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.

Sue Austreng is at sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com

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