‘A lot to look forward to’

Lakeview Class of 2024 celebrates graduation

Members of the Lakeview High School class of 2024 tossed their caps and shot confetti into the air in celebration of graduating. A total of 44 seniors received their diplomas at commencement ceremonies Friday evening.

COTTONWOOD — Graduation was a time to look back on memories of high school. But it’s also a time to look to the future, said members of the Lakeview High School class of 2024.

“Let us not forget that there is so much more that awaits us beyond high school, and we have a lot to look forward to,” said Lakeview commencement speaker Grace LaVoy.

A total of 44 Lakeview seniors received their diplomas during commencement ceremonies on Friday. Ella Schmidt was named class valedictorian, and LaVoy was named salutatorian.

“Congratulations to each and every one of you,” Lakeview Superintendent Chris Fenske told graduates. Fenske also thanked graduates for their positive impact on the school. “It is my belief that your years here at Lakeview have provided you the opportunity to share and enhance your gifts, gain valuable experiences, and make many wonderful memories.”

The commencement ceremonies included plenty of reflections on the class of 2024’s impact on the school, as well as advice for the future. In her commencement address, LaVoy reflected on advice that she received from her choir teacher: “The whole world needs to hear your voice.”

“This is a line that has stuck with me to this day, and it shifted my perspective,” she said. “I now realize that we all have our own unique voices that need to be heard.”

LaVoy said her classmates all had their own identities, beliefs and abilities. She encouraged everyone to think about how they would share them with the world.

“I truly believe that one of the keys to living successful lives beyond high school lies in finding our individual voices, sharing them with others, and using them to inspire change in the world,” she said.

Lakeview faculty speaker Karen Gustafson also gave the graduates advice, playfully based on the class of 2024’s chosen motto.

“‘Peace out. We’re done!’ That is your class motto,” Gustafson said. “Let’s take a look at that motto. It’s short. It’s catchy. It makes little to no sense,” she joked. “But it is yours . . . So, let’s break it down and see what we can do with it.”

The first element of the motto to focus on was peace. “I feel that as you go forward, you will remember to bring peace wherever you land, and carry it to those around you,” Gustafson said. “In all things, seek out that which makes you peaceful. Be kind, be respectful and bring peace.”

Gustafson said graduates would also be venturing “out” into the world, and she urged them to remember to help others along the way.

For the abbreviation “we’re,” Gustafson encouraged graduates to slow down instead of taking shortcuts. The word “we’re” was also a reminder to share the journey with others. “You always need someone, always. And others will need you, always,” Gustafson said.

Finally, Gustafson said she hoped that the class of 2024 was not “done” learning throughout their lives.

Before their class’s final dismissal, Lakeview Principal Scott Hanson called on graduates to remember the tools Lakeview had given them in life, like passion, kindness and a belief in taking action.

“Don’t wait for opportunities. Don’t make excuses. Now, go get what you want in life!” Hanson told graduates.


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