Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Viking: Remember moments that shaped high school

By DYLAN LYSEN, Herald Staff Writer | 5/19/2014

RICHMOND — Jordan Horstick struggled to remember the words his brother, JT Horstick, spoke nearly a decade ago when he was valedictorian.

But then he realized relaying that message didn’t matter, he said Saturday during the Vikings graduation ceremony. Central Heights Class of 2014 graduates wouldn’t remember it any better than he did. Instead, he encouraged his classmates to remember their moments together.

RICHMOND — Jordan Horstick struggled to remember the words his brother, JT Horstick, spoke nearly a decade ago when he was valedictorian.

But then he realized relaying that message didn’t matter, he said Saturday during the Vikings graduation ceremony. Central Heights Class of 2014 graduates wouldn’t remember it any better than he did. Instead, he encouraged his classmates to remember their moments together.

“Nine years ago, my brother stood up here on the same stage giving the same speech. While I was thinking about what I wanted to talk about today, I thought back to what he said, but I couldn’t quite remember what he said,” Jordan Horstick, class valedictorian, said.

“Truth is, we’ve had some great years here together, and we’ve laughed and cried but stuck together through all of it,” he continued. “But this is all in the past. Now is the time to start the next chapter in our lives.”

Horstick, who’s father is the high school principal and mother is a kindergarten teacher for the school district, said he had been at Central Heights his whole education career. He joined 12 other graduates who began and finished at Central Heights.

“I started out in kindergarten with my mom teaching my kindergarten class and my father teaching P.E. classes, and then four more years of my father watching my every move in the hallways and looking at my grades every day,” Horstick said during his commencement address, his father sitting directly behind him on stage. “And believe it or not, I can’t even stand up here and give you this speech without him looking over my shoulder right now.”

Central Heights saw 32 seniors graduate from high school Saturday in the high school’s packed gym. Tom Horstick, high school principal, said it was one of the smallest classes in Central Heights’ recent history, but the class was never outdone.

“You are a unique class. First of all, there are only 32 of you, making you one of the smallest classes in recent years,” Horstick said. “With only 32, you have earned $144,000 worth of scholarships.”

The principal told the graduating seniors they will work in many different career paths, and honored the students who planned to enter the U.S. armed forces. He said the class was fun, but caused him some grief.

“You are a fun class, and although I wanted to scream at, kick and strangle some of you — I don’t know if I can say that in public, but I did — you have been fun to be around,” he said.

But with all the headaches the students have caused their principal, he was sure to honor the class for their academics.

“You have the highest cumulative class GPA in recent years, congratulations,” Horstick said.

Horstick told the graduation crowd he had watched all four of his children, including Jordan, graduate from Central Heights. He also expressed pride in watching Tyler Hendron, who has lived with the family for the past three years and who Horstick considers his fifth child, finish his high school career.

“On a personal note, 2014 brings an end to my kids and their education at Central Heights,” Horstick said. “I’m so blessed to have an up-close view of what’s going on a daily basis. Now I don’t know if the five of them would agree, but I’m glad I got to go to school with them for the last 22 years. And I say five because I consider Tyler [Hendron] one of us.”

Horstick left the class with a quote he said they might not remember, but was meaningful nonetheless.

“I like to leave you with a quote you’ll never remember, and I know that, but humor me would you?” Horstick said. “[Dwight D. Eisenhower] said, ‘In preparing for battle, I’ve always found plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.’ Graduates, sometimes the best plans and goals you have will fall apart. And in the heat of life and your battles, they will fall apart. But I encourage you to set goals, be prepared and be ready for all what life has to offer you.

“Live life fully, live life fairly, live a life of faith, walk with integrity with everything you do.”

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