WINFIELD -Winfield High School knew it was at the mercy of Mother Nature May 13 when it chose to hold its 2023 Commencement Ceremony outdoors at its football field.
Mere minutes before the Class of 2023 began its march onto the field, the many moods of Mother Nature showed themselves, as rain began falling, bringing on the umbrellas, with more forecasted to come.
However, the severe weather moved south, sparing those in attendance - as well as the 110 graduates - and bringing a new forecast, one of the unknown.
The future ahead, and how to deal with it, was a common theme of the speeches during the commencement.
After members of the senior class sang the National Anthem, as well as another musical selection, the Class of 2023 got some words of wisdom from Lincoln County R-IV School Board member Paul Behle, who served as the guest speaker.
Behle, who also served as a teacher, principal and a coach over three decades at Winfield High, told the students their jobs weren’t finished - and their lives were just beginning - therefore, they must always stay determined.
“Some of you will go to college. Some of you will go to tech school, or directly to the workforce,” Behle said. “Whatever you do, do it with determination.”
Salutorian Abigale Weber shared the same sentiment in her speech, saying the real work is yet to be done.
“The past is the past, and the future is in our hands,” she said. “It’s okay to not know what your future career plans are rightnow.”
Valedictorian Kadence Berry said she had been writing and rewriting her speech since she found out her father was also valedictorian of his high school class. She said, in her final draft, the “secret to life is people.”
“When you’re surrounded daily with good people, they make your bad days better and your good days great,” Berry said.
As the sun peeked through the clouds, then began to set into nightfall, each of the graduates, one by one, received their diplomas to the cheers of the crowd.
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