By MARK EVANS
Amidst the strains of Pomp and Circumstance, a large crowd of family and friends crowded into Peggy J. Johnson Gymnasium to watch 127 Ste. Genevieve High School seniors receive their diplomas last Saturday night.
The SGHS Class of 2021 took part in the school’s 107th commencement.
After Emma Johns, class president, marched the US flag in and led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, salutatorian Alison Braun gave her address.
Braun congratulated her classmates and gave credit to the SGHS faculty for being big influences on her.
“The teachers I saw in the hall every day became some of the most influential people I’ll ever meet in my life,” she said, noting that they taught her “the importance of determination, positivity and effort.”
She reminded her classmates of “that first time you stepped into a kindergarten classroom, that first time you were scared to talk to your kindergarten teacher, and that first time you came to meet a new friend on the playground” and warned that “It all will be happening over again,” as they head out into college, the work force or the military.
She warned that there would be failures as well as success along life’s road, but said that everything they had encountered during their school days had prepared them for where they were today.
Music awards were then given. Michelle Jokerst presented the National Choral Award to Nathan Ritter and John Mooney presented the John Phillip Sousa Award to Breanna Boyd and the Louis Armstrong Award to Finn Cavanaugh.
Director of athletics, Dr. Jeff Nix, then presented the two athletic awards. The Armella Peterson Award for outstanding senior female athlete went to Maci Reynolds. The Mal Kimmel Award for outstanding senior male athlete went to Landon Rose.
Valedictorian Sydney Bumgardaner then gave the valedictorian address.
She thanked her parents, her sister, coaches, teachers and administrators for their support.
She also thanked mathematics teacher Cody Schwent for his “counseling sessions and had special thanks for chemistry teacher Ian Diamond.
“I appreciated your sarcasm and intellectual wit too much,” she quipped. “Whenever I was having a bad day, you always knew how to say something to make it worse. I wouldn’t have wanted our dynamics to be any other way.”
Students in the National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society and the A+ Schools Program were all recognized.
Four special awards were then given. The Danforth “I Dare You” Award for male senoir went to Keaton LaRue and the female award went to Emma Johns.
Meanwhile, the Outstanding Senior Girl Award went to Adalynn Taylor and the Outstanding Senior Boy Award to Devin St. Clair.