Class of 2022 Graduates Celebrated at Commencement

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Emmetsburg High School held commencement in the high school’s gymnasium the afternoon of Sunday, May 22. The 62 seniors were recognized with a senior class video made by Lane Auten, Hunter Sandbulte, Dawson Weir, and Ms. Herrig. The Emmetsburg concert band under the direction of Mary O’Connell performed prelude selections in addition to “Pomp and Circumstance” as the seniors made their way in the gym for their final high school event.
Mistress of ceremonies and senior class president, Dominique Biliran, gave a nod to supporters in her speech that welcomed everyone to the ceremony. “We want to thank all parents, family, and friends for their love and constant support as well as the members of Emmetsburg High School’s faculty and staff for their guidance and patience. We truly owe you all that we are,” expressed Biliran in her speech.
The concert choir under the direction of Brandt Roskens sang “100 Years”, a fitting song for the occasion.
In a three-way tie for valedictorian, Rachel Miner, Shalaki Soukup, and Raegen Swanson all gave heartfelt speeches about their class and their years in school.
Rachel Miner explained how tight-knit the class has been from the beginning: “From the start, our class has always had a connection. Looking back to our elementary school days, it’s crazy to think of how much we’ve been through. I remember homecoming was one of our favorite times. It was truly the best thing to see the “big E-Hawks” come and meet us at West Elementary. Now we have already been the big E-Hawks.” Rachel will be attending the University of Northern Iowa to major in healthcare administration.
Shalaki Soukup spoke to her classmates about their character: “Each one of you is deserving because of the obstacles that you have overcome and the personality and characteristics you developed for yourself along the way.” Shalaki plans to attend the University of South Dakota to major in music.
Raegen Swanson gave an emotional speech. She explained, “Over the last four years, we have all walked these halls, dreaming of this day... Senior year is always a year that consists of lasts. Although those times can be sad, they also signify the next step in life.” Raegen will attend Iowa State University to major in kinesiology for physical therapy.
Diplomas were awarded to the students by Superintendent, Mr. Darren Hanna and Mr. Val Morton, Vice President of the Board of Education. Names were announced by Principal, Mrs. Tracie Christensen.
As the graduates left their school as alumni, they lined up outdoors to be greeted by their proud family, friends, teachers, and leaders who built them up on the way to achieving this milestone in their lives.
Between sports, activities, awards, friendships, and all kinds of significant accomplishments, the Class of 2022 has displayed resilience that will continue to carry them through all that their future will bring.


EMMETSBURG HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES -- The 62 graduates experienced their last event as high schoolers on Sunday, May 22. Commencement exercises included speeches from Principal Tracie Christensen, senior class president Dominique Biliran, and co-valedictorians Rachel Miner, Shalaki Soukup, and Raegen Swanson. Additionally, a senior class video was shown, the concert band and concert choir performed, symbolic flowers were given to families, and diplomas were awarded. -- Natalie Henriksen photo

FLOWERS FOR FAMILIES -- Each senior had the opportunity to present their class flower, a yellow carnation, to their supporters. Above, Nicolas Lowe embraces his mother after receiving his diploma. -- Natalie Henriksen photo

AWARDING OF DIPLOMAS -- Mrs. Tracie Christensen read each name of the graduates as they walked across the stage to receive their diploma from Superintendent Mr. Darren Hanna at left and Mr. Val Morton, Vice President of the Board of Education, at right. -- Natalie Henriksen photo

POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE -- The high school concert band under the direction of Mary O’Connell played their instruments for the prelude of Emmetsburg High School’s commencement exercises. The band proudly played “Pomp and Circumstance” as the graduates made their way into the gynasium and as they later walked out the doors as alumni. -- Natalie Henriksen photo

HEARTFELT MELODIES -- The concert choir under the direction of Brandt Roskens performed “100 Years”, evoking emotion for proud families and friends in the crowd. Many seniors joined in for this final song with their fellow high school choir members. -- Natalie Henriksen photo

MISTRESS OF CEREMONIES -- Dominique Biliran, senior class president, led the afternoon events with a warm welcome to the graduates and supporters present. -- Natalie Henriksen photo

THREE VALEDICTORIANS -- Rachel Miner, one of three co-valedictorians of the Class of 2022, spoke to the closeness of the class from a young age. -- Natalie Henriksen photo

SHARING AND CELEBRATING -- Shalaki Soukup, another one of three co-valedictorians, gave an honest speech about perseverance and lessons learned throughout high school.
-- Natalie Henriksen photo

HARD TO SAY GOODBYE -- Raegen Swanson, final speaker of the three co-valedictorians, gave an emotional nod to high school years as the graduates take this next step in their lives. She reminded her class and the crowd of the individual moments and memories that the classmates created. -- Natalie Henriksen photo

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