140 Albion grads get send off

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 June 2016 at 12:00 am

Photos courtesy of Marlene Seielstad

ALBION – Josh Metzler accepts his high school diploma on Friday from Margy Brown, president of the Albion Board of Education. Metzler was one of 140 members of the Class of 2016 to graduate during the ceremony at the high school gym.

Meredith Patterson delivers the valedictory address. She spoke about a phoenix, a bird that is cyclically reborn after bursting into flames.

“Associated with the sun and deep wisdom, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor,” Patterson said. “At the conclusion of our educational career at Charles D’Amico High School, our former selves are falling away and bursting into flames, leaving in their wake new, fresh, refined selves with lives full of possibility and hope.”

She urged her classmates to “smolder brightly wherever your flames are carried- whether that be college, the military, or the workforce.”

Family and friends have been the tinder, the initial kindling, that provided a strong base for the graduates. “Without these people and their influence, without our initial kindling, we would be nothing, and even our strongest sparks would not catch,” she said.

Teachers, mentors and coaches fanned the oxygen and graduates provided the heat by pulling from within themselves. “And finally, our education here at Charles D’Amico High School has provided us with the fuel, the schooling that we need to maintain our blaze and the knowledge to recognize when it is time to add more to the fire,” Patterson said.

The graduates may be small sparks now, but their collective blaze can make a big difference in the community and world.

“You are the torchbearers in a world that craves light,” Patterson said. “Other generations were matches, they were flashlights and flickers of candlelight, but we must be the roaring flames that this world needs.”

Daniel Beam, the class salutatorian, delivers his speech as a rap with help from Scott Daniels, left, and Kyle Thaine. Beam went through the alphabet in describing the school experience.  Here is the last part of the rap.

understanding being a undergraduate underdog

vortex of violent votes

variety of various vacations

working for a wage for a wallet

who what where when why

x marks the spot

xylophone tones hotter than a boiling pot

yesterday you were in the prime of your youth

yet today be proud of yourself

zero regrets as you zig zag to the zenith

be zealous in your work and proud of your achievements

To see Beam deliver the rap, click here.

Albion school officials on stage include, from left: Michael Bonnewell, district superintendent; Kathy Winans, special education teacher; Margy Brown, BOE president; and Matthew Peterson, high school principal.

Katelyn Perry accepts her diploma from Margy Brown.

Juniors who rank high in their class served as escorts. The front students include Mackenzie Luft and Donato Rosario.

The new graduates toss their caps at the end of the ceremony.