A light rain dampened the Goodrich Field the night before the chairs and podium were set up. Anoka High School Principal Mike Farley anxiously watched the radar.
But well before 7 p.m. Monday, June 9, the clouds parted and the sun shined on the Anoka High School Class of 2014 as they received their diplomas.
Before the 583 graduates moved onto the next stage of their lives, Farley shared the many accomplishments of the whole class before leaving them with a final “thought of the week,” which has been a tradition of his at the school.
“Twenty years from now, you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do,” Farley said, relaying the words of Mark Twain.
Ashley Davis and Emily Harrison separately shared words of encouragement and reminisced with their fellow graduates. Harrison was among the last class to graduate from Sandburg Middle School before it closed at the end of the 2009-2010 school year. She elicited some boos and cheers when she declared Sandburg much better than Fred Moore Middle School, which later became Anoka Middle School for the Arts.
Davis was a “small fish in a big pond” when she came to Anoka High School as a freshman after years of attending a private school. Over the last four years, Davis and other Class of 2014 graduates become part of the school’s community in their own way and each will now be starting all over again as they move to college.
They will have to work hard to climb the ladder again, but should not be afraid to fail. Davis said that in the words of J.K. Rowling, author of the “Harry Potter” novels, “It’s impossible to live life without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default.”
Eric Hagen is at firstname.lastname@example.org