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Graduation Bittersweet, Says Johns

Archbold High School
Left: Arnie Grime and Wendy Hogrefe, take a selfie with Andrew Hogrefe after AHS commencement exercises, Sunday, May 26. Arnie is Andrew’s grandfather; Wendy is his mother. Right: Austin Wiemken takes a photograph with his mother and father, Sharon and Dean.– photos by David Pugh

Left: Arnie Grime and Wendy Hogrefe, take a selfie with Andrew Hogrefe after AHS commencement exercises, Sunday, May 26. Arnie is Andrew’s grandfather; Wendy is his mother. Right: Austin Wiemken takes a photograph with his mother and father, Sharon and Dean.– photos by David Pugh

Bittersweet.

That’s the word Brendon Johns, a member of the AHS Class of 2019, kept coming back to in his commencement address.

AHS held its 127th commenc ement ceremony, Sunday, May 26, in the high school gymnasium.

“I think I’ve heard the word bittersweet more times today than I have in my entire life,” he said, adding he didn’t realize how accurate the word actually was.

Despite the advances that have been made in communications, it will never be the same as the time the class spent together at AHS.

Andi Peterson, the other class speaker, agreed, saying some of her classmates were “beyond ready to leave these people and this place.

“Others may not be ready to let go of these people and step into what’s ahead.”

“I’m afraid the reality of the situation hasn’t set in quite yet. Again, bittersweet,” Johns said.

“It’s a perfect way to describe what we’re feeling right now, at this beautiful milestone in our lives.”

 

 

Praise

The student speakers praised their parents, teachers, school staff, and community for the education they had been given.

“Our teachers taught us what it means to be a hardworking, determined, and respectful student, in and out of the classroom,” Peterson said.

Johns said, “I speak with tremendous gratitude for being a part of such an amazing community… We owe the world to our teachers and our administrators who put forth so much time and effort into our educations.”

He said all of their lives had brought the class to the precise moment of high school graduation.

“We have been diligently preparing for this day for our entire lives,” he said.

Peterson talked about parents, and their roles.

As teenagers, she said, “it’s hard to see it this way… but you love us enough to bug us about where we’re going, who with, and what time we will be home.

Brendon Johns

Brendon Johns

“You love us enough to worry and nag about our health.

“You love us enough to choose our temporary upset in the hope that the lessons will bring us long-term happiness.

“You love us enough to be overprotective. You love us enough to not make excuses for our bad manners and lack of respect.

“You love us enough to put yourself last every day, and you love us enough to let us stumble, fail, and fall, so that we can learn to stand alone.”

Future

Peterson said she “cannot wait to see” where life takes her classmates.

“God has created each and every one of you with unique individual gifts. So when you walk out these doors today to pursue the purpose God has planned for you, use your gifts to impact the people around you and make sure to share your gifts with the world.

“Don’t waste them doing something you don’t love. It’s time to chase down everything you’ve ever wanted.

Andi Peterson

Andi Peterson

“So step out of your comfort zone. Meet new people. Try new things.

“Go places you’ve never been, but never forget where you came from, and never forget the people at Archbold High School that made all these things possible.”

Johns encouraged his classmates to continue to pursue their goals, “for each of us absolutely has the power to change the world for the better.

“All of the greatest men and women in history… have all been faced with the challenge of doing things that no one’s ever done before in order to grow and prosper.

“Love the life you live. Live the life you love.

“Archbold High School Class of 2019, it’s impossible to know exactly what we will accomplish, but it is possible to know what we can accomplish.

“There is no doubt in my mind that you will all do great things.

“As we prepare to go our separate ways, may the excellent memories of Archbold High School be cherished forever.”