Ready to soar

St. Edmond grads prepare to go out and ‘change the world’

The green-clad graduates of St. Edmond Catholic School walked into a gym packed with family members and friends as each step took them closer to a new future after high school.

And while they walked into the gym and across the stage, in the not too distant future, they will be soaring, according to Drew Szalat, a member of the Class of 2022 who spoke during the commencement ceremony.

“In the years to come, all of us will spread our wings and soar onto new things,” he said.

He acknowledged that the prospect of making their way in the world is an intimidating one for new high school graduates.

“If you’re anything like me, you’re utterly terrified,” Szalat said to his fellow graduates.

-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla
Emma Alstott (right) lets her cousin Maui Luhring, 5, look at her cords after St. Edmond commencement on Sunday afternoon.

He assured his fellow classmates that the perseverance and humility that helped them earn their diplomas will help them again in the future. He added that the members of the close-knit class will always have each other to lean on.

“We have struggled together, grown together and triumphed together,” Szalat said.

“I truly believe that all the graduates seated in front of me will change the world for the better,” he added.

There are 45 members in the St. Edmond Class of 2022, and 27 of them are honor graduates with a grade-point average of at least 3.25.

The graduates accepted more than a half million dollars worth of scholarships, according to Mary Gibb, the president of St. Edmond Catholic School.

-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla
St. Edmond seniors Ellie Berry (left) and Kierstin Clark fist bump during St. Edmond commencement on Sunday inside the Gaels gym. St. Edmond Ellie Berry (left) and Kierstin Clark fist bump during St. Edmond Commencement on Sunday inside Gaels gym

She added that they earned 503 college credits while in high school.

Gibb used the word zeal to describe the Class of 2022.

“Your class has brought such great energy and enthusiasm to every aspect of this school year,” she said.

Gibb told the graduates that if they maintain that level of energy and enthusiasm, “you’ll be unstoppable.”

The commencement ceremony began with the graduates walking into the St. Edmond gymnasium to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance.”

-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla
Mary Claire Li, of Fort Dodge, waves a photo of her son Joseph Li during St. Edmond commencement on Sunday in the Gael gymnasium.

A color guard from the 133rd Test Squadron, the Iowa Air National Guard unit in Fort Dodge, brought the American and Iowa flags into the gym.

The Rev. Brian Feller gave both the invocation and the benediction.

High school Counselor Charlene Sanderson read the names of graduates who had earned various honors during their high school years.

Principal Tabitha Acree declared that the graduates had satisfied all the requirements for receiving a diploma.

She challenged the graduates to “bring honor to yourself, St. Edmond Catholic School and to God.”

-Messenger photo Britt Kudla
Drew Szalat of St. Edmond gives a speech to the Class of 2022 during commencement on Sunday afternoon in the Gaels gymnasium.

Barbara O’Connor, chairwoman of the St. Edmond school board, presented all but one diploma. That lone diploma was presented by board member Doug Smith to his son, Zach Smith.

At the end of the ceremony, Brady O’Brien went on the stage one last time to lead his classmates in moving their tassels from the right side of their caps to the left side. That move is a traditional sign that a person has graduated.

-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla -Messenger photos by Britt Kudla
Doug Smith, of Fort Dodge, hugs his son Zach Smith after handing him his diploma during the St. Edmond commencement ceremony on Sunday afternoon.

-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla
Joseph Li reacts after the St. Edmond commencement ceremony on Sunday afternoon. Joseph Li of St. Edmond react after Gaels Commencement ceremony on Sunday

-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla
St. Edmond graduates (left to right) Katy Adson, Kierstin Clark, Mya McClain, Marlo Lochray and Aly Neiland toss their caps following the Gaels commencement ceremony on Sunday.

-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla
Emma Alstott (right) adjusts Grant Webster’s cap before the Gaels commencement ceremony Sunday afternoon.


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