Brandon Halverson heard a conversation after an economics class in late April that motivated him to be the student speaker at the Andover High School Class of 2013 commencement ceremony.
The student was concerned about a test score and politely asked the teacher if they could take the test again or do some extra credit work. Halverson knew he had something to say because general thoughts he has heard about his generation are that although there are good, kind people, there is a sense of entitlement and a feeling that they are worse off than their neighbor and their problems are someone else’s responsibility.
He shared this concern with the economics teacher, who said Halverson should take action. Halverson took the action of volunteering to be the one student out of 410 graduates to give the student commencement speech.
Halverson said he has witnessed some incredible things from his classmates.
“Passion is the football captain being the first to arrive and the last to leave, a musician who uses music as a bridge between his physical self and his soul, an actress that puts in long hours during tech week perfecting for the big premiere and an artist expressing her emotion onto a canvas,” he said.
Andover High School Principal Rhonda Dean said Halverson’s achievements included football captain, all-conference honorable mention in football, basketball, three years of all-conference choir, choir president and two years as section leader in chamber choir.
Halverson is a proud parent, has a third-degree black belt in karate and is a National Society of High Schools scholar. He will be attending Hamline University and plans to get a double major in exercise/sports science and psychology with a minor in history.
Dean encouraged students to reflect on the legacy they had at the school, but told students that their vision and who they surround themselves with will determine how successful they are after graduating from high school.
Anoka-Hennepin Superintendent Dennis Carlson thanked the staff at Andover High School and the families and supporters of the graduating seniors. He said they are once again graduating 3,000 students throughout the district.
“This democracy, this society only works if its people are educated and take care of themselves and each other,” Carlson said. “These fine young adults will help us get there.”
Eric Hagen is at firstname.lastname@example.org