Osage City High School 2024 graduates rely on courage to face next chapters in life – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Osage City High School 2024 graduates rely on courage to face next chapters in life

Osage City High School class of 2024. OCHS photo.

Expressing sentiment of their class motto, Osage City High School’s four senior honor students encouraged their fellow 2024 graduates to remember “It takes courage to be who you really are.” Honor students Jorjia Kitselman, Riley Petitjean, Madyson Bourne, and Colby Hokanson spoke of facing the future but not forgetting the past, during the OCHS class of 2024’s commencement ceremony, May 12, at the Richard Homewood Gymnasium.

Honor student Jorjia Kitselman said she hadn’t heeded “cheesy quotes” such as “High school is the best years of your life.” But, “When you’re younger you don’t really grasp how much truth there is to them. While I sure hope these weren’t my best years, I know that the memories made will stick with me for a long time.”

Kitsleman told younger classmates to not dwell on getting to the end of high school, and instead “get involved and make those memories while you can. Don’t spend your time wishing it were over, because when the time comes you’ll wish you’d done more.”

“Make the most of the time you have left,” Kitselman said. “To the class of 2024, this isn’t the book’s close. There are still plenty more memories to be made and pages to be written. I wish each of you the best in wherever your next chapter takes you.”

Honor student Riley Petitjean reminded graduates of how their world had grown and changed over the past school years. As children, “We learn that actions have consequences and bike rides can cause scars. We start learning how to read and write. From there, our world continues to change.”

Graduating from grade to grade, the students’ world continues to grow, Petitjean said. Then as the pandemic hit in 2020 – “our world stops. School switches to virtual and Zoom has become our new classroom. It’s funny how quickly our world can change. How masks become normal … how we can sit down with our friends at lunch one day and all be quarantined the next. As the next two years go by, our world slowly creeps back to normal or some weird version of it.”

But change continues, she said, and “Then, all of a sudden, you’re a senior. Our worlds are going on different paths, and although it’s sad, there is also something special about it. Our world has changed since the beginning and is now taking on a new dimension. Our memories are nothing short of remarkable. Our time is now. So congratulations, class of 2024, we made it. It’s our turn to change the world.”

Honor student Madyson Bourne reminded classmates, “This is it, the moment we’ve all been waiting for,” but graduation day arrived sooner than expected, and now “we say our goodbyes to the people we have spent numerous amount of hours with over the past years.”

“Looking back, I remember thinking graduation was so far away,” Bourne said. “That we’d save it for the moment we all finally feel ready to branch out, move away, and discover the future together. But sadly enough, that just isn’t the reality. This ceremony arrived a little too soon to feel real.”

She encouraged fellow graduates to not be afraid of the future. “Know that you’re not alone. Know that even the best of us are scared.” And reminded them, “high school was just the beginning of the start of a great life. High school was such a small chapter and I hope … that we can look forward to the best days. It’s our turn; go change the world.”

“Today marks the end of the biggest chapter to date of our lives,” honor student Colby Hokanson told fellow graduates, “but simultaneously we are all just beginning to start a new one.”

Hokanson reminded classmates they had had the courage and strength needed to overcome difficulties caused by the pandemic. “Was that fair to us that that happened? No, but we became stronger not only as a class but also individually,” he said. “COVID also taught us about failures and successes through a difficult time.”

He encouraged the class to remember their successes and set a goal for future success. “What does success mean to you?,” he asked.

“Whatever your answer may be now, strive towards it and continue to ask yourself that question. Now you may find that your answer may change over time and that is perfectly fine.

“But do yourself a favor and prioritize who you are, and who you want to be, and don’t spend time with anything that goes against your character.

“In the words of Ryan Lane,” Hokanson said, “’It takes courage to be who you really are.’ So let’s honor Ryan and have that courage to take the steps in your life to become who you want to be.”

Following the honor students’ speeches, Osage City High School Principal Natosha Jenkins presented 56 class members for graduation. Members of the USD 420 Board of Education presented diplomas to the Osage City High School class of 2024: Ryan Edward Adkins, Hayden Thomas Allen, Keyton Gunner Bass, Jadon Douglas Bolyard, Kaylee Marie Boner, Madyson Shayne Bourne, Paige Ryan Burk, Emery Lucia Camarena, Lynsey Kay Davenport, Brian David Davies, Paige KayAnn DeCock, Caydance Layne Eastman, Logun Edward Eager, Rylie Lynn Farwell, Michelle Lyn Gardner, Cainan Wayne Goodwin, Morgan Dilynn Goodyear, Colby Crettol Hokanson, Carlos Jasso-Vargas, Jorjia Mae Kitselman, Callie Lynn Lane, Kelsey Kay Lloyd, Noah Forrest Lohmeyer, Emery Star Lovett, Warren Theodore Ezekiel Lowery, Emily Louise Mullins, Zane Levi Orender, Cooper Wayne Parsons, Riley Jo Petitjean, Nicholas Carter Pitman, Cole Alan Pitts, Logan Michael Poertner, Jess Brian Reece, Landon Giovanni Reeves, Gavin William Robert, Bowen Ray Rumold, Allyson Nicole Sage, Lane Matthew Sage, Christopher Michael Sanford, Michael James Savely, Noah Jay Schrader, Ayven Patrick Secrest, McKinley Marie Senft, Gracy Gail Smith, Josiah Lawrence Smith, Campbell Renee Stark, Christopher Ross Stewart, Cooper Ray Stokes, Clare Alice Strohm, Lucas William Sutton, Cecily May Tiffany Ray Tapscott, Colton James Thompson, William Lance Weldon, Lakyn Chevelle Wessel, Chase Dylan Williams, and Tessa Marie Zachary.

Music and vocals for the ceremony was provided by the Osage City High School Band, with director Brody Nicholas, and the Osage City High School Choir, with director Clinton Johnson.

Ceremony attendants included James Bellinger and Clinton Johnson, faculty attendants; Sadie Shoemaker, Logan White, Wyatt Bailey and Isaac McCoy, junior attendants; and Lexi Boss, Luke Kerns, Madeline Renfro, and Aiden Staley, program attendants.

USD 420 Board of Education members for 2024 are PJ Heptinstall, Corey Linton, Jim Lohmeyer, Tyler Parson, Todd Peterson, and Callie Tice.

Administrative staff includes USD 420 Superintendent Ted Hessong, OCHS Principal Natosha Jenkins, high school counselor Shana Smith, and high school secretary Tiffanie Roberts.

Osage City High School class of 2024. OCHS photo.

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