2023 OCHS graduates share heartfelt memories of school and community – Osage County Online | Osage County News

2023 OCHS graduates share heartfelt memories of school and community

OCHS class of 2023: Chae Allan Aills, Tomas Manuel Arellano, Owen Michael Potter Bailey, Bryson Thomas Banfield, Alexis Lynne Barrett, Landon Lucas Boss, Breckin Scot Bowin, Braxton Lloyd Bowman, Treyton Kahle Britschge, Braiden Michael-James Burd, Connor David Collins, Greta Lynette Crawford, Austin Brown Crettol, Keaton Hawk Curley, Lyia Lyn Dicker, Weston Allan Dunbar, Kaityn Michelle Gantenbein, Mason Wayne Gibson, Kyle Dean Grandstaff, Tracen James Hartner, Pearl Ann Kautzman, Kaden Thorne Kirkpatrick, Corbin Robert Klofkom, Halen James Lacey, Bryce Simon Linebarger, Nakotah Alexander Lowery, Jacob Adam Alexander McCoy, Trevor James Medlen, Dawsyn Ryan Meek, Kenia Jazzmin Mejia-Cortez, Lillian Jo Mitchell, Jack Delaney Neary, Olivia Winn Phillips, Korey Daniel Roberts, Dalton James Rush, Dalton Jones Schaefer, Ellie Marie Shoemaker, and Jacob Scott Watkins. OCHS photo.

With a community standing behind them, along with a touch of humor, Osage City High School graduates of 2023 followed the class’s motto, and gave 100 percent for the last assignment of their public school years – accepting their diplomas.

A quote from Bill Murray served as the class’s inspiration over the years: “Whatever you do, always give 100 percent. Unless you’re donating blood.”

During the graduation ceremony held Sunday, May 14, 2023, at the high school auditorium, the graduates relived school day memories, thanked those who helped them get through the years of school, and reminded each other to not forget their community that had guided and supported them.

Honor student Landon Boss told the class of 38 graduates that their small class size helped bring them together.

“I believe that our small numbers have brought us closer than any other grade,” Boss said. “We don’t have special cliques or friend groups where others aren’t welcome. Instead we are more of a family, where everyone is friends with everyone.”

Noting OCHS was “an everything school”, Boss talked about the support of the community for all of the sports seasons and related some of his best memories in participation of sports.

“I have made memories in high school that will stick with me for the rest of my life,” Boss said. “It is memories and times like these that make this class, school, town, and community so special. Memories like these that will be cherished by many for years to come. Osage City will always be a place that I hold near and dear to my heart. It is the type of school, town, and community that you want your kids to grow up in.”

Honor student Kaityn Gantenbein told of a story she had written to her senior self while in the eighth grade. Reading it as a senior made her realize “most of my heart is this school and this town…”

Reflecting on her four years of high school and 15 years living in Osage City, Gantenbein said, “For so long, I have taken for granted how special this place truly is.”

Gantebein said, “This is where my family lives … This is where my friends are … This is where my class is … This place, Osage City, Kansas, is all that I know.

“Wherever we go and whatever we do, we will always carry a part of this town and each other with us.

Revealing her emotions to her eighth grade self, she said, “To open my heart, this is what you would find – my class, this school, this town …”

Presenting the class for graduation was high school counselor Kathy Camerena, and Kelli Bowin, USD 420 Board of Education, presented diplomas to Chae Allan Aills, Tomas Manuel Arellano, Owen Michael Potter Bailey, Bryson Thomas Banfield, Alexis Lynne Barrett, Landon Lucas Boss, Breckin Scot Bowin, Braxton Lloyd Bowman, Treyton Kahle Britschge, Braiden Michael-James Burd, Connor David Collins, Greta Lynette Crawford, Austin Brown Crettol, Keaton Hawk Curley, Lyia Lyn Dicker, Weston Allan Dunbar, Kaityn Michelle Gantenbein, Mason Wayne Gibson, Kyle Dean Grandstaff, Tracen James Hartner, Pearl Ann Kautzman, Kaden Thorne Kirkpatrick, Corbin Robert Klofkom, Halen James Lacey, Bryce Simon Linebarger, Nakotah Alexander Lowery, Jacob Adam Alexander McCoy, Trevor James Medlen, Dawsyn Ryan Meek, Kenia Jazzmin Mejia-Cortez, Lillian Jo Mitchell, Jack Delaney Neary, Olivia Winn Phillips, Korey Daniel Roberts, Dalton James Rush, Dalton Jones Schaefer, Ellie Marie Shoemaker, and Jacob Scott Watkins.

Also during the ceremony, Ellie Shoemaker and Weston Dunbar were announced as this year’s Citizenship Award winners.

Faculty and administrators of the OCHS class of 2023 included USD 420 Superintendent Ted Hessong, Osage City High School Principal Natosha Jenkins, high school counselor Kathy Camarena, high school counselor Shana Smith, high school secretary Jennifer Hokanson, Brock Baxter, James Bellinger, Travis Bilyeu, Josh Brabb, Dana Bruna, Tyler Buche, JT Crawford, Chandra Dunbar, Mitchell Foote, Dennis Fort, Andrew Gantenbein, Lesli Harmon, Maria Henderson, Dallas Holloway, Clinton Johnson, Kevin Kramer, Kimba McCartney, Brody Nicholas, Felix Nunez, Jessica Piper, Tabatha Renfro, Tammy Serna, Carly Spicer, Dustin Stucky, Tracy Watkins, and Dawn Wilkins.

Faculty assistants for the commencement were Travis Bilyeu and Dustin Stucky; junior attendants were Noah Lohmeyer, Madyson Bourne, Colby Hokanson, and Chase Williams. Program attendants were Paige Burk, Zane Orender, Cooper Parsons and Gracy Smith. Music for the commencement was provided under the direction of high school band director Nicholas Brody and choir director Clinton Johnson.


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