Northeast Hamilton honors graduates

“The best way to get something done is to begin,” quoted Northeast Hamilton Senior Class speaker Kaylee Massman during commencement exercises Sunday afternoon in Blairsburg.

Massman admitted she procrastinated in writing her graduation keynote address because of what it meant.

“I don’t want it to be over,” she said. “Once this was written, everything I needed to complete for Northeast Hamilton was officially done”.

She noted that while it feels like it’s time to move on, the idea of leaving all the people she has seen everyday for 19 years seems like a strange concept.

“I don’t know if I’m ready to leave this school and all the wonderful people in it,” she said.

Looking to the future, Massman told the graduates that they may face many changes in their college lives, including changing majors.

“It’s hard to find something you’re passionate about, but I think that just makes it even more special when you find an area you both excel in and love”.

Speakers Tyler Smith and Logan Seiser encouraged their classmates to dream.

“Just always have a dream,” said Smith. “Whether it is to graduate college, have a good job or have a family. Your dreams can be anything no matter how big or small. Make it happen and don’t stop until it happens”.

As freshman, this senior class grew up quickly when beloved classmate James Unger was killed in an automobile accident on November 20, 2010.

“No one could believe the news of what had happened,” said Logan Seiser. “James was the type of person anyone could love. It opened our eyes into what life is really about. We became more mature and responsible than other freshman classes”.

“James’ spirit has not doubt been with us throughout high school and is here with us today,” said Smith. “I believe this heartbreaking accident made our class become stronger together”.

In remembrance of James Unger, the NEH Class of 2014 placed a yellow rose, the class flower, on an empty chair among their ranks.

Seiser referenced the future closing of Northeast Hamilton’s High School.

“With such a close-knit community, it makes it extremely tough and overwhelming,” said Seiser.

“Teachers will lose their jobs, students will lose friends, families will move and there won’t be any more responsible, kind, respectful, amazing adults coming out of Northeast Hamilton and going into the real world,” said Smith.

Lastly, the duo thanked their parents and teachers.

“Without you, we wouldn’t be the responsible, caring, loving and energetic people that we are today,” said Seiser. “Without you, life never would have happened”.

In his opening remarks, NEH Supt. Larry Frakes told the graduates that today was a milestone for them.

“From this time onward, I believe your life will change in one very important way,” he said. “Up to this point you have had a lot of people making decisions for you. Now, it’s up to you”.

Recognized at the ceremony were honor students with a 3.0 GPA Cole Elsberry, Dylan Greenfield, Kaylee Massman, Gabe Rapp, Logan Seiser, Tyler Smith, Jaidyn Timm, Kim VanHouten, Torri Werner and Lydia Winkler.

Receiving honors for maintaining a 3.67 GPA throughout all four years of high school were Kaylee Massman, Gabe Rapp, Logan Seiser, Jaidyn Timm and Tyler Smith.

NEH High School Principal Dennis Bahr presented the Class of 2014 and NEH School Board Vice President Marlin Pruismann presented the diplomas.