Arcadia Charter School‘s graduation ceremony celebrated both the class of 2019 as a whole and each student as an individual.

The graduation class, teachers and family members gathered for the sendoff for Arcadia’s seventeen seniors at the Armory Square Event Center Friday night. The ceremony flipped a few longstanding traditions — instead of “Pomp and Circumstance,” seniors made their way to their seats to Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”

Interim Executive Director Barbara Wornson reminded graduates that while high school may be over, the learning is just beginning.

“It’s the journey. It’s the learning. When you’re feeling down and out, forget about why you’re doing this. Just remember how to learn,” she said.

Each student chose a teacher or staff member to give a speech honoring their achievements throughout their academic career at Arcadia.

Teachers spoke of Isabella Callery’s recent win at the Poetry Out Loud national competition, the valuable multicultural contributions of South Korean student Yeji Shin, Katherine Fox-Deel’s growth through the theater program and more.

Much of teachers’ advice, though meant to connect with a particular student, also spoke to the class as a whole:

“Your generation is inheriting some pretty daunting economic, social and environmental problems for which a lot of the people in this room have been complicit,” said Graves, adding that his interactions with the class of 2019 give him hope for the future.

“Keep following your interests and your passions. They may lead you to places you haven’t even thought of,” said Tammy Prichard, writing instructor.

Reach Reporter Anne Kopas at 507-333-3148. Follow her on Twitter @NFNanne.

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