North Platte School District bid farewell to its 2013 senior class last Sunday in the North Platte High School gymnasium in Dearborn, marking another memorable Mother’s Day event.
Forty-two graduates received diplomas wearing the North Platte Panthers purple, a decrease of nine graduates from last year.
Class speakers included valedictorian Olivia Paden, salutatorian Stephanie Parkhurst and Summer Reed. Each talked about their lives, and Paden shared a story from a relative on getting “a head” — the story of a baby born to a family just as a head. Upon graduation, water was added to the head, which grew torso, arms and legs as each subsequent drink was taken — and poof, he vanished.
“The morale of the story is to stop while you’re ‘a head’,” Paden said.
However, with a smile, she revised the tale, asking her classmates to never stop while they were ahead because now was the time to push forward.
In the graduating class, almost 70 scholarships were awarded with many students continuing on to college and/or military as the next step in their lives.
Also included in the ceremony was a special music arrangement by Alan Billingsley and the annual slide presentation of the senior class featuring quotes, baby photos and senior photos.
Fifty West Platte seniors took the next step toward the real world as they walked across the stage in front of hundreds of friends and family members at the West Platte High School gym at 3 p.m. last Sunday.
Language arts teacher Patricia Benner gave a commencement address to those students and co-valedictorians Jordan Bialek and Logan Moose also addressed their fellow classmates.
Benner stressed to the graduating class that while their education in the classroom over the last 13 years was important, learning through life experiences was just as, if not more, important in succeeding in life.
Bialek spoke of the change that they had gone through and the School District had gone through during the Class of 2013’s time at West Platte High School and said West Platte was the best school she had ever gone to, speaking from experience as an Army “brat.”
Matthew Heili was salutatorian and also named student of the year.
Bialek, Moose, and Heili along with Owen Chiaventone, Jana Hochard and Chelsie Brill made up the top 10 percent of the class.
West Platte Superintendent Dr. Jerrod Wheeler congratulated the seniors on receiving over $1.1 million in scholarship monies.
The District had eight bright flight scholars and 33 seniors received at least one college scholarship, worth a minimum of $2,500.
Jared Meyer received the most scholarship monies with $202,300. Moose ($199,556), Heili ($146,256) and Bialek ($127,700) all received over $100,000 worth of scholarships and Brianna Hughes earned $91,224 to round out the top scholarship earners for West Platte.