MHS graduates 134 students

Kaleena Tico celebrates getting her diploma from Manchester High School. Photo by David Fenker

By Eric Christiansen

NORTH MANCHESTER -- Manchester Jr.-Sr. High School said good-bye to the Class of 2020 at the 62nd Annual Commencement ceremony on Friday.

In front of a near capacity crowd of fellow students, teachers, family and friends, 134 seniors prepared for their next journeys.
Student Council president Cora Barnett opened the ceremony by welcoming those in attendance, followed by words from Senior Council Jirni Cripe, who shared her “business card” that describes who she is.

“We each have our own personal business card that reflects on who we are and have become,” Cripe said. “We are identified by the name at the top of our business card … [and] we each have a grasp of who we are and who that name has defined us to be.

“But as we look further onto each of our business cards, do we like what we see?”

Cripe continued down the business card with a description, location, and contact information.

“After graduating, we choose who we keep in touch with and those we bring along on our journey,” she added. “Surround yourself with those who care, love and support you in every aspect.

“Do we continue on this journey we have created for ourselves so far? Or do we edit our business card in hopes of finding who we truly wish to be? The choice is ours.”

Valedictorian Anna Osborne talked about “The Wild and Precious Life.”

“We've all heard the question, 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' Back then, it was easy,” she said, listing veterinarian, police officer, and teacher as popular choices. “But as time passed, so did the excitement that came from answering that question and it turned to stress.”

Osborne said it was a quote by Mary Oliver – “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” -- during Jennifer Reichenbach's English class that reminded her that it was time to figure out her life.

“Despite the colorful lettering posted on the wall above her whiteboard, it made me anxious to have a reminder every single day that I need to figure my life out,” Osborne said. “It was a constant nudge that we were graduating soon and everything was about to change. But sometimes when I’m overwhelmed like that, it simply requires a change in perspective.”

Class Salutatorian Spence Trick presented “What Life Has Taught Me,” is his address.

“I'll be the first one to admit that life isn't always a dream, but it can be if you make it,” Trick said. “When I say life can be a dream, I mean that you internally frame every situation that you come across, and when faced with a negative experience, you can choose to see the benefits that occur from it.

“I have learned that every adversity brings with it the seen of an equivalent advantage.”

Trick shared his experienced that he described as the worst one in his life, the death of his mother when he was 13 years old.

“At the time, I was only able to see the situation in a negative light, but as I really reflected on my past with my mother, I could only remember the happiest of moments with her,” Trick said. “Every time I thought of her, it brought a smile to my face. I realized that this was the key to coping with her death. I immediately decided to use this experience to better myself in every way possible.”

Throughout the ceremony the audience was entertained by the Manchester Concert Choir's performance of “Remember Me” by Anderson-Lopez and Lopez, and a saxophone solo from Keauna Allen, “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin.

A special video was presented showing photos of each graduating senior with photos from past and present.

After the video, MJSHS principal Dr. Jon Lippe addressed the graduates, followed by the Acceptance of the Class by Ruth Ayres, Manchester Community Schools Board of Trustees president.

MCS board members Ayres, Brice Bedke, Rick Espeset, Steve Flack, Michael Hensley and David Terflinger presented the graduates with their diplomas.

Senior Class president Carsyn Howard offered concluding remarks and led the class in the turning of the tassel, signifying their completion of high school.

Posted on 2019 Jun 04