‘Futures begin now’

Minneota celebrates class of 2022

Photo by Deb Gau Minneota High School graduates toss caps in the air at the end of commencement ceremonies.

MINNEOTA — The Minneota High School class of 2022 reached the end of a four-year journey. But graduation wasn’t really an ending, so much as a new beginning, class valedictorian Summer Hennen said.

“As we walk across the stage, we will enter on a new journey,” Hennen said in her commencement address. “Our futures begin now,” she said.

A total of 43 Minneota seniors received diplomas at a Saturday commencement ceremony. Speakers at commencement reflected on the lessons seniors had learned in their time at school.

“Our class has learned some of its greatest lessons in the last four years,” Hennen said.

One of the biggest was overcoming adversity. Now, the class of 2022 was going to learn new lessons, she said.

“We are going to have to learn how to start over,” Hennen said. “Just like every hard time, we will make it through.”

Salutatorian Alyssa Engels also offered fellow graduates advice. She said she hoped her classmates would experience adversity and failure, and stay dependent on others.

While the advice might have sounded counterintuitive, Engels said each of those three experiences would be helpful.

“Failure is one of the best ways to learn and to grow,” she said.

When graduates deal with failures in their lives, they need to learn the reasons they failed, and be resilient enough to keep trying to succeed.

Graduates should also keep in mind that they will need the help and support of others in life, Engels said.

“Humans were designed to need each other, so don’t try to go it alone,” she said.

In her keynote speech, retired Minneota teacher Mary Noyes also urged graduates not to be stopped by failure as they find their passions in life. Noyes said she took inspiration from the Minneota fight song in thinking of what to say to the class of 2022.

“It will be a fight some days, and victory is not always the outcome,” she said. “Learn from your past choices and mistakes.”

Senior class co-president Abby Frie said graduates should also remember the relationships they formed in school.

“No matter what path we choose, we will carry a piece of each other,” Frie said.

Frie urged her classmates to make the beginning of this new chapter in life a good one.


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