GMG High School held the 2012 Commencement Exercises on May 20 for 34 graduating seniors. Senior class member, Alex Steiner presented the Welcome. He offered a prayer of thanks, ".... for family, years of friendship and all the teachers preparation for the new phase of our lives." He also asked asked for a watchful eye for Mrs. Ware and Ms. Strohbehn, who are retiring.
A video was prepared for the seniors by Mrs. Jackson and the SOAR Class. It featured elementary memories with words of advice by Mrs. Vint and Mrs. Grabe. Coach Dean Aldrich added words of advice as did Mrs. Ware, Mrs Roberts, Mrs. Jackson and Mrs. Thomsen. Each senior received a copy of the DVD.
High school Principal Mark Polich welcomed all and noted that this was an opportunity to honor the graduates at this very special occasion marking all that they have accomplished.
GMG Grad hats in the wind
The 2012 GMG Graduating Class is pictured as they jubilantly tossed their hats into the wind. Graduation ceremonies were held on May 20 with Morgan Burt named Valedictorian and Austin Groth as Salutatorian. Class Speakers were Alex Steiner, Morgan Burt, Austin Groth and Heather Brittenham. Diplomas were handed out by Board Member Kathy Beane, Principal Mark Polich and Guidance Counselor Mike Pierson. Photo by Margaret Thomsen
Class Speaker Morgan Burt noted that the class was coming to the end of one chapter and now beginning a new journey. Many different goals and dreams will be sought. She said, ".... a goal is accomplished because of passion."
In elementary passion was show and tell with maybe a rock or a favorite hot wheel. Then in junior high it became sports and band. In high school they became better students and better communicators. Then as seniors it became choosing a career path. She noted, "A career based on money will never make one happy.... pursue that passion...... (seniors) are starting a new chapter and you get to be the author."
Class Speaker Austin Groth said, "..... after six years and ten seasons of having Mr. Pierson for a coach I have drawn inspiration from Mr. Pierson's stories and quotes." Groth chose the quote, "Don't limit your challenges, challenge your limits" as the theme for his speech. He said "You are the only one who sets limits as to what you can do".
Groth told of the elephant who was trained by a very heavy rope and stake. He was trained to be held. The elephant gave up and then was held only by a very thin rope and little stake. He just gave up and lost his motivation ."We must never limit the challenges.
The Iowa State Bar Association Citizenship Award was presented to Kyle Barloon by Jared Bauch. He is an Iowa Bar Association member and spoke that the winner was chosen by the GMG faculty. The award is very special in that it identifies a senior with outstanding qualities and an understanding of the purpose of citizenship. Barloon is the son of Keith and Anne Barloon.
Guidance Counselor Mike Pierson presented the awards and honors to the GMG Class of 2012. Nearly $230,000 worth of scholarships was awarded to the senior students.
Diplomas were handed out to the 34 graduates. Conducting the ceremony were High School Principal Mark Polich, Board Representative Kathy Beane and Guidance Counselor Mike Pierson.
A group of seniors sang, "Graduation Song". Singers were Melody Beane, Morgan Burt, Madelyn Newcomb, Siera Richter, Madisun Van Gundy, Heather Brittenham and Austin Groth. They were accompanied by Mrs. Sue Koster.
Heather Brittenham offered the Closing. She said the class has been touched by ,".... our family, friends and teachers who taught us to never settle for less than our best. Our parents have nurtured us for 18 years ...as we enter a new chapter we thank you."
The traditional "Pomp and Circumstance" was played on the piano by Mrs. Koster as the Senior Class of 2012 began the new journey awaiting them.