Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

May 22, 2012

High school graduations begin Saturday

Debbie Blank
The Herald-Tribune

-- — It’s tassel time as graduates will pour out of five area high schools during the next two weekends.

• Milan High School seniors will receive their diplomas Saturday, May 26, at 10 a.m. in the gym. The ceremonies open with the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” and close with “Sine Nomine” performed by the band.

After a welcome by principal Paul Ketcham, the salutatorian and valedictorian (there could be more than one top student in each category) will deliver speeches, according to guidance secretary Bonnie Walker.

Superintendent Dr. Thomas Reale will recognize the Class of 1952 and make other remarks. Then he will present diplomas to about 92 graduates, followed by class President Jessica Strassell leading the changing of the tassels.

Seniors chose Jay-Z’s “Forever Young” as their song. Their motto is a quote from Charles Schulz: “Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.” The class flower is a teal carnation, and teal, black and silver are their colors.

• Jac-Cen-Del High School’s 67 seniors will turn their tassels  Saturday, May 26, at 2 p.m.,  according to principal Johnny Budd.

The Class of 1962 will be honored and a representative will speak. According to Budd, “They have put up memorabilia in our cafeteria display cases,” such as old prom dresses, letter jackets and movie tickets.

Band and chorus members will perform selections during the ceremony, which will be held in the gym. The valedictorian and salutatorian will address classmates.

Superintendent William Narwold and Budd will present the diplomas.

Class of 2012 members chose the plumeria   as their flower, “Little Wonders” by Rob Thomas as their song and baby blue and silver as their colors. “Life brings tears, smiles and memories, and the tears will dry, the smiles will fade, but the memories will last forever” is a favorite saying.

• Forty-three Oldenburg Academy of the Immaculate Conception seniors will graduate during a Mass at the Sisters of St. Francis Chapel Sunday, May 27, at 1 p.m. Seating is available by ticket only.

The orchestra will play prior to the ceremony, which will be celebrated by the Rev. Peter Gallagher,  according to Alicia Auseré, religion teacher and senior class moderator. After a welcome by President Sister  Therese Gillman,  Rachel Irrgang and Michael Maple will present readings.

Academy Singers will sing “For the Beauty of the Earth” during communion. Meredith Brown, Rachel  Schulte  and Erin Moll will serve as cantors.

The valedictorian and salutatorian  will speak, then Gillman, principal Bettina Rose and guidance counselor Joleen Lancaster will present the diplomas.  Afterwards,  Sister Margaret Maher, OSF, will give a congratulatory address.

The class flower is the stargazer lily  and colors are maroon and gold. “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong is the song seniors like.

• Batesville High School’s graduation for 143 seniors is Saturday, June 2, at 11 a.m. in the gym. The ceremony will be broadcast simultaneously in the nearby auditorium for attendees who would like comfy chairs and air-conditioning.

What’s unusual about this event is “we have six juniors who are graduating early” after  taking classes in the summer and online, reports teacher Megan Spreckelson, who is sharing class sponsor duties with Amy McCabe.

The band will play popular and classical music before the ceremony, ranging from “Lord of the Rings” to “The Phantom of the Opera,” reports director Eric Stauffer. “Pomp and Circumstance” is the processional and “Crown Imperial” is the recessional.

Batesville Singers will harmonize on "The Star-Spangled Banner"  and a song they chose called  "Days of Summer,” according to choir director Carla Thomas.

Principal Sherri Preston will welcome the crowd. Senior class President Drew Coleman and the valedictorian and salutation also will speak.

Then Coleman and  Student Council President Grant Meyers will assist superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts by handing out diplomas and   announcing names.

The class flower is the white rose and colors are the traditional Bulldog blue and white.

• Commencement exercises for East Central High School’s 325 seniors are Sunday, June 3, at 2 p.m. in the gym. Doors open at 1  p.m., according to administrative secretary Nikki Ashcraft.

The afternoon begins with a band and chorus prelude.

Principal Robert Shipley, Student Council President Deidre Elfers and senior class President Rachel Donohue will address the crowd. 

Honor  graduates will be announced by class sponsor Marcie Trossman. Guidance director Beverly Ester  will introduce the seniors as superintendent Dr. Jeff Hendrix presents diplomas.  After the turning of the tassels, officers will retire the Class of 2012 banner during the singing of the school’s “Alma Mater.”

Class colors are green, purple and silver and the flower is a magnolia. The seniors’ motto is “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but dream, not only dream, but also believe.”

Debbie Blank can be contacted at 812-934-4343, Ext. 113; or debbie.blank@ To comment on stories, visit