BY ASHLYN BUTLER
PCC Iowa State Intern
FORT MADISON – Ft. Madison school staff, district board members, and friends and family filled the bleachers of the Fort Madison High School gym Saturday as 127 students crossed the stage to handshakes and hugs from FMCSD officials.
The Fort Madison High School band played Pomp and Circumstance as the seniors, two-by-two, walked into the gymnasium. The Fort Madison Senior Ensemble and FMHS Voices also performed the Alma Mater and a rendition of the song “I Live” later in the ceremony.
Superintendent Erin Slater briefly addressed the students and said, “Today is about you as an individual…when you walk across this stage, feel honored…feel proud.”
Madeline Sadler served as Senior Class Speaker and gave a speech addressed to her graduating peers. Sadler spoke about having “a word of focus” and for her this word is “home.” She describes home as “a person, place, or thing that is always there to fall back on.”
She concluded her speech with words of encouragement.
“Class of 2018 we finally did it, now it’s your turn to make your dream home a reality.”
She also led the ceremonial switching of cap tassels from the right to the left side to represent the students officially leaving their high school career behind and entering the world of adulthood.
Fort Madison High School Principal Greg Smith, closed the ceremony by giving a final speech. He advised the students to “go into the world and be good.”
“Remember the two most important days in your life are the day that you’re born and the day that you find out why. It is time for you to find your why,” he said.
Directly following the ceremony, students filled the adjoining cafeteria to celebrate starting their next stage in life as well as to take photos with friends and family who attended. Newly graduated senior Kaela Baker said, “I had a great year and I definitely enjoyed all the people that I got to see and I will miss them.”
She plans to attend Iowa Lakes and eventually go to a four-year college to study theatre and the arts.
Sadler described her high school career as “busy” and plans to attend Alaska Pacific in the Fall to study Environmental Science.
As the graduating class of 2018 celebrated the ending of their high school career, they also buzzed with the anticipation of what is to come.
Several seniors didn’t participate in the ceremony due to requirements placed on them by school administration after being videotaped vandalizing school property as part of the traditional “Senior Prank”. Those involved were initially barred from walking across the stage during the ceremony, but school officials reconsidered the ban in lieu of 20 hours of service to the district last week.
Pen City Current congratulates the Fort Madison High School Class of 2018 and wishes you all health, happiness, and prosperity in all that you do.