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Gering celebrates accomplishment, new beginnings
May 25, 2012 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis

Photos by Ken Kurtz/Spectrum Photo Lincoln Johns, Thomas Jacobs and Kyle Gaudreault, who will be serving in the armed forces, rise for recognition during a standing ovation from the audience.

Family and friends gathered at Western Nebraska Community College on Sunday afternoon, May 20 to watch the Gering High School Class of 2012 receive their diplomas.

After Principal Eldon Hubbard presented the valedictorians, salutatorians and Top Ten, Kate Duncan, one of the class speakers, spoke about “Dreaming Like a Kid.”

In challenging her class to continue reaching for their dreams, Duncan said that nothing in our history has been achieved by an individual except by those who refused to be stopped by others. In closing, she said the future belongs to those who believe in their dreams.

Amy Christensen also spoke to her classmates. She said that while everyone’s car in the parking lot is different, they all share a commonality – gears. And gears also define people.

“The gears of life define us as individuals,” she said. “What would be the purpose of life if we were all in the same gear? Without gears, there would be no valedictorians or salutatorians. There would be no one on the sports teams. We all choose the gears of our lives.”

The third speaker was Kayleigh Mueller. “Somewhere along the way, we all became individuals,” she said. “We’re individuals who will get real jobs and make a difference. Always remember to strive to be yourself, because life is a one-shot deal with no second chances.”

Valedictorians for the Class of 2012 are Colin Chatterton, Miranda Doremus-Reznor, Emily Hauck, Thomas Jacobs, Krissa Lewandowski, Mark Pieper and Kayleigh Schadwinkel.

Salutatorians are Darrin Gonzales, Josh Burgener, Colton Keller and Brittany Richards.

Members of the National Honor Society included Morgan Broussard, Colin Chatterton, Amy Christensen, Stephanie Coley, Danielle Copsey, Miranda Doremus-Reznor, Kate Duncan, McKenzie Duncan, Kyle Gaudreault, Darrin Gonzales, Morgan Greene, Emily Hauck, Thomas Jacobs, Darci Kaufman, Colton Keller, Krissa Lewandowski, Allison McMann, Tristina Meister, Daniel O’Boyle, Samantha Phillips, Mark Pieper, Courtney Prohs, Brittany Richards, Ashley Ruegg, Kayleigh Schadwinkel, Erin Vacha, and Tyler Wallace.

Quill and Scroll Honor Society members were Kelsy Belgum, Morgan Broussard, Hannah Brown, McKenzie Duncan, Morgan Greene, Kaleigh Mueller, Samantha Phillips, Mark Pieper, Courtney Prohs, Brittany Richards, and Jessica Wolf.

The Class of 2012 Top Ten included Joshua Burgener, Colin Chatterton, Miranda Doremus-Reznor, Darrin Gonzales, Emily Hauck, Thomas Jacobs, Colton Keller, Krissa Lewandowski, Mark Pieper, Brittany Richards and Kayleigh Schadwinkel.

There were 77 graduates who received scholarship offers for a total value of $2,678,774.

A standing ovation was given to graduates who are heading for the military. Charles Burkhardt and Avery Petit have joined the U.S. Air Force; Samuel Clay and Jared Horrocks will go to the U.S. Marine Corps; Thomas Jacobs will attend the U.S. Military Academy, Francisco Garcia and Nicholas Green have joined the U.S. Army; Kyle Hemphill, Lincoln Johns, Raul Martinez, Daniel Starke, Dillon Wademan and Shane Wimberly have joined Army National Guard; and Jocelyn Shirley will serve in the Air National Guard.

Members of the Class of 2012 throw their hats in the traditional celebration of finality capping their high school careers. Gering graduated 163 seniors this year.
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