A new day dawns for 160 Griswold graduates
By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Griswold - posted Mon., Jun. 20, 2011
Griswold High School sent 160 new graduates out into the sultry summer sun June 18 on what Superintendent Paul Freeman called the sunrise of their lives.
Like the morning dawn, commencement is “a moment when you are in two separate times. You’re beginning to see the day that is opening and unfolding before you,” he said.
He charged the graduates to make time in their day of celebration to thank someone who had been important on their journey – a parent, a teacher, a classmate – and to remember that they are now responsible to ensure "the future education of the next generation of students behind you, so they get to sit in chairs like these,” referring to commencement.
Valedictorian Jacqueline Longacre compared the students’ lives to an Etch-a-Sketch. “Since freshman year, we’ve been working on those awkward squiggles we made. For four years we jiggled the knobs.
“It’s time to give that Etch-a-Sketch a few good shakes. High school is over,” she declared. Commencement creates “not quite a clean slate,” she said, but “a chance to create a new picture.”
Principal Dr. Mark Frizzell, whose son Connor was among the graduates, praised the Class of 2011 as a group with “a desire to be leaders, to be understanding and compassionate, to be kind, to be willing to help.” He cited the class’s many local and global community service projects, particularly the effort to raise money for the families of five fellow students who were victims of a fatal crash in December 2010.
The school also awarded an honorary diploma to someone who had departed this life, Wanda Hansin Brunet. A 1937 grad of the former Riverside Elementary School in Griswold, Brunet never completed her studies at Griswold High. But upon her recent death, she left the school a $1.5 million endowment, which provided scholarships to some of the day’s graduates.