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L-D ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ processional features 53

May 22, 2018 GMT

LEAD — As the Lead-Deadwood High School band proceeded to play “Pomp and Circumstance,” the crowd gathered in the high school auditorium stood and turned their attention to the procession of seniors proceeding to their seats for the Class of 2018 graduation Sunday.

Principal Tony Biesiot welcomed the crowd gathered to watch their loved ones commence a new chapter in their young lives.

“As we recognize this group of 53 graduates, they are a great group of young people and we can be very proud of them,” Biesiot said.

Senior class president Gracie Kosters also offered a welcome speech to the students she’s attended school with since she was 5 years old, choosing to reference on a book she recently received from her kindergarten teacher titled, “Everything I Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten.”

Among other nuggets of wisdom, Kosters encouraged her classmates to: share everything; don’t hit people; put things back where you found them; walk, don’t run; show up and work hard; live in the moment, appreciate every day.

Kosters asked the class to stand and look around the auditorium at each other and those gathered there for graduation ceremonies.

“These people are our roots,” she said. “Don’t forget your roots that allow you to grow … a well-rooted tree will never fall to the ground.”

Kosters closed with a quote from Winnie the Pooh.

“How lucky I am to have something so good that it makes goodbye hard,” she said. “Thank you for making good-bye hard.”

High school counselor Rhonda Britzman recognized the 31 scholarship winners by having them stand and reading their individual awards and accomplishments, an impressive list of more than 100 scholarships and awards amounting to nearly $105,000 in local money awarded.

Biesiot recognized Grace Campbell as valedictorian and Carolyn Groeger as salutatorian and presented them with medals for their accomplishments.

Graduating magna cum laude, with a 3.5 GPA or above were: Grace Campbell, Emily Fox, Isabel Fredericksen, Carolyn Groeger, Wyatt Hess, Shelbee Hopkins, Mara Jacobs, Dylin Johnson, Gracie Kosters, Ian Srstka, Katie Tieman, Hailey Trewhella, Brigham Williams.

Graduating cum laude, with a 3.0-3.49 GPA were: Jacob Alley, Lilyan Keehn, Garrett Kiefer, Madison Morrison, McKayla Norton, Jaci Petsch, Brianna Sneesby, Kelsey Stuen.

The class enlisted their coach and science teacher Tom Tieszen to deliver the commencement address.

The Class of 2018 was Tieszen’s first class he ever taught, and he referred to them as a great class, willing to work hard.

“I watched you grow from lost, awkward freshmen to slightly less awkward, but still lost seniors,” Tieszen joked. “Thanks for not scaring me off. Instead, you helped me fall in love with teaching.”

Tieszen’s advice for the class was based on references to the “The Office” and four lessons that could be learned from the television show: one, be your own character; two, be like Dwight and mimic the passion he displays, especially for his work; three, don’t hit anyone with a car unless they have rabies, i.e., finding positives in the negatives; and four, always have a pretzel day, try to make each day the best it can be.

Tieszen ended his speech with a quote from The Office’s Michael Scott: “May your hats fly as high as your dreams.”

Class presenter was English teacher Barb Fosheim, who is retiring at the end of this school year, following 35 years of teaching at Lead-Deadwood High School and many years of shepherding culminating senior projects.

“Be an active verb, not a passive one,” Fosheim said, also reminding the graduates to take to heart the Oscar Wilde poster hanging in her classroom, which states, “Be Yourself. Everyone Else is Already Taken.”

Her final words, taken from the Shakespearean stories she’s taught for decades: “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”

Diplomas were awarded by school board president Suzanne Rogers and Schools Superintendent Dr. Dan Leikvold. Junior class escorts were Zoe Keehn and Kaitlyn Meade.

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