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Fourteen graduate from Hancock High School

The Hancock Class of 2014 was praised, encouraged and remembered during graduation exercises on Friday night. Three class speakers reflected on the past, present and future of the class and teacher Chad Christianson offered some good advice for the class members.

Taylor Holleman was the first of the three class speakers. He thanked everyone for being there to celebrate the achievements of the class of 2014.

“I would like to start off by thanking the teachers and staff for being awesome over the years, for getting us here today, and for preparing us for our next chapter in life. You guys rock!” Holleman stated, “Next I would I like to thank our parents. You guys are seriously the best. I can talk for all of us when we say we really do appreciate everything you do for us.”

Holleman then reflected on some special memories of the class during the last 13 years and had something special to say about each class member.

“It’s sad to say that this could be the last time that all of us are in the same room together,” Holleman concluded. “I want to thank you fellow classmates for a heck of a run here at Hancock High School. I truly am going to miss all of you guys and gals next year. Thanks for all the great memories.”

Samantha Schmidgall was the second class speaker. She talked about the many things they had learned in school, not just in the classroom but also through extra-curricular activities.

“We have handed in papers, taken tests, made speeches, completed projects and procrastinated our way to this moment,” Schmidgall explained. “Now it is time to sit and reflect on what we have learned.”

“I know we are supposed to learn things in the classroom and I’m sure we have! No really I’m sure! But we have been learning things every minute we were in school and many of those lessons have not come from the classroom or out of a book.

“Hancock school offers us the opportunity to learn in so many other areas. We have opportunities to participate that students in larger schools do not have! And if we chose to take advantage of these opportunities, there are many lessons we can learn.”

Schmidgall added that the class of 2014 can be thankful for all of these opportunities to learn in Hancock. “We thank our teachers, coaches, and advisers for these many valuable lessons. We use these experiences along with the knowledge we have received in the classroom and venture out into the real world. . . we are prepared, we are ready and we are the Hancock graduating class of 2014. We are not many, but we are ready to make a difference.”

Ross Ascheman was the final speaker for the class. He welcomed everyone present at the graduation  ceremony. He stated that this was one of the greatest opportunities he had been given.

“This class has definitely made my top ten list of the coolest classes I have ever been in,” Ascheman stated.  “If it makes you feel any better, you guys are number one on that list. I just want to point out the fact that you guys are the only class I have ever been a part of, but that’s kind of beside the point because when I look over at you guys, do you know what I see summarized into three words, chocolate. I see chocolate because out of all the years that I have been in school with you guys, you have made me realize that life really is like a box of chocolates, you don’t ever really know what you are going to expect when you take your first bite but after that first bite you learn to never pick the round one with a cherry in it ever again because you absolutely can’t stand the frightening flavor of it, sorry Grandpa.

“I want to share a quote with you guys that you can take with you throughout life.  Walt Disney once said that, ‘If you can dream it, you can do it.’ My encouragement to this wonderful Class of 2014, is don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something because you can do it. Walt Disney did it; look at the success it has brought him. If anyone here tonight has had a dream that they wanted to achieve in life but haven’t done it because you don’t believe it is possible or someone is telling you it’s not possible, I would encourage you to carry out your dreams no matter what the obstacles might be. Life is too short to say that you will always have tomorrow to carry out your dreams because we aren’t guaranteed another breath.”

Ascheman went on to say that their  lives were just beginning, to  make the best of it, and follow their dreams before it is too late.

Christianson added some advice for the class. He challenged them to think about where they came from, to look at the people sitting out in the audience and to remember their roots. He told the class that they have the tools to be successful in life and that now it is their turn to venture into the “real world” without having someone to take care of them or hold their hand. He added that they may make mistakes but can learn from them.

He closed by telling the class that they live in a special community and to remember that they are each deeply rooted in this wonderful community. “You can be proud to call this home.”