DHS grads reflect back on education during graduation ceremony

BY SUSAN VAN CLEAF

susan.vancleaf@ecm-inc.com

Delano High School Principal Matt Schoen told Delano High School graduates Sunday, June 3, that teachers and principals "have eyes in the back of their heads."

Schoen gave his last address as DHS principal at the school’s 118th commencement exercises, held in the Tiger Activity Center. Now he will move down the hall into his new office as Delano’s new superintendent of schools.

Before giving parting words of wisdom, he quoted seniors who had signed his yearbook at Spring Fling. One of the quotes was, "High School has been great. If you only knew the things we got away with."

At that point Schoen talked about the magical location for teachers’ eyeballs.

He also said his son Lucas was among the 165 graduates in the class of 2012, and Lucas had had many friends come regularly to his house. The older Schoen left the audience in suspense until the end as to which of the student quotes came from his son.

Lucas did not say, "These have been the greatest four years of my life. See you at home."

He also did not say:

"Don’t give any snow days next year."

"I went from a poor football player to a thespian in less than a month."

"I don’t think I would have made it through my senior year without hacky sack."

He did say, "Can I have 20 bucks? Chad, Matt, Sammy and I want to go to MacDonald’s."

A number of graduates got special recognition. Schoen introduced the "Honor Five," the top five students academically. Amelia Lax and Brooke Jaunich were tied for first. The other top five were Jack Prinsen, Eric Bergland and Danielle McKay.

John Sweet, outgoing superintendent of schools, presented American Legion School Citizenship Awards to Nick Meyerson and Ashley Lewis.

In her Reflections speech, graduating senior Ellie Moonen took classmates from the bus stop in kindergarten all the way through high school and commented on lessons learned.

Already in kindergarten Moonen said she started to learn how to take responsibility for her actions. Then she apologized to the classmate whom she pushed down at the bus stop by saying, "I hope you’re okay."

Moonen called entering DHS "the biggest reality check of her school career." Suddenly, she was amongst the freshmen, the "bottom feeders." We were not as cool as we thought we were," she said.

She told classmates that "high school doesn’t define us" and "I think we’re ready for 2012."

In his Perspectives speech, graduate Nicholas Meyerson said, "Some of us have been lucky enough to find out what we’re passionate about." He saw many people in the audience with bright futures ahead, ranging from psychologists to video game reviewers.

Meyerson advised, "Whatever you choose in life, follow your heart." He had to learn this about his love of music and now believes he can make it happen somehow.

"May you have no regrets about high school, because this is far from the end," he said. He told classmates to go ahead and do whatever they want to do.

In her faculty address, Jane Aksoy, world language teacher, told graduates to demand recognition, claim it and push the limits.

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