By Rebecca Chaney
“We truly are like family,” Clara Lauby said in her opening speech at the 2019 Elwood High School graduation, Saturday, May 11. “With all the love and support from the family members, teachers, and community members here today, we shall all continue on our own roads to success,” she said.
Clara was joined by 20 other graduating seniors. “We have all learned valuable and lifelong lessons here at Elwood and we are ready to go out and make an impact on the world,” Clara concluded.
Six graduating seniors wore Gold Cords around their necks signifying membership in the National Honor Society. They included Baylee Diefenbaugh, Ty Smith, Taylor Hickey, Clara Lauby, Hannah Steinwart and Jaycee Wooters.
School principal Kyle Hemmerling had the honor of presenting five young ladies with the Top Quarter honors recognizing them for outstanding academics and being in the top 25 percent of their class. They included Taylor Hickey, Jaycee Wooters, Clara Lauby, Haylie Moseley and Baylee Diefenbaugh.
The Salutatory address was presented by Jaycee Wooters. She shared personal stories about most of her classmates. “We have learned our ABC’s and our 123’s which turned into several math equations and long planned out English papers,” Jaycee said. “We have learned about each others personalities, likes, and dislikes.”
Taylor Hickey was honored as the Valedictorian of the Class of 2019. In her remarks to the class, she pointed out they were the final official class of the Elwood Pirates.
“One last day to be Pirates, but we will forever be Pirates, it is in our blood,” she said. “We are the last of a breed. The last class that will graduate as true, full-blooded Elwood Pirates.”
Following Taylor’s remarks, Elwood High School Counselor, Danielle Rieker, announced scholarships earned by the 2019 graduates. More than $162,000 in scholarships was presented during Saturday’s graduation ceremony.
The senior video, featuring photos of class members from kindergarten through graduation, was a highlight during the ceremony. That was followed by the presentation of flowers from graduates to their parents. And the moment, students had been anticipating for weeks, the presentation of their high school diplomas by. Hemmerling and Rieker.
Baylee Diefenbaugh was honored to give the closing remarks. She joined the class of 2019 when she was in sixth grade and said she has always felt welcomed. Baylee referred to her class as a “Motley Crue,” but full of ambitious seniors with a variety of career goals set for the future. “There’s something special and unique about the class of 2019,” Baylee said.
The class of 2019 included Raul Alexander Clouse, Aeronjonie David Christner, Caitlyn Marie Comfort, Baylee Caroline Diefenbaugh, Giovanni Duran, Ty Jorges, Max Earl Elliott, Gavin Bryant Craig Fullmer, Jeremiah Garst, Cole A. Gutierrez, Kimberly Halouska, Taylor Susann Hickey, Brandon Jauken, Clara Marie Lauby, Rebeka Lehmkuhler, Kathryn Lee Montey, Haylie Moseley, Julieann Marie Puls, Ty Bradley Smith, Hannah Renae Steinwart and Jaycee Lyn Wooters.
Ushers for the 2019 graduation ceremony included Makenzie Clouse, Carina Atterberry, Juan Flores and Megan Houser.
Read the entire story in this week’s print or e-edition of the Elwood Bulletin.