Confetti flew high and colorfully at Nodaway Valley and Orient-Macksburg Sunday afternoon after high school seniors walked across the stage, turned their tassels to the left and walked out as graduates.
There were 37 who walked across the stage at Nodaway Valley, receiving their diplomas from Board President Kristen Jensen. Nine walked across the stage at Orient-Macksburg, shaking Board President Roger Wolfe’s hand as they received their diploma.
At both schools, student speeches were given. Valedictorian Boston DeVault and Co-Salutatorian Madison Long gave the speech at NV. The other co-salutatorian was Benjamin Piearson.
DeVault and Long extended many thanks to the many who got this year’s graduating class to the finish line. They encouraged the class which faced many obstacles, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, to not wish things would be over, but cherish them as they happen. They told younger students in attendance to make the most of their high school experience, build close bonds with those around you and act mature, because it’s always the right thing to do.
Graduating Summa Cum Laude were DeVault, Long, Piearson and Hope Kading. Graduating Magna Cum Laude was Dalanie Brown.
National Honor Society members graduating were DeVault, Long, Macey Dabb, Kading, Brown, Lily Day and Doug Berg.
Those receiving silver cords for volunteer time given were DeVault, Long and Christopher Ford.
Receiving red cords for their involvement in blood drives were Long, Shyan Castillo and Brenna Mahoney.
Orient-Macksburg 1996 graduate Amy Burgmaier, a musical theatre artist and voice talent, gave the keynote address at her alma mater’s commencement. She opened by singing an excerpt from a song she sang when giving a speech at her own graduation on the same stage.
Burgmaier also talked about the challenges this year’s seniors have had to face, and how going through them will make them stronger in life. She charged to them that they have an opportunity in front of them to make a big difference in the world.
Valedictorian at Orient-Macksburg was Christa Cass, and salutatorian was Tyson Ross. Cass, Ross and Logann Carson all shared speeches with the crowd. All of these speeches were to share memories, give thanks to those who encouraged the class along their way, and to give encouragement for what is ahead.
Cass and Ross received all-academic honors from the Bluegrass Conference and wore medallions at graduation noting that honor. Members of NHS graduating were Carson, Cass, Ross and Colt Slocum. Wearing red cords for their blood drive involvement were Brandy Bracy, Cass, Carson, Nicholai McVay and Ross.
Editor’s Note: More graduation photos and scholarship information from both schools will be printed in next week’s edition.