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Oh, the places you'll go...Perham Class of 2009 departs in spirited fashion

Seniors toss their hats to celebrate their graduation.1 / 3
A group of grads gather for a photo after the May 24 ceremony.2 / 3
Pat Cavanagh smiles for the camera as he awaits his diploma.3 / 3

"Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you. And when things start to happen, don't worry, don't stew. Just go right along. You'll start happening too. Oh the places you'll go!"

These lines from the book "Oh the Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss were quoted by graduate Elizabeth Huebsch in her speech at graduation addressing looking to the future. The future was a popular topic at Perham High School Graduation Commencement, with more than one speech focusing on the theme.

Kicking off the event was Nicole Werner who gave the welcome address and introduced the next speaker, Elizabeth Huebsch. Huebsch spoke about the ups and downs the future may bring and how the Class of 2009 has been a part of a successful high school, but that their success is only beginning.

"The world is your stage. You don't have to be the lead in a play. You will be the lead in your life," said Huebsch.

Dr. Sandra Wieser Matthews, the PHS speech instructor, focused on the little things in life that can have great influence in the rest of the world for her message. She also mentioned specific events where the Class of 2009 has made a difference, be it through silent motivation and smiles, or sand bagging in Fargo.

Both the PHS symphony orchestra and the concert choir provided musical selections. The Class of 2009 was then brought back to the past by Emily Rutten, Leah Richter, and Leah Miller who spoke about memories. Throughout the speech references were made to experiences in elementary and middle school that relate to their recent experiences. Rutten commented that the only thing that has changed is the location. They also pointed out two empty chairs, representing the two classmates who were lost to car accidents, Chelsea Sasseville and Rachel Thompson.

Stormi Jovanovich also spoke of how she was motivated by teachers, saying that if it weren't for them she might not be standing on this stage, let alone speaking on it. And providing the closing were Andrew Gorentz and Joseph Berns who welcomed members of the Class of 2009 into their future.

Perhaps the most motivating moment of the ceremony was during the presentation of diplomas. As the graduates walked across the stage, Robert Rennicke rose from his wheelchair (assisted by family) and was able to walk across the stage to receive his diploma. This moving feat brought the audience to its feet and many to tears.

Finally, the graduates tossed their caps and left the gym, diplomas in hand--ready for the next step in their lives.