The journey through high school is like a puzzle, Webster City High School Senior Class President John Maubach said, and each year brings students one step closer to solving that puzzle.
Students find their place freshman year, get more involved and learn more about themselves their sophomore year, make mistakes and learn lessons their junior year and set up to enter the wider world their senior year. Maubach said the seniors who graduated from Webster City High School on Sunday now had a new puzzle to solve.
"High school was just getting us ready for what's out there in the real world," Maubach said. "So now, we all have the ability to go succeed in solving our own puzzles."
Senior Class President John Maubach tells students and audience members how high school prepared the class of 2014 to go off into the world to solve their own puzzles at the Webster City High School graduation ceremony on Sunday.
Maubach was one of 110 students who graduated at the 134th annual graduation ceremony held in the competition gym of Webster City High School. The ceremony included songs from the concert band, directed by Jon Jensen, and from the purple and gold singers, directed by Andrew Wotherspoon.
Madeline Keane and Dylan Rose were elected by the class of 2014 to speak at the ceremony. Keane began her speech by taking a selfie at the podium with her class in the background. She said students in her class boasted many athletic, artistic and extracurricular successes during their time in high school. Borrowing lessons from Disney films, Keane said her class experienced many things in high school which transformed them into the young adults they are today.
"Mulan taught us that the flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all. You can make a difference even if it isn't in an ordinary way. This class is anything but ordinary," Keane said. "We have athletes, artists, dancers and rappers. I think it's fair to say the class of 2014 will be missed."
Rose, who came to the Webster City Community School District from Stratford, said he wasn't sure he would make friends in the larger school system. That's when he received some sage advice from Duane Harding, the assistant principal of Webster City Middle School at the time.
"Be yourself, don't change just to try and fit in," Rose said. "At this time, I was an immature seventh grader who thought, 'Man, what is this guy talking about?' While I stand here six years later, I believe I finally grasp the concept of what he was saying."
His speech was interrupted when the school's fire alarm was triggered. Students and audience members remained in the gym for a few minutes before the alarm was silenced. Principal John Elkin said the alarm began due to a switch being accidentally pulled. The audience erupted in applause as Rose then continued with his speech.
Before the presentation of diplomas, several students were recognized as Cessna Scholars who received a cumulative 3.75 grade point average. Those students were Madeline Keane, John Maubach, Ben Mossman, Brandon Patten, Joseph Root and Hannah White.
Of the graduating class, 20 were members of the National Honor Society. Those students were Madelynn Bertran, Garett Claude, Mikayla Dearden, Megan Gilbert, Morgan Gourley, Madison Haman, Jacob Hayes, Tanner Hild, Megan Hughes, Madeline Keane, Jesse Lee, John Maubach, Caylyn McCormick, Gina Moline, Ben Mossman, Brandon Patten, Kaylee Schnathorst, Morgan Shannon, Douglas Stoakes and Hannah White.
Following the presentation of their diplomas, the class of 2014 tossed their caps into the air before walking out of the gym as graduates.