Area high school seniors move onto next phase in life

Eight graduation ceremonies fell within seven days between Thursday, May 30 and Tuesday, June 4.

The commencement ceremonies were for Crossroads May 30, St. Francis and Spring Lake Park and Legacy Christian Academy May 31, Andover and Coon Rapids June 2, Anoka June 3, and Blaine June 4.

Stories and additional photos will be posted at www.abcnewspapers.com in the upcoming days.

Andover High School Class of 2013 graduates walk to their seats at Mariucci Arena at the University of Minnesota for the June 2 commencement ceremony. Photo by Eric Hagen Rachael Helmer smiles at people she knows in the audience. Photo by Eric Hagen Rhonda Dean, Andover High School principal, congratulates Masah Abraham. Photo by Eric Hagen Crossroads Alternative High School senior Charley Huesman is congratulated for her achievement just before commencement ceremonies begin May 30. Photo by Sue Austreng With principal Nancy Chave looking on with pride, Abiodun Ojo-Akinwale hugs his advisor, Mark Duffy, after receiving his certificate during the May 30 Crossroads Alternative High School commencement ceremony. Photo by Sue Austreng Shortly after accepting her Crossroads Alternative High School graduation certificate, Amanda True won a $400 scholarship from Red Cross in recognition of her donation and assistance with the school’s blood drive. Photo by Sue Austreng Cheyenne Ramsay helps Ashlyn Chaika before the May 31 Legacy Christian Academy Class of 2013 commencement ceremony. Photo by Eric Hagen A total of 334 students the evening of May 31 graduated from Spring Lake Park High School. Photo by Elyse Kaner Rocio Jimenez, left, and Jackie Penaloza were beaming just before Spring Lake Park High School’s 2013 Commencement. The graduation ceremony was held Friday, May 31 in the school’s gymnasium because of threatening weather. Photo by Elyse Kaner Shakayla Lambert hurries to join the graduation lineup. Photo by Elyse Kaner Graduate Samuel Day accepts his diploma and congratulations from Principal Paul Neubauer and Activities Director Jeff Fink. Photo by Sue Austreng Graduate Ciarra Arzdorf, who added a bit of bling to her cap, turns to watch classmates make their way into the gymnasium as the Class of 2013 celebrates commencement May 31. Photo by Sue Austreng Tirzah Gerber (second from right) was recognized for 25 years of working at the school, which was once called Meadow Creek Christian School. From left to right: Cheryl Fregeau, Twyla Beyers, Merry Kowalchuk, Jake Mulvihill (enrich and steadfast house principal), Steve Larson (interim school president), Tirzah Gerber, and Joel Nydam (nurture and enrich house principal). Fregeau, Beyers, and Kowalchuk have all taught at the school for more than 25 years. Photo by Eric Hagen As Sabrina Fluegel performed a popular Miley Cyrus song during the May 31 commencement ceremony, fellow graduating seniors stood up and sang along with her as she intoned, “I always knew this day would come, we’d be standing one by one with our future in our hands. So many dreams, so many plans ... You’re in my heart forever. I’ll always remember you.” Fluegel was accompanied by Evan Molin on the guitar. Photo by Sue Austreng Malakhi Letterman (left) and Trent Anderson (right) and other graduates walk to their seats in Meadow Creek Christian Church. Photo by Eric Hagen Dennis Carlson, District 11 superintendent, addresses graduates. Photo by Peter Bodley Coon Rapids High School seniors are congratulated and presented with their diplomas. Photo by Peter Bodley Grant Farley, senior class leader, was the emcee for the graduation program. Photo by Peter Bodley Anoka High School Class of 2013 commences from Goodrich Field June 3. Photo by Sue Austreng Class speaker Cory Odom urged classmates to “use this vehicle to forge your own road and go where no one has gone before” as he likened graduation and the high school years of the class of 2013 to an old, beloved car marked with scratches, dents, a little rust and a few dings – reminders of the milestones reached during those remarkable years. Photo by Sue Austreng Anoka High School Principal Michael Farley congratulates graduate Rachel Palm. Photo by Sue Austreng Ian Durbin scans the crowd assembled inside Blaine High School fieldhouse as commencement ceremonies begin. Durbin and classmates standing with him wear medals awarded to Blaine High School’s CEMS (Center for Engineering, Mathematics and Science) program graduates. Photo by Sue Austreng Kayla Coffland belts out a powerful version of Jordan Sparks’ song, “This is My Now” singing, “My fear’s behind me, gone are the shadows and doubt that was then, this is my now but I have a courage like never before...”Photo by Sue Austreng
Diploma in hand and a smile on her face, Lindsay Almberg descends the stage during Blaine High School’s June 4 commencement ceremony. Photo by Sue Austreng
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Tirzah Gerber (second from right) was recognized for 25 years of working at the school, which was once called Meadow Creek Christian School. From left to right: Cheryl Fregeau, Twyla Beyers, Merry Kowalchuk, Jake Mulvihill (enrich and steadfast house principal), Steve Larson (interim school president), Tirzah Gerber, and Joel Nydam (nurture and enrich house principal). Fregeau, Beyers, and Kowalchuk have all taught at the school for more than 25 years. Photo by Eric Hagen