Friday, November 28, 2014

Cyclone commencement swirls with kudos

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 5/13/2013

Members of Ottawa High School’s Class of 2013 were more than just students — they were like a family.

That’s the message class president Jackelyn Duran delivered during her commencement address on a sunny Sunday afternoon as family, friends, faculty and undergraduates packed Steve Grogan Stadium to watch 138 OHS graduates pick up their diplomas.

Members of Ottawa High School’s Class of 2013 were more than just students — they were like a family.

That’s the message class president Jackelyn Duran delivered during her commencement address on a sunny Sunday afternoon as family, friends, faculty and undergraduates packed Steve Grogan Stadium to watch 138 OHS graduates pick up their diplomas.

“This graduating class was like a family,” Duran said. “We broke down social classes ... we formed a strong bond.”

Duran thanked the OHS faculty and staff for preparing them for the future.

In her final remarks, Duran turned to face her classmates seated on the track: “Congratulations, Class of 2013.”

OHS senior Jeffrey Doolittle, in his commencement address, drew laughter from the crowd when he joked that all his classmates had to show for 13 years of school was a piece of paper — and actually “you have to go to the office to get it.”

“We should get Stanley Cup-size trophies,” Doolittle said.

But in seriousness, Doolittle said, if a student’s only goal during their senior year was just to graduate, then that student missed out on a lot of important experiences along the way.

“The reward is in the journey, not the destination,” Doolittle said.

Quoting from the movie “Zombieland”, Doolittle told his classmates to “enjoy the little things.”

Duran and Doolittle cited the accomplishments of the class, including winning the 2013 boys’ 4A state basketball championship, as well as qualifying many members of the class for state competitions in such programs as forensics and music. They urged their classmates to set meaningful life goals.

After the two speeches, Duran presented the senior class gift to the school — a customized digital clock for the OHS Cyclone Room.

A 1995 graduate of OHS, Ryan Cobbs was wrapping up his first year as principal of the high school. He offered 2013 graduates three pieces of advice for the future: Remain charismatic, see the world if you can, and don’t be afraid to fail. Cobbs told students not to be afraid to fail because often people have to go through trials before they achieve success.

He also talked about the accomplishments of the Class of 2013 — individually and collectively — noting one senior took Calculus III.

“I was a math major, and I didn’t take Calculus III until I was a senior in college,” Cobbs said.

He cited other students’ plans to play NCAA Division I sports, go into premed and other fields. He said more than 40 percent of the class earned Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude or Summa Cum Laude honors for academic excellence.

Cobbs credited the class for helping him strive to develop a new and improved OHS.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better class to help move us into the future,” Cobbs said.

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