Marianne Mueller Photo The Journal
Harlem graduates had fun together- Gavin Canfield, Fati Mixha, Joshua M. Hunter, Samuel Dawson, Blake Coribble, Tom McKenzie, Max Foxwell, Valedictorian, Isaac Wolf, Zach Abrahams and Samuel Procopio.

Harlem graduates sent positive messages to take into the future
By Marianne Mueller
Under the Direction of Timothy Perian, combined bands at Harlem High School set the mood with ceremonial music for the Class of 2019 Commencement held on Saturday, May 25 at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
The Harlem Alma Mater performed the song “Sing Praise” by David Pearce. “Overture-Discovery” followed.
Pomp and Circumstance rang out as 477 graduates proceeded to their seats.
Jr. Class President, Triston Shackelford led all in the Pledge of Allegiance. The Star Spangled Banner was played. All graduates who are planning to serve our country stood to be recognized.
Principal Yarbrough gave a warm welcome. “This is the 106th graduation and the culmination of four years of hard work by the Class of 2019; you are closing one chapter and opening another,” Yarbrough said. He listed different grade and middle schools that today’s graduates had attended.
“No matter your journey if you stay the course there is nothing you cannot accomplish. Life will not always be notes of praise and it will let you down. You have made it here and I wish you the best in your lives, “Yarbrough concluded.
Principal Yarbrough recognized colleagues who were assisting with the ceremony.
Class President, Abby Anderson shared parting words. She expressed thanks and gratitude to all who have shown support of graduates. Anderson requested a moment of silence to honor students who were taken too soon. Anderson took out a pair of fairy wings while telling the story of Tinkerbell. Tinkerbell wanted to be like other fairies with various talents but discovered her own way. Do what is best for you and whatever you do, do not fly into a trap. Express yourself and be comfortable in who you are. Find your passion and give it everything you’ve got.”
Anderson also referred to the story of Beauty and the Beast. “As we walk out of the ceremony we are going to go through more, and will feel a little more lost. Remember we never know what someone else is going through; always be kind.”
Tinkerbell knows who she is; look within you. I wish nothing but the best for each of you,” Anderson said. She ended her speech by taking a group picture with a selfie stick.
“I read about one college who had all of their debt paid off; if anyone wants to do that it would be great,” Salutatorian Airiana Mohr began. “The diploma that is being received today; you deserve it. We all have made tremendous developments over the years. Thank you to everyone in the crowd who has made an impact on our lives. Mohr told the story of Eunice Shriver who is the originator of Special Olympics, which started in 1968. “My sister is a Special Olympics Athlete. The motto of Special Olympics is, “Let me win, but if I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt.” “I am thankful that we live in a more accepting time. “Take into account that growth without failure doesn’t happen, but be brave; stay true to your identity. You must persist. Even if you fail you are one step closer to achievement. We create the future. We will persevere as alumni.”
Valedictorian, Isaac Wolf all who helped him with his speech and everyone at Harlem including the lunch ladies. “I am confident that high school provided important lesson in defining ourselves as individuals.”
In life when no one is watching we must make a conscious choice not to compromise our minds. Always act in a manner that best represents you. Don’t do too much at one time. Success does not happen overnight. Use resources, but don’t become too dependent on them. Have the confidence to pursue the future but ask for help in tough times. Always have the willingness to help those in need.”
Mr. Larry Barger, Harlem School Board President sent an encouraging message. “You will forever be Harlem High School. I am a graduate and have two children who have graduated from here. Barger referred to lessons learned in the book, “All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten.”
“Share everything, take turns, play fair, show respect, put things back where you found them, and other tips were shared from the book. “If you follow these principals you will have a good life, Barger advised. “Remember the fun times, endless memories and friendships. Remember that every lesson learned in Kindergarten is just one more building block.
Students receiving Scholastic Honors stood to be recognized. The Harlem Board of Education presented diplomas. In celebration balloons hosting the school colors dropped into the crowd of graduates.
Harlem’s Class of 2019 will be “Forever Huskies” as they move into the future with the influence of positive words.

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