Area News | Home | Marketplace | Community

Return to Archived Stories

Paynesville Press - June 9, 2004

Class of 2004 graduates on Sunday

By Michael Jacobson

Receiving a diploma The Class of 2004 - 99 seniors - graduated from Paynesville Area High School on Sunday afternoon.

"We hope the education you received at the Paynesville Area Public Schools will be the building block for your future success," superintendent Howard Caldwell told the graduating class.

In addition to the presentation of diplomas, the ceremony included songs by the band and choir, the announcement of scholarship winners (see the list below left), and senior addresses by Melissa Andrie and Sami Tierney, two of the seven students graduating summa cum laude this year.

Senior Derek Burris receives his diploma from school board member Mark Dingmann on Sunday afternoon as high school principal John Janotta calls the names of the graduating seniors.

Parent hug Andrie, a National Merit Finalist, said that high school had been "a wonderful, nurturing experience," even if they were counting the days until graduation. School was much more than learning the capital of Venezuela, said Andrie. They might have taken math class, but they put that into practice counting confiscated toilet paper rolls.

Bob O'Fallon - wearing eye black with his baseball teammates - hugs his mother, Gretchen, a school baord member, after receiving his diploma.

In planning their futures after graduation, Andrie urged her classmates to look at the near term. Instead of worrying about what they want to be when they grow up, they should think about what they want to do now. "The vast perhaps awaits," she concluded.

Tierney tried to write a clichŽless graduation speech - avoiding talk about remembering the past and embracing the future - but by her own admission she failed. It is the end of an era, she told her classmates, with no more "Attention, please," announcements, no more high school lunches, nor admonishments that it's only fun if everyone is having fun, a frequent line used by high school principal John Janotta.

Hugs after graduation Tierney urged her classmates to "Carpe Diem" or "Seize the Day."

Seniors Amanda Stelling and Rachel Keller embrace following the PAHS commencement cerremony on Sunday.

The Class of 2004 featured 41 honor students and 20 members of the National Honor Society.

Photo page of 2004 PAHS graduation.

Contact the author at   •   Return to News Menu

Home | Marketplace | Community