The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

May 26, 2013

CHS graduates earn diplomas

By Katie Dahlstrom
Assistant Editor

CLINTON — Clinton High School was a flurry of excitement and hope Sunday as 210 students received diplomas during the commencement ceremony in Yourd Gymnasium.

The class of 2013 was led into the gym by Vamsi Marla and Anna Marshall, the male and female students with the highest grade point averages. CHS does not have a valedictorian and salutatorian; instead, it honors the top 10 percent of the class.

During the 139th commencement ceremony, three CHS seniors delivered the commencement address, also known as the trident ideal speeches.

Ryan Driscoll spoke on fighting spirit, Bethany Mootz delivered the speech on tradition and Hannah Bolen addressed classmates on loyalty.  

Driscoll challenged his classmates to keep the fighting spirit that they have developed in their years at CHS with them as they move on.  

"And although our journey here has ended, our fighting spirit will not. We will continue to have fighting spirit in whatever life throws at us," Driscoll said. "As we leave here today, I hope your fighting spirit continues to burn as fiercely as the CHS sign on homecoming night and that you continue to put heart in whatever you choose to do."

Mootz talked about all the traditions that the class has carried on, both on purpose and unknowingly.  

"You are experiencing a tradition as you sit here right now. Sitting here reminiscing about all the times we have had here at CHS and knowing that we will have to say our goodbyes as we receive our diplomas," Mootz said. "All of these traditions, big or small, are important. Because we made them important because we want further generations to experience what we have today."  

Bolen spoke to her fellow classmates about the loyalty that grew within them during their time at CHS.  

"By now, we all don't just talk the talk, but we walk the walk. And we do it confidently because we are devoted to our alma matter," Bolen said. "When we achieve our goals and aspirations people will ask us where it all began. We'll reply, 'Clinton High School.'"

Following the trident ideals speeches, Clinton School Board President Gregg Obren bid farewell to the class.  

"As a father of one of your classmates, this is personally a bittersweet day. Bitter because this is the last day we will be collectively a part of each other's lives," Obren said. "The sweet part is, I cannot wait to see and hear about what great and extraordinary valuable community citizens we all will become as members of our community, our state, our nation and our world."

Obren left the students with a call to action he hoped will stay with them throughout their lives.  

"I challenge each of you now to reach for your own star," Obren said.