Hundreds of people attended the 2013 graduation ceremony Saturday at USD 408 Sports and Aquatic Center to witness 58 Marion High School students receive their diploma.
The students, their families and MHS faculty were all smiles as tribute was paid to the hard work and accomplishments of the graduates.
The valedictorians and salutatorian addressed their classmates.
Isaac Baldwin, this year’s salutatorian, spoke about how one of the greatest thinkers, Albert Einstein, struggled in school.
“I think we can all agree that Einstein was pretty intelligent, so I am going to use him to back myself up when I say what I am about to say.
In his essay, “The World As I See It,” Einstein said, “coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”
Baldwin went on to explain how he believes everything that happens to people, whether good or bad, has purpose.
“Our experiences strengthen us, they shape us, our values and beliefs overall, they define who we are as people,” he said.
Grateful for the teachers at MHS, Baldwin said how each of them were instrumental in helping all of his classmates develop.
“Every single day these people came to work knowing they were going to deal with us and somehow pushed through working hard to send us along,” he said.
Graduation is also a time, he said, to thank parents who have helped make everyone ready to face the world.
“This moment is what we have prepared for,” Baldwin said.
Elizabeth Goentzel, one of the valedictorians, talked about how she found one of her elementary books, “Pooh’s Graduation,” by Isabel Gaines.
In the book, Christopher Robin is graduating from the first grade and organizes a graduation ceremony with his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood.
Each graduate received a diploma and an award for their best talent.
Goentzel said Tigger received one for bouncing, Piglet for cleaning and Roo for finger painting. But Pooh, she said, wasn’t sure what he was good at doing.
It wasn’t until Christopher Robin handed him an award for being a best friend did Pooh discover his true worth.
“Some students may think they don’t excel at anything, but that is not true,” she said.
Those students come to sporting events, concerts and activities to support and encourage other classmates by simply being a friend, Goentzel said.
“We would not be the class we are today without every one here,” she added.
Nelson talked about the late Steve Jobs, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple Inc.
In his address, Nelson talked about taking chances and the opportunities available to them.
Quoting Jobs, Nelson said, “Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
The USD 408 Board of Education presented diplomas and awards.
In addition to hearing “Escape From the Deep” performed by the MHS Concert Band, the MHS Singers sang “For Good.”