Blaine’s Bengals graduate into the great unknown

With just moments to spare before diplomas were awarded at the June 4 Blaine High School commencement ceremony, class orator Shilvi Joshi took the opportunity to deliver three final lessons.

She told her classmates to never be afraid, to let the past stay in the past, and to always remember YOLO – you only live once.

“It is both liberating and disheartening to say, ‘Class of 2013, this is the end,’” Joshi said. “But now is our time to experience the future we choose. Find what makes you happy and experience it to the fullest.”

And that future began with the conferring of diplomas to graduates assembled in cap and gown and eager to graduate into the great unknown.

Due to cold, rainy weather the evening of June 4, the Bengals commencement ceremony took place inside the fieldhouse. An overflow crowd of hundreds of family and friends witnessed the ceremony on the big screen set up inside the school’s auditorium.

In his farewell address to the graduates, Principal John Phelps told them, “Today is not a finish. Today is a new start. Tomorrow is the start of a new world.”

“If what you’ve accomplished so far is any indication of you future, you have a wonderful, wonderful future ahead of you.”

In addition to Joshi’s oration, graduates Mary Swanson and Kayla Coffland each delivered a farewell and best wishes to classmates, singing the songs “World” and “This is My Now,” respectively.

After Anoka-Hennepin School Board member Michael Sullivan formally accepted the graduates and commissioned the awarding of diplomas, the Class of 2013 accepted those diplomas and took the first steps on the next chapter of their journey.

Graduating classmates Madelyn Schule, Shane Scrabeck and Catherine Seltz-Drew await the awarding of diplomas as the June 4 Blaine High School commencement processional continues behind them. Photos 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. Senior class members of the Blaine High School Concert Choir and ASL (American Sign Language) members perform the national anthem as the June 4 commencement ceremony begins. Class orator Shilvi Joshi delivers three final lessons to graduates, telling them to never be afraid, to let the past stay in the past and to always remember YOLO (you only live once). 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...” Diploma in hand and a smile on her face, Lindsay Almberg descends the stage during Blaine High School’s June 4 commencement ceremony. Jacob Coleman wears a satisfied grin after receiving his high school diploma. Blaine High School celebrated commencement June 4. Due to cold, rainy weather the ceremony was held inside the fieldhouse. enior class members of the Blaine High School Concert Choir and ASL (American Sign Language) members perform the national anthem as the June 4 commencement ceremony begins. The overflow crowd packed into the auditorium, watching commencement ceremonies on the big screen. On the screen here, graduate Quentina Dunbar accepts her diploma.
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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.

Sue Austreng is at [email protected]