Spring Lake Park High School graduates celebrate

Staff Writer
Since 2013, I have primarily covered the Anoka-Hennepin and Spring Lake Park school districts as well as the city of Spring Lake Park for ABC Newspapers.

Spring Lake Park High School awarded 315 diplomas Friday, June 9.

Four addressed the class during commencement: Principal Jane Stevenson, students Marisa Antell and Matthew Maurice, and Superintendent Jeff Ronneberg.

Stevenson, who is retiring this year, focused her comments on a quote from President John F. Kennedy, displayed in her office: “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”

Stevenson encouraged graduates to try to make a difference in their families, with their friends and for those they do not know.

“Class of 2017, my wish for you is that you never quit trying,” she said.

The future looks bright for the graduating class, Antell said.

“Right now, the world is begging for kids just like us,” individuals who are ambitious, compassionate and hardworking, she said.

Maurice urged his fellow graduates to pursue their dreams fearlessly.

“The fearful do not make history,” he said. “They let it happen.”

Before Ronneberg spoke, the Spring Lake Park Concert Chorale performed “We Rise Again.”

Ronneberg drew attention to the fact that this graduating class is the last born in the 20th century.

“Change has been ever present in your life and will continue to be,” he said.

Ronneberg ended his speech with three pieces of advice he shares with graduates annually: Be curious and ask questions, have integrity by doing your best, and be appreciative.

School Board members presented graduates with diplomas before they turned to face their families and send their caps sailing toward the sun.

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Sierra Flowers bubbles over with glee when she hears her name called at graduation. Photos by Olivia Alveshere Elijah Plaep receives his diploma from Spring Lake Park School Board Chairperson John Stroebel. The Class of 2017 sends caps skyward. Graduate Marwa Hamed hugs her best friend Mona Elsagher following commencement exercises. Kathryna Gonzalez, left, and Gaochoua Vang pose with their diplomas. Seniors smile as they line up to graduate from Spring Lake Park High School June 9. Sarah Fruzyna, left, and Megan Ganley take photos with social studies teacher Amy Brockman before graduation. Chris Moen, left, and Dion Peterson, right, lift Jacob Ollendick. Students walk into Panther Stadium as family and friends in the stands cheer them on. Marisa Antell delivers the first of two commencement speeches. Victor Hernandez opens the Spring Lake Park Concert Chorale’s performance of “We Rise Again” with a solo. Evan Davis is enthusiastic about graduating. The Spring Lake Park High School Band plays “Pomp and Circumstance.” Kelvin Kuria hugs his grandmother Loise Kuria. Muzayba Hersi, 8, left, and Zahra Jamac, 7, take turns trying Mohamed Hersi’s graduation cap. Mohammed is Muzayba’s brother and Zahra’s cousin. Matthew Maurice urges his classmates to make history. Dessie Walter proudly walks across the stage.
Muzayba Hersi, 8, left, and Zahra Jamac, 7, take turns trying Mohamed Hersi’s graduation cap. Mohammed is Muzayba’s brother and Zahra’s cousin.