Over 140 Cassville High School seniors participated in commencement ceremonies held in the CHS gymnasium on May 22. Students shed tears of sadness and joy during the emotional event.
"It's been a long journey, but we've made it at last and there's still so much more to accomplish," CHS valedictorian Blake Baugher said during her commencement address.
CHS graduates entered the packed gym to the sounds of "Pomp and Circumstances" played by the CHS concert band and hearty applause from a large audience.
After an invocation by Daniel Goldschmidt and a performance of the "Star-Spangled Banner" by the band, Superintendent Richard Asbill recognized the CHS Class of 2011's top 10 students. In addition to Baugher, honored students included: salutatorian Jordan Bailey, Sarah Miller, Zachary Harris, Jessica Lueckenhoff, Kaylin Dilbeck, Gareth Geshell, Tyler Skinner, Emily Pry and Kayle Hammond.
Senior choir sextet members Baugher, Abby Carr, Risa Darveaux, Paige Lynxwiler, Cheynne Pollreisz and Rachel Shuman performed "Growing Up," and senior choir quartet members Bailey, Scott Marshall, Shaun McCaulla and Skinner sang "Graduation Song."
Baugher and Bailey shared personal stories and words of advice during their commencement addresses. The speeches drew laughter and tears from the graduates.
The festivities also included a performance of "I'll Always Remember You" by the senior choir.
CHS Principal Chris Redmon presented the Class of 2011, and then, recognized each graduate by name. Several students presented Redmon with combs, wigs and Mr. Clean cleaning products as they crossed the stage to receive their diplomas from Cassville School Board President John Sullivan.
At the close of the ceremony, Carr and Skinner led the Class of 2011 in the singing of the CHS "Alma Mater." The ceremony closed with a benediction by Karty Burbridge.
The CHS Class of 2011 officers include: Taylor Adams, president; Sarah Miller, vice president; Jessica Lueckenhoff, secretary and treasurer; and Amanda Allison, Korey Banks and BJ McGuffey, representatives.
The class colors were mango and fuchsia, and the class flower was the dahlia. "We're just getting started," was selected as the CHS Class of 2011 motto.