“Today we recognize the 169 seniors who have made up this 103rd graduating class for Batesville High School,” principal Sherri Preston told the capacity crowd June 8.
Batesville Community School Corp. President Chris Lowery acknowledged the principal’s upcoming retirement, thanking Preston for her “unwavering commitment to academic excellence.”
She recalled the song “Turn! Turn! Turn!” adapted from the Bible book Ecclesiastes. “To everything turn, turn, turn, there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, a time to die.” Then she paraphrased, “A time to go to kindergarten, a time to graduate ...”
Class of 1963 alumni, marking their 50th, were on hand to encourage their successors.
Representative John Huneke III, a New York City Morgan Stanley investment banker, observed, “For ... your whole life, you have been living at home with your parents ... Going forward, each of you will begin taking on the responsibility of deciding where and how you’re going to live.”
Salutatorian Megan Karbowski reflected that the fledgling Bulldogs began as “nervous little freshmen ... we’ve matur-ed into adults .... We will remember our high school experiences through people” and friendships. “These moments and memories have shaped our dreams and given us the confidence to pursue them.”
Valedictorian Anna Meer invited fellow seniors to gratefully applaud twice, for teachers who “were truly invested in our success ... all because they cared about us and our future” and also for parents. “Ultimately, they were our first teachers as well as our greatest fans.”
Andrew Nolan, president of the senior class and Student Council, read the names of graduates while Nicholas Wanamaker, vice president of both, handed diplomas to superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts to present to the seniors. Midway through, Lowery rose to give his youngest child, Jordan, her diploma and a hug.
Seventy-eight received Indiana Academic Honor diplomas. One hundred seven will pursue four-year college degrees and 22 chose two-year college or technical tracks.
Nolan told his friends, “Look to your left and to your right. Beside you are people we have known most, if not all, of our lives.” Old faces will be replaced by new ones. “Each one of us will now begin our own journeys into the real world.”
Then the fresh graduates greeted well-wishers. Derek Voegele was feeling “kind of bittersweet.” The end of high school “hasn’t really hit me yet.” He is undecided on a career path.
Kristin Bice had the proud feeling of achievement, especially because she graduated a year early. The future Ivy Tech Community College student will explore medical assisting. Isabella Bedel admitted, “I really want to cry,” not because of sadness, but because the milestone is so “great.” She also will go to Ivy Tech to become a substance abuse counselor.
After her final graduation ceremony, Preston offered advice to this newest batch: “Be true to yourselves. Don’t be afraid to go after the risk.” Perhaps most importantly, “Enjoy your lives,” she emphasized.