Hats off to the Class of 2016

Mound Westonka High School bids farewell to seniors

Graduation smaller hatBy Lorrie Ham
For The Laker

“What’s your legacy?” After considering that question since the beginning of the school year, the Mound Westonka High School Class of 2016 graduated May 29 during the school’s 98th Annual Commencement Ceremony.

The event marked the culmination of years of hard work and dedication for the 170 graduating seniors. In a variety of ways, the Class of ’16 left a lasting legacy at MWHS.

The ceremony opened with “Fanfare and Processional” by Edward Elgar, better known as “Pomp and Circumstance,” performed by the MWHS Wind Ensemble. The high school faculty led the procession of seniors into the MWHS gymnasium.

Nikki Wharram welcomed her fellow graduates on behalf of the Student Senate. Students chosen to speak at this year’s ceremony were Alex LaFortune and Claire Rude.

Principal Mark McIlmoyle recognized the many achievements of the graduates, including academics, leadership, fine arts and athletics. McIlmoyle announced the start of a new tradition of planting a tree each year at the high school to represent the graduating class members’ “deep roots at Westonka.” Students were invited to throw a shovel full of dirt into the hole to help plant the tree following the ceremony.

Superintendent Kevin Borg presented the graduating class, and diplomas were conferred by Westonka School Board members Kelly Bowe and Loren Davis. The graduates gave MWHS teachers Corey Bulman and Sue Simonson the prestigious honor of reading the class roll.

“It’s a great day to be a White Hawk!” said Bulman.

Students graduating summa cum laude included Samuel Abegglen, Armin Berglund, Mitchell Gooley, Jaxon Helland, Alison Hendrickson, Courtney Kilby, Joshua Kriehn, Anson Kuznik, Alexander LaFortune, Samuel Maruska, Drew Moen, Brenna Mueller, Reilly Nesbitt, Angela O’Flanagan, Sydnie Peterson, Jack Reinhardt, Julia Rivers, Claire Rude, Lee Schmalz, Shelby Smith, Robert Stokes, Sydney Wagner and Victoria Wear.

Magna cum laude graduates were Mikayla Bebeau, Alaina Burkholder, Jacqueline Burris, Samantha Dixon, Madison Golden, Hans Johnson, Timothy Kaczanowski, Samantha LaTour, Ashley Luehmann, Kyrie Maloney, Joseph Maruska, Michael Milner, Madeline Nading, Tess Thurston, Broc Tolifson, Alexander Turner, Nicolette Wharram and Celeste Witte.

Cum laude graduates included Maria Anderson, Isabel Brandt, Mason Elliott, Lana Fitz, Sachiana Johnson, Aaron Leschisin, Laura Livermore, Meghan Matt, Breanna Murray, Madelyn Peterson, Janneke Spanjers, Samantha Truesdell, Paige Warren and Alexander Wells.

The MWHS Wind Ensemble also performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Solas Ane” by Samuel R. Hazo. “Wangol”, a traditional Haitian folk song, was performed by the Concert Choir. The two groups combined to present “Thankful,” by Carole Bayer Sager, David Foster and Richard Page. 

After a punch reception in the courtyard and time for photos with family and friends, the graduates were off to the traditional senior class party.