Coon Rapids Cardinals commence

With much pomp and celebratory circumstance 532 members of Coon Rapids High School class of 2014 closed their high school careers June 8.

Commencement ceremonies were staged at the University of Minnesota’s Mariucci Arena.

Amanda Ruud waves to family seated in the stadium as she files into Mariucci Arena for Coon Rapids High School’s June 8 commencement ceremonies. Photos by Sue Austreng

Amanda Ruud waves to family seated in the stadium as she files into Mariucci Arena for Coon Rapids High School’s June 8 commencement ceremonies. Photos by Sue Austreng

Graduates filed into the arena to the sounds of “Pomp and Circumstance” performed by the Cardinal band, and then sang the National Anthem, led by the school’s Raven Street Project choir.

After an introduction and invocation delivered by senior class leader Lindsey Esch, class orators Brianka Agboola and Nathanael Bambenek stepped up to the podium.

“As Cardinals we will remember the problem-solving skills learned in the classroom and use them to our advantage to overcome obstacles and be victorious,” said Agboola. “Regardless of what happens, I will always remember where I came from: the home of the Cardinals.”

Bambenek then said, “I believe every individual has been given gifts and talents and those will take us a long way.”

“The community has taken us under their wing, each one giving us opportunities to grow and achieve. We need to be sure we don’t stop giving back to those who have helped us along the way,” Bambenek said. “We all need to remember where we came from and leave a life-changing footprint wherever we go.”

Before presenting the class of 2014, Principal Annette Ziegler described to family and friends the graduates’ expression of Cardinal pride.

“For your ‘senior prank’ you destroyed the old, worn Cardinal flag, shredding it with scissors right in front of us. But then you replaced it with a new flag and that shows us the pride you have in your school, in each other, in future Cardinals.”

“I am grateful that each of you will go into the world and make it better,” Ziegler said to the graduates.

“Remember you’re always a Cardinal, and when you’re a Cardinal you never stand alone,” she said.

And then, after the formal acceptance of the Coon Rapids High School class of 2014 by school board member Jeff Simon, students filed across the stage and were awarded their diplomas.

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

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