Kenyon-Wanamingo high school seniors received a diploma, turned the tassel and began a new stage of life Sunday.
Sixty students graduated with the class of 2019 in a ceremony held in the high school gym, accompanied by school administrators, teachers, friends and family.
Senior members of the high school chorale group performed the song “Omnia Sol (Let Your Heart Be Staid),” and later joined the rest of the group for “A Song of Farewell.
Celia Woock, 2019 graduate, spoke of the struggles the class faced throughout the year — a two-week heating outage, a season without home football games and a car accident that left now-graduate Micah Johnson severely injured in October 2018.
“I know senior year is usually a difficult time, but this class has had a particularly rough time of it. Nothing went the way we expected or hoped, but I think we’re all a little stronger for it,” said Woock.
Kasandra Keller, Angelica Guerrero and Dylan Steberg also represented the class of 2019 with speeches about the accomplishment of graduation mingled with the bittersweet moment of leaving behind people they’ve known since childhood.
“Have fun, and don’t wish for it to go too fast, because it really is gone in the blink of an eye,” was the advice Keller gave to the students who will graduate after her.
“All I’ve learned about the future now is that everything I’ve learned, cried and prayed for, everything I’ve dreamed and worked so hard for, can happen and will happen if I just give myself enough credit for everything I’m accomplishing right now, in the moment,” said Guerrero.
“I hope the hallways we walk down throughout the rest of our lives remind us of the hallways at K-W,” said Kaitlyn Vold.
Steberg also thanked the parents in the crowd for their support throughout the class of 2019’s academic careers, whether it be driving students to school, helping them tie their shoes or simply being there with encouragement.
“Without them pushing us, teaching us and inspiring us, we would never have done all the things we’ve done,” she said.