Graduation brightens otherwise gloomy day


06_grad-hats_2486HATS AWAY!  — In a time honored tradition, graduating seniors from the Class of 2012 toss their motor boards into the air when the announcement is made that the graduation ceremony is over. The 102nd commencement exercise was held on Sunday in the CHS gym. After the hat tossing, the Class of 2012 went to the commons to form a receiving line for family, friends and well wishes.  I-O Photo by Buck Traxler





By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

Mother Nature chose to spit wet snow and rain on Sunday, so while it was gloomy outside, the CHS gym was bright and inviting as the high school celebrated is 102nd commencement exercise.

A packed gym of family, relatives and friends watched as the ceremony unfolded and 48 seniors walked across the floor to receive their diplomas and move on to a new adventure in their life.

Under the direction of music instructor Todd Truscott, the CHS band played the processional as two-by-two the senior class of 2012 entered the gym. That was followed by the Senior Choir and Band playing a stirring rendition of the National Anthem.

Stacy Aaberg gave the welcoming address and told those, seniors and the large crowd, “Family and friends, take a deep breath. They have made it.”


She said that without the guidance of their families, friends and staff of this school they would not be where they are today.”


Aaberg told the Class of 2012, “I want you to remember the past four years as successful. Look to the future and make connections with those around you. Step outside of your comfort zone and try something new, help someone you may not have helped in the past and always stay true to yourselves.”

Class President Dallas VanLuchene came on to introduce the speakers, Jacob Gouchenour and Ruth Fladstol, the guest speaker.

VanLuchene told the gathering, “It seems just like it was yesterday that I walked into this school to start my freshmen year.”

He said the days went by slow at first and then picked up speed and it seems like a blur looking back.

He told the class, “There will be many bumps in the road, but hang on and enjoy the ride.

Gouchenour was the first speaker, followed by CHS librarian Ruth Fladstol. VanLuchene said she had a positive impact on his high school days, “You are an amazing person.”

In his opening remark, Gouchenour said hello to the Cowboys and Cowgirls, and drew a chuckle when he added, “I guess that makes you cow people.”

He said “We’ve seen a lot of changes along the way and whatever the changes ahead of us hold, one thing is for sure, we can’t go forward and let the world change our smile, but we can let our smile change the world.”

Fladstol told the graduating class that the world is changing at a faster pace and asked, “What will it be like by our 10 or 20 year reunion? It’s fun to imagine.”

“What doesn’t seem to change however, are the things that really matter in life. It’s about to get deep, prepare yourself.”

After Fladstol spoke, the Senior Quartet of Samantha Garman, Jasmine Hilyard, Michaela Hohman, and Jade Rodriguez sang Homeward Bound.

Time for the precious diploma was getting close at hand. First the Then and Now senior slide show took place. It was time for school board members Joe Russell and Craig Broesder to present the diplomas. A short walk across the gym

Deborah Ostertag the CHS counselor made some closing remarks and, Principal Ken Larson presented the Class of 2012 and the motor boards flew towards the gym ceiling.

As the seniors made their way to commons for hugs, kisses, greetings and congratulations, Faith Dyrud and Alex Gage passed out flowers.

Ushers for the ceremony were Terence Kleinsasser, Erin Awtrey, Lynne Spears, and Ariel Sauer.

The Class of 2012 officers were Dallas VanLuchene president, Sam Larson VP, Samantha Garman secretary, and representatives included Steven Peters, Emily Weisgram, and Joe Ries. Stacy Aaberg was the class advisor.

Following are the Class of 2012: Tyler Ray-Baker Nelson, Ciara Drew Bender*, Meagan JoAnn Breding*, Allison Rose Bruner, Jamison Dillon Byrnes, Samuel Dillon Carroll*, Taylor Rynae Christiaens, Amelia Leigh DeBoo*, Jamee Dee Ann De Loy, Tanner Lee Dyer, Alexander James Finlayson, Austin Neal Fowler, Tanner James Fuson, Samantha Joan Garman, Caleb Chas Gouchenour, Samuel Jacob Gouchenour, Jr.*, Brittany Kay Greyn*, Erica May Grubb*, Colt Dakota Garlen Harris, Grace Elaine Hicks, Jasmine D’nee Hilyard Frenche, Chad Michael Hoggan, Michaela Jean Hohman, Rashelle Ann Johns, Tyler Joseph Krause. Samuel Karter Larson*, Kyle Logan Linn, Kesler Mark DeBruycker Martin, Afton Emily Mielke, Benjamin Stephan Moerkerke*, Shanae Paige Newmiller*, Sierra Marie Oehlke, Calvin Thomas Ophus*, Ryan James Orcutt, Steven Douglas Peters*, Devon Nicole Rauscher, Joseph Gerald Ries, Cassie Lynn Robertson, Charles Raymond Roderick, Jade Nicol Rodriquez, Luke Alan Schlosser, Lucas Jason Schultz, William James Shirley*, Blayne Orlo Underdahl, Dallas Ryan VanLuchene*, Emily Shea Weisgram*, Zachary James Widhalm, and Clay Grant Winters.

The asterisk after the name denotes that the senior is member of the National Honor Society.