Graduation Hononegah

By Marianne Mueller


ROCKFORD – Purple and gold caps and gowns commemorated the graduation of 453 Hononegah High School students at BMO Harris Bank Center on Saturday, May 28.

The Hononegah High School band played the processional music. Our National Anthem was sung in perfect harmony by the ILMEA District and State Musicians.

“Welcome to four score and negative 62 years ago. This is a new journey with a new phase,” said Student Council President Ross Neir. “In Elementary School we were one with nature. In middle school we were still developing and in high school we were still learning a lot about ourselves. We will continue to progress.

Neir referred to lyrics of a song, titled “Benediction” where some of the lyrics are “All things are made good.”

“We have been through a lot together. Make today your benediction.”

“This year we lost one of our own family members,” Josie Pobjecky, said Principal Flohr. A moment of silence was held in Pobjecky’s memory.

Flohr recognized the top 25 students in the class.

“You may be only 18 and some of you are planning to go into the Military.” All who are planning to serve our country, are currently serving, or have served stood to be recognized.

Flohr cited different ways that Hononegah as an overall school excelled in the past year including fine arts, the formation of a Leo Club and a new beauty club, musical talents, athletic achievements, the forensics team qualifying for state and the Student Council receiving an award for excellence.

“You changed the culture here by positive cheers and singing of our school song at games,” lauded Flohr.

Senior class members tugged at heart strings by singing the song, “For Good.”

Mr. Reynolds described Salutatorian Nicole Althoff as an excellent teammate, resourceful, creative, imaginative and determined.

“When I first came to Hononegah, I got lost six times in the first few days. I found some of my best friends this way as others stepped up to help me find my way,” said Althoff.

“We transformed from awkward freshman to slightly less awkward seniors. We will all be experiencing new territory; some will have a new job, others will go a different route. Hononegah has prepared us for the uncertainty that breeds hope. Thank you for a memorable four years.”

Mr. Lawyer said a few words about the second Salutatorian Ben Halom.

“Mr. Halom seeks knowledge from teachers and peers and the world around him. He has a grasp of a wide variety of topics from global economic systems to the importance of boy bands.”

“As I stand up here despite different paths we are going to take when this ceremony ends thank you for your hard work that got us to this point, said Halom.

“Ten years from now no one is going to care if you were the football team captain. Graduation is not about memories but what is going to happen. It is looking forward to finding out what paths everyone has followed.

He quoted, “I have left the house of the scholars and have slammed the door shut behind me. We can now move from graduation to graduation parties.”

Mr. Smith introduced Valedictorian Thomas Eckburg.

“Mr. Eckburg is a student who is always genuinely happy to be there; teaching this student was just fun and had a drive to learn. He embraces his uniqueness,” said Smith.

“We will never again wonder if our lunch is really chicken or something else,” said Eckburg. The diplomas we receive today will mean that we will never hear Mr. Flohr – “Your Principal” and his announcements.

“We will never have to wait in the parking lot again where nobody lets you out of your space. Thank you to the parents who ran to Walmart to get supplies for that project.

“It is my hope that because of us that Hononegah has been changed for the better. Even though I may be insufferable at times I hope you feel the same way about me. I wish you all the best of luck in future endeavors.”

Superintendent, Dr. Lynn Gibson expressed thanks to all who support the graduates. Gibson made an official certification of the Class of 2016.

“You will write the next chapters of your life,” said School Board President, Dave Kurlinkis.  After this ceremony is over find those who have helped you get her and give them a hug.

“Tomorrow may be too late. Think about the word legacy. Focus on doing well wherever you go. Make sure that the place you are better for having you been there. Always seek the truth. You are about to become part of a very elite group.

“You will be Hononegah Alumni. You will be challenged and sometimes you will fail. You only fail if you do not get back up. I have been fortunate enough to have had four kids graduate from Hononegah. We are proud of you; you are our children, and you will accomplish what you set out to do.”

Diplomas were awarded by members of the Hononegah School board.

Raymond Lee, Senior Class President gave parting words of advice.

The band played the school song followed by a recessional of “Trumpet Voluntary.”

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