Osage City’s 2014 graduates head toward infinity – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Osage City’s 2014 graduates head toward infinity

Caps fly as Osage City High School’s class of 2014 celebrates during Sunday’s graduation ceremony. Photo by Gary Lowman.



“To infinity and beyond” is now the destination of 45 graduates of Osage City High School after they gathered as a class for the last time Sunday afternoon and reflected on their class motto.

The song “Sieze the Day”, performed by the OCHS choir, set the tone of the 2014 graduation ceremony, as Osage City High School Principal Tony Heward presented the class to USD 420 Board of Education.

Board members Tammy Oliver and Todd Peterson presented diplomas to: Robert Anthony Bailey, Alex Joseph Bauer, Kasey Ellen Boyce, Keisha Marie Branine*, Nicholas Eugene Burton, Tristan Michael Carlson*, Michael Harrison Chrum, Dylan Michael Combes, Donald Wade Curtis, Mason Allen Ehrhart, Matthiew Keli Willard Frakes, Josephine Grace Gardner, Dalton Theodore Gifford, Devin Kyler Gragg, Rebecca Lynn Graham, Calley Dawn Griffith, Morgan Janet Gustafson*, Brooke Elaine Jenkins, Jade Elizabeth Jenkins*, Kellie Dawn Jones, Tanner Scott Kimball, Cayla Erinn Lawless*, Zhengru Li, Gage William Little, Bailey Aline May, Brandon James Milam, Rachel Louise Norling, Rebecca Colette Oliver, William Conner Pare’, Haleigh Anne Peterson*, Lindsey Nicole Poertner, Krista Leigh Porter, Mariel Elizabeth Robert*, Kaytelyn Nicole Robinson, Christian Taylor Sheckells, Shawn Michael Sheesley, Darren James Spruill Jr., David Robert Stephens, Kaitlin Elizabeth Swindale*, Wayne Charles Thompson, Devin Cole Trout*, Stephen Anthony Vecchione, Paul Joseph Weiler, Drake Lee Whalen*, and Kevina Lee Wilton. (*Indicates students recognized for community service.)

During the ceremony, the school’s honor students, Cayla Lawless, summa cum laude, and Calley Griffith, cum laude, were recognized and addressed their friends, family and fellow students gathered in the school gymnasium. (See speeches below.)

Osage City High School seniors named to the National Honor Society included Tristan Carlson, Donald Curtis, Calley Griffith, Tanner Kimball, Cayla Lawless, Bailey May, Haleigh Peterson, Krista Porter, Mariel Robert, Devin Trout, and Alexandra Jo Schwieger.


Music during the event was performed by the OCHS Band, directed by Melissa Askren, and the OCHS Choir, directed by Angela Spencer.

Speech by Honor Student Calley Griffith

Good afternoon everyone. Thank you for coming to Osage City High School’s class of 2014 graduation ceremony. It really means a lot to see so many people – whether strangers or familiar faces – here to celebrate the many accomplishments we have made over the past 13 years. We couldn’t have done it without the support of our friends, family, teachers, administrators, and, of course, each other.

To this day, my grandpa will ask me if I learned anything new at school. I have always just answered “no.” But, as I look back on the past 13 years I have spent at Osage City Schools, I really have learned a lot. I’m not just talking about knowing the planets in order, the quadratic formula, or that the quote is the coat. I have learned some really important lessons from my teachers, classmates, family, and life in general over the years. Here are a few examples:

First, Mr. Marple told us to always be skeptical. He said it the very first day freshman year, he said it the last day we had government this year, and he said it just about every day in between. I have learned that you should always look more into something that seems too good to be true, because it usually isn’t as good as it seems.

The first day of freshman year I learned another important lesson: a smile can totally change someone’s day. I remember being so nervous to be in high school, but Caitlin Uyemura, who was a senior at the time and also one of my sister’s friends, smiled at me and said “Hi, Calley.” Her little smile and greeting totally changed my day and my outlook on high school.

The next thing I have learned is that you should find out where your sister sat in every class and avoid that seat at all costs. It will save your teachers a lot of mistakes, your classmates won’t have to correct them as much, and you won’t spend the majority of your high school career as “Miss Griffith.”

The third lesson I have learned is that it is OK to not be perfect. It took me a while to accept this one. Whether it is a test, job, hobby, or the entire second semester of geometry – you will mess up at some point. And that is perfectly fine.

I have also learned that if you get to pick your lab partner, do not pick an ornery boy. Even though he won’t be afraid to light the Bunsen burner, he will get his hand wet when you aren’t looking and then touch the burning hot iron ring and giggle while you think the sizzling sound is his skin. Thanks, Donnie, for the near heart attack.

Finally, I have learned that it’s OK to have fun. I know that basically every graduation speech since the beginning of time has said this, but it is so true. Try new things and have fun. If you spend your first 3 and a half years of high school with your nose in your books like I did, you will have a very hard time coming up with original advice for your graduation speech and will have to resort to filling your speech with cliches. And we have all suffered through at least one of those. So do everyone a favor and do something out of your comfort zone … but don’t do anything illegal, illegal, illegal.

I could go on, but I know I might cry if I say too much mushy stuff about missing everyone and how much fun these 13 years have been. Just pretend I said all that and we will spare us all some tears. So thank you teachers, family, and friends for teaching my classmates and me many important lessons. And thank you class of 2014 for this awesome journey together.

Speech by Honor Student Cayla Lawless

Wow. I never thought this day would come. Freshman year I couldn’t wait to graduate and now that it is here it is definitely a bittersweet moment. We have worked so hard to get here and we made it. We should be proud of our past and look forward to our future.

Our past makes us who we are. Homecoming made us all winners, except when our class was cheated out of victory for the past two years. Mrs. Jacobs made us all bird experts, even though we can only remember a few now. Mr. Marple told us not to drink the Kool-Aid, but hey it’s free Kool-Aid. Mrs. Wilkins attempted to teach us basic life skills that hopefully we will remember when needed. And Mr. Bellinger made sure that we were all teased a little at some point in high school.

There are so many memories around this town that will never be forgotten. Without these memories the past four years would not have been the same. Now we all go our separate ways to make our own memories.

Viola Davis, the award-winning actress in the Help, once said that “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you discover why you were born.” For many of us that day has not yet come, but that is okay. We have so much time to figure out why we were put on this Earth. Don’t go searching for your reason, it will come to you in its own time. College is the time to explore your options and broaden your horizons. Take up four square again or actually study for a change. Do something crazy, but make sure it is legal, because before you know it you will have to grow up.

Next year will be a major change for all of us. Some will like it and some will take time to adjust. Be patient and just remember to be proud of your past and look forward to your future. Now let’s celebrate our accomplishment. But first, let’s take one last selfie as the Osage City Class of 2014!

Photos thanks to Gary Lowman.

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