The Class of 2018 entered the school’s gymnasium as members of the Brownstown Central student body Saturday morning, but with the turning of the tassel, they exited the commencement ceremony as graduates with a future ahead of them.
As she stood before her graduating class, Jennifer Runge said she realized that change was about to happen.
“After today, none of us will be in the same room in this capacity ever again,” she told students. “Everything changes after we all walk out of that door.”
But with that change comes an opportunity to grow, she said, and each of the 128 graduates have a set of “wings” that can carry them to unlimited potential as along as they have determination.
“This is a change for all of us to see how far we can go and what a we can accomplish,” she said. “The path you all take might be an unconventional one, but it’s yours.”
While Runge encouraged graduates to seek a path and a new world stood before them, classmate Morgan Harrison, who was standing next to her, reminded the class about where they came from
Some of the class has been together since kindergarten and other have come along the way, she said, but all call Brownstown home.
“Our roots are here in this small town,” she said. The small community has shown students to be close-knit, grow into mature adults and made students who they are today.
“We have learned things that kids from big cities would never understand,” she said. “This small town has created some of the finest individuals of our future.”
She then reminded students there’s always a home in Brownstown.
Sarah Rollins also reminded students of the memories they’ve made throughout the years of going to school during her senior welcome to classmates, staff, family and friends.
“We went through big changes together from starting kindergarten to entering middle school, and lastly, making our awkward appearance in high school,” she said, detailing other memories from their years together. “Today is also one of those exciting times. Next year each one of us is going to be in a different place than we are now and I think we can all agree that it’s exciting.”
She then thanked everyone for support through school including teachers, staff, family and classmates.
Stuart Hayden echoed those comments in his senior farewell speech.
“All of us have had some help along the way, whether it be parents, teachers, friends or a high being,” he said before speaking directly to his classmates. “Wherever you go, go with all your hearts. A farewell is not simply a time to say good bye to old circumstances, it is also a time to say hello to new beginnings.”
Colton Cooper had mixed emotions after graduating.
“I’m growing up, which is kind of scary, but I’m looking forward to this new chapter of my life,” he said in the school’s cafeteria following the ceremony. Cooper plans to attend Indiana University Southeast and study business administration.
Principal Joe Sheffer said the 2018 graduating class was one of his favorites throughout his career.
“I think the class of 2018 will be know for their hard work and dedication to academics,” he said, adding the class received more than $1 million in scholarships.