It was the 141st commencement at Marshalltown High School, but the first in the renovated Roundhouse on May 22.
A total of 319 students graduated in front of a packed crowd in the gym, which gathered to wish the Class of 2016 well. The MHS wind ensemble directed by Bret Lee performed as guests took their seats and the processional “Pomp and Circumstance.”
The event featured other musical performances, student and adult speakers and the presentation of diplomas. It was hosted by MHS Principal Jacque Wyant and the last one for outgoing Superintendent Dr. Marvin Wade.
After the National Anthem was performed under the direction of Amy Ose, graduate Trey Quick got the ceremony off to a great start with a solo performance of “Hallelujah.”
Providing the greeting in multiple languages were graduates Beau Ragland, Chu Htoo and Jaime Vergara. Seven students were honored for achieving a 4.0 grade point average throughout their four years at MHS. These students included Ellyn Boland, Megan Emerson, Beau Ragland, Carrie Schmidt, Courtney Schmidt, Brenda Vega and Jacob Youngblood.
Student speakers included Nate Harris, Ryan McDaniel and Elizabeth Ramirez while a trio of graduates sang “Hope is the Thing With Feathers” including Haley Hodges, Alexis Jones and Sydnie Wohlert.
Harris told his fellow graduates that they “are all Bobcats” no matter what path they choose. Harris said that future path is up to them.
“We have an incredible opportunity,” Harris said. “The opportunity to live our lives.”
McDaniel said the class should celebrate its unique diversity. He also joked about the $2.5 million in post-secondary scholarships this class is receiving.
“We are getting $2.5 million in scholarships,” McDaniel said. “Do you realize how many McChickens that can buy?”
Ramirez compared graduating to ending a chapter in the book or a season of a television show. She said they should look forward to the new season and the new chapter with new adventures ahead.
Board President remarks
Before she presented the students with diplomas, School Board President Bea Niblock gave the graduates three key points to take with them, which included to be responsible, do what’s right and find something to be thankful for every day.
“Congratulations on your achievement and best wishes on your future,” Niblock said.