Clarion-Goldfield Class of 2014 Graduates

On the perfect spring day of May 18, the 66 students of Clarion-Goldfield High School’s Class of 2014 celebrated their graduation in the presence of family, friends, and the community. As School Board President Clint Middleton noted, the students are the final class to graduate as “CG” before the school becomes “Clarion-Goldfield-Dows.”

“Life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by change,” Middleton told the class in his benediction, reiterating the afternoon’s themes of accomplishment, transition, and gratitude for support received along the way. “Everything’s cool – you’re going to survive,” he told them reassuringly, urging them to take life’s difficulties as “a challenge to show everyone how absolutely awesome you are.”

“Let’s not call it change – let’s call it a new adventure from now on,” he eventually refined his initial statement to graduate who may go on to higher education, immediately enter the workforce, join the military, or continue to paths as yet unseen.

”Every problem I’ve ever overcome has been because someone helped me through,” Elizabeth Lockwood, class valedictorian, said of her accomplishments, noting that “some day we may be the people thanked in a speech such as this.”

In a nod to the Millennial generation’s reputation, Lockwood began her speech by taking a ‘selfie’ with her cell phone, “because that’s what we do.” She also noted that she and her classmates must have “antagonized” friends and educators, “but they love us anyway.” Lockwood plans to attend Wartburg College.

Kirby Simmons, Class President, ceremonially passed off the mantle to the Class of 2015, represented by Taylor Kruger, noting that he has “every confidence” that the class will continue the high standards and traditions of his own class. Music likewise emphasized popular tradition as the band played “Pomp and Circumstance” on the graduates’ entrance and  the chorus sang an arrangement of the class song, Kansas’ 1976 rock hit “Carry On Wayward Son,” with a red-CG-colors-bandana-clad graduate Michael EnTin on drums.

“Here’s my big speech: I’m not going to give a speech,” Simmons abruptly opened his address, making to leave the stage before returning and threatening to give a “30-minute speech” to joking yells from the students and graduates to “get off the stage!” The event in fact finished in a relatively brisk hour and fifteen minutes.

In his actual speech, Simmons thanked God, teachers, and others whose help supported the class. He urged the graduates to “care for others more than yourselves,” while noting that “each and every one of you has proven yourselves,” and to “take time and enjoy this moment.” Simmons plans to attend Des Moines Area Community College and major in Web design.

In his introduction to both graduate speakers’ addresses, Dr. Olson emphasized their advice to underclassmen not to procrastinate.

The graduates walked across the stage, shook hands, received their diplomas, moved their tassels across their hats, walked out to the band’s instrumental take on “Carry On Wayward Son,” and officially graduated as Clarion-Goldfield High School’s Class of 2014. 

Read about Baccalaureate and see a full page of photos in the May 22 issue of the Monitor!