Graduates told: Do well and good

Register City Editor

Register/Bob Johnson
At left, Katie Knoblick makes the obligatory switch of her tassel, from left to right, after receiving her diploma during Iola High School commencement exercises Sunday afternoon. Above, Sereina Cranor, paralyzed more than a year after being struck down by a mysterious illness, got a hug from her daughter, Arianna Cranor, moments after she received her diploma.

It took only an hour for the 130th graduating class at Iola High School to complete the final step of its journey through 12 years of public education.
On Sunday, Kyle Carswell, chosen by his classmates to give the commencement address, noted the pace.
“Looking back on our high school career, I think we can all understand the old saying, ‘The days are long, but the years are short.’
“Some days dragged on so long we begged our teachers to reinstate the preschool practice of nap time,” Carswell said. “But on the whole, these years seem to have flown by.
“It feels like only yesterday we came for our first day of high school and were informed that it was time to ‘take care of business’ and ‘the clock is ticking.’
“I think the clock ran out a lot sooner than most of us expected.”
Carswell noted, “Experiences we have had over the last four years will always hold a special place in our memories, but today is about something more important ... about commencement, beginning. It’s not about what’s passed, it’s about what’s still to come.”
After researching previous commencement speeches, Carswell noted success was always their central theme.
“Being successful is a vital part of life,” Carswell said, “and I believe that everyone here can and will achieve the goals they set. But rather than emphasize how our education will help us, I want to focus on how we will help others. Through our four years at Iola, we have seen how each of our lives can affect the lives of others.
“Through mentoring, SAFE BASE, work with Hope Unlimited, breast cancer awareness day and blood drives, our class has been a class of service... I know most of you won’t remember what I said in my speech 10 years from now. Some of you may not remember what I have said 10 minutes from now. But if there’s only one thing you remember, I hope it’s this: It’s important to do well in life, but much more important to do good.”

THE TOP 10 class members academically were recognized by the Iola Kiwanis Club. They were Carswell, Morgan Dieker, Jacob Heffern, Drew Mueller, Lauren Porter and Joel Tidd, all of whom shared valedictorian honors with 4.0 grade point averages; Preeya Patel and Michelle Kretzmeier, salutatorians; and Kelsey Knisley and Morgan Buchholz.
Recognized by the Iola Rotary Club for being the top males academically were Carswell, Heffern, Mueller and Tidd. Dieker and Porter received the Iola Business and Professional Women’s Club and Iola Educational Support Personnel Award for being the top females academically.