi Bush, Matt Jones, Wyatt Jordan
  • Don Lichtenauer Family Scholarship: Wyatt Jordan
  • Quenemo Pride scholarship: Caleb Dickey
  • William Lucas Memorial: Brittany Kramer, Kaden Vanderpool
  • R.E. French Family Educational Foundation: Andi Bush, Erin Coffman, Morgan Coffman, Kaden Vanderpool
  • Melvern Marais des Cygnes Alumni Association: Andi Bush, Tucker Nance, Kaden Vanderpool, Matt Jones
  • Lala Beth Weis Memorial: Wyatt Jordan
  • Lawrence Lester McNabb Scholarship: Karen Vanderpool

Salutatorian address by MdCVHS senior Caleb Dickey

Well we finally made it. We’re graduating. For those of you in the audience who may not know me, my name is Caleb Dickey, and I am part of the class of 2014. Looking back on the memories of our time here, there have been ups and there have been downs. We have ridden on the roller coaster known as high school, it went fast, but we enjoyed it, for the most part anyway. When I think of our time here, I think of country music. Whether that’s due to Matt singing along to the song Strong by Will Hoge, or just the way things happened throughout high school.

When I think of our class l think of the song Tattoos on this Town by Jason Aldean. From freshman year through senior year, expectations were high for our class, and the pressure was even greater, but we found a way to fight through it with each other and leave our mark. We made our tattoo on this town. We will go down in Marais des Cygnes history as the first ever undefeated state champs in the school’s history. We leave as undefeated boys and girls LCL regular season and tournament champs for the first time in school history. In football, we won the first home playoff game since 1986? We leave all these accomplishments behind as our tattoos on this town.

Another song that comes to mind is The Dance by Garth Brooks, because that’s all high school is, a big dance. That’s all life really is. Like Garth says, “I could have missed the pain, but I’d have to miss the dance.” We could have dropped out and gotten our GED and tried to go straight into the workforce, but we fought through the long hours of studying, working on homework, or finishing that last little bit of essay for Mrs. Bradley’s class. We could have skipped all of this trouble but we would have missed all the great times that came with it. We would have missed our dance. Whether it was playing “trashketball” as freshman in Mrs. Bradley’s room, laughing at Matt Jones trying to write an essay in one hour because he waited all week to do it, or having slap wars in Mr. Rapp’s room, we had one heck of a dance and I was glad to be part of it.

The final song I think of when I think of our class is You’re Gonna Miss This by Trace Adkins, because I know that someday down the road we are going to look back on our time here and miss it. Miss joking with friends, talking crap on each other during weights, and even sharing gossip, even though it caused drama. I know it seems like we are ready to be out of here and start our next chapter of our lives but like Trace Adkins says “You’re gonna miss this, you’re gonna want this back. You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast.” So live life like there’s no tomorrow, because you never know what you could accomplish if you don’t just give it a shot. We made it this far, didn’t we?


Valedictorian address by MdCVHS senior Kaden Vanderpool

Superintendent Finch, Board of Education, Mr. Burkdoll, faculty, family, and friends, I would like to thank every single one of you for being here on this very special day. Without all of you, we wouldn’t be sitting here in front of you ready to graduate and proceed with the next steps in our lives. I’d like to thank friends and family for helping us succeed athletically and academically throughout our high school years. I’d also like to thank all of our teachers. Our class may be a pain sometimes but thank you for sticking with us. You’ve allowed us to get the education we need to move on and be successful for the next adventure in our lives.

There is no other community that is as good as Melvern, Quenemo or Olivet. The best thing about these small towns is that everybody knows everybody. If there is a rumor going around, you’re bound to hear about it. The other thing I like about these small towns is that you have great relationships with your teachers and the community. The teachers and community are always supportive of our class. I’d like to also thank the community for donating or buying items at our senior fundraisers. Because of our generous community, you’ve allowed our class to have an enjoyable and wondrous senior trip at Florida, from which we just got back. Everybody sitting in front of you today is very thankful for all that you have done for us.

There are so many memories that my classmates and I have made throughout our high school careers. Out of today’s class 10 of us started kindergarten and made it all the way up to senior year together. We have welcomed additional classmates that have made our high school even more enjoyable. Every now and then some of us would hang out at the park and just talk about life and what we plan on doing in the future. We have two comedians in the class (Matt and Brett) who like to crack jokes and make everybody laugh. We’re always having fun at whatever it is we may be doing.

One of the best memories I’ll ever remember is the reaction and the facial expressions of all the high school students in the cheer section and our whole community when our boys’ basketball team won the state basketball championship. We have a wonderful community and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Another memory some of my classmates and I will always remember is irritating our football/track coach. We would argue and complain so much sometimes that he would just tell us to leave and go home. It may not have been one of the greatest memories but looking back at it, it was quite funny because at least we got out of SOME running.

Some of my classmates may be happy that they’re graduating today and some may not, but high school has been real! For those of you younger kids listening today, live life to the fullest because time flies when you’re having fun. When I was a freshman I never thought graduation would get here soon enough, but it did. It’s a bittersweet day. Fellow classmates, we’ll be making one of the hardest decisions in our life with what we are going to do with the rest of our lives. I challenge you to: set goals for yourself, strive to get better as a person every day, and work hard at whatever it may be you’re doing. It takes sacrifice and commitment to reach your goals. Are you willing to do that?

I wish all my fellow classmates good luck. I hope each and every one of you accomplishes all the goals you’ve set and live the life you’ve always dreamed of living. I’m looking forward to seeing each of you sometime in the future and seeing what great success you have accomplished. I wish all of you the best of luck for the road ahead.

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