ST. LEON – It was standing room only at East Central High School’s graduation ceremony June 1 as family and friends crowded in the gymnasium for the 41st annual commencement.
The 331 seniors entered to the ECHS band’s rendition of “Pomp and Circumstance.” After classmates Reese Tanner and Nathan Knueven led the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence, student body President Baxter McCory addressed the audience.
“I love roller coasters, but I probably spend too much time riding them .... Maybe it’s a nostalgic thing or maybe it’s the atmosphere because everyone’s there to have a good time. Maybe it’s the feeling you get when you ride one.
“When you really think about it, life is like a roller coaster .... the hill gives us time to prepare. We’ve had times we have struggled and even times our roller coaster has broken down, but through perseverance, we made it to the top of the hill. Once you get there, the ride begins.
“You are in charge of your own roller coaster. You are the engineer. There will be some major air time and some dips. You’re going to go through a roller coaster of emotions. You can do so many things with your life. As your roller coaster goes over the hill today, you have opportunities to do whatever you want.
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. So put up your hands, Class of 2014. It’s going to be a wild ride,” he predicted.
Bev Ester, guidance director/assistant principal, introduced Indiana Academic Honors and Technical Honors Diploma recipients, and Jamie Ballart, assistant principal, recognized the honor graduates.
Prior to giving her speech, senior class President Sarah Lehman took a selfie with her phone.
“I thought about all of us. Some of us have been together for 12 years, and others have not, but the one constant in all of our lives is change.