BY KIM VAN METER
Special To The Leader
Three-hundred and fifty-nine bright-eyed outgoing eighth graders took to the field for their ceremonial walk toward their future high school career as windy conditions threatened to snatch caps and send gowns fluttering on Thursday, May 24 for the Oakdale Junior High graduation.
But not even brisk, unseasonably cold weather could dampen the spirit of graduates as they accepted their diplomas, ready to conquer the next area of their lives.
Kathleen Hinckley performed the National Anthem while Luke Leijten, Associated Student Body Sergeant of Arms, led the Pledge of Allegiance before OJHS Principal Jon Webb welcomed those in attendance.
Eighth grade class vice president, Jacqueline Tennis, highlighted some of the year’s accomplishments during the class review, drawing attention to undefeated champion athletes in many sports, the successful Royal Rams event, and the fun Turkey Trot.
Tennis pointed out one of the enduring lessons learned, “the significance of hard work” as a stepping-stone to future success before turning the microphone to Morgan Dietrich, ASB President for the graduating class address.
Dietrich, who came to OJHS this year, was full of praise for her new school, saying, “OJHS was nothing but welcoming and the atmosphere here is extremely positive.”
Even though it wasn’t always smooth sailing — life lessons are rarely without struggle — she said, “It’s an end of a chapter in our lives … and we have many new experiences waiting for us.”
Kenadie Patterson, ASB Treasurer, presented the class gift — brand new soccer nets and hardware — so that many more students can enjoy soccer for years to come.
The night ended with smiles, photographs, and lots of excitement for the future.