With all the pomp and circumstance of “Pomp and Circumstance," the Beatrice High School class of 2018 flipped the tassels on their mortarboards from left to right on May 13.
It was a symbolic gesture marking the end of the class's high school career. More than 150 students received their diplomas on Sunday afternoon at a ceremony in the high school's school gym in front of a packed house.
Principal Jason Sutter said the class of 2018 has a lot to be proud of over the past four years.
There were 11 co-valedictorians - students who earned a 4.0 cumulative grade point average over the past four years. There were 44 honor graduates who had a 3.5 cumulative GPA.
Class of 2018 students participated in 1,200 activities and the 85 students who took dual credit courses earned 1,231 college credits.
Sutter said that 58 percent of the student body had received some sort of scholarship or financial aid for their future studies. All totaled, students received around $2.5 million in scholarship funds.
“Members of this class have done extremely well,” Sutter said. “Beatrice High School has prepared them to enter the workplace, the military or a variety of future educational institutions.”
It took a full 10 minutes for the class of 2018 to proceed from the entrance of the gym to their seats, their gowns decorated with cords and medals to recognize their accomplishments.
Senior class president Quintin Hartig welcomed the crowd, giving a special thanks to family, friends, teachers, coaches and staff before giving a nod to all mothers.
“On behalf of the class of 2018, we'd like to wish a happy Mother's Day to all the mothers who have supported us and helped us along the journey to where we are today,” Hartig said.
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Senior Allison Snurr addressed her fellow graduates in a speech titled, “Blink and You Miss It." Even though they were ending a chapter in their lives, Snurr said it shouldn't be a sad day for graduates.
“This day is an exciting celebration of everything we have accomplished, so hug your classmates and tell your teachers how much they have changed your life,” she said. “From this point on, our lives are unknown.”
Danni Harder’s speech “You’re Gonna Miss This,” touched on getting ready for the future and the new and exciting adventures awaiting the class of 2018.
Harder also brought up the memory of Cayden McConnell, who died in 2014. He would have been graduating with them on Sunday. Harder said she was sure he’d be happy to see them now.
“Twelve years ago, as we were all beginning elementary school, none of us would have ever thought we would get to where we are today,” Harder said. “Graduation was hardly something that crossed our minds. The only time we ever thought about graduation was when we watched Troy and Gabriella walk across the stage in ‘High School Musical 3.'"
Jace Berry encouraged his fellow graduates to use the knowledge they’d gleaned in their time in Beatrice and to push themselves past their limits in his speech “A New Beginning."
“Be willing to branch out and meet new people after high school,” Berry said. “Don't get stuck in the past, strive for the future.”
Before receiving their diplomas, tossing their tassels to the other side and throwing their mortarboards in the air, Sutter had one last piece of advice for the class of 2018.
“You are here on this earth for a reason,” Sutter said. “The most important thing you can do in life is to find, live and share your purpose. It's one of the things in life that truly matters and should always constantly be pursued.”