Class of 2006 moving on out
Basehor-Linwood High School was full of smiles Thursday evening. Smiles of proud parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and, of course, happy graduates.
Despite their smiles, the new graduates' feelings about moving onto the next phase in life ranged from disbelief to relief.
"I can't believe it!" Sally Lust said, as she waited in line to enter the gymnasium. "Thank God!"
"It really hasn't hit me yet," Brandon Magaha said about the upcoming moment. "High school was short, but fun."
"To be honest, I kinda want to get out of here," Zach Lowe said. "Everybody's been saying they're nervous, but I'm not."
After graduates marched into the gym to the traditional "Pomp and Circumstance," played by the BLHS band, seniors in the top 10 percent of the class were honored with medallions.
Two of the three valedictorians addressed the Class of 2006 with inspirational speeches.
Cory Bunting encouraged his high school classmates to never quit striving.
"Fate only takes you so far, but it's up to you to take the first step," Bunting said, quoting a movie. "School may be over, but your education still continues."
Dustin Weimer delivered a simple message from Mark Twain to his classmates.
"Explore, dream, discover," Weimer said, quoting Twain. "The best way to describe graduation is the beginning of a new chapter of a never-ending story. Let the next chapters of your life be as colorful as the last."
Thursday night, Weimer also learned he had been awarded the $10,000 Faye Carney Gehl Scholarship, presented by Gehl's young granddaughter Sarah Faye Ferris. The Basehor community awarded $36,000 in scholarships to Basehor-Linwood students and this year's graduates received a total of $308,000 in scholarships.
As the 114 BLHS and 15 Virtual School students stood to receive their diplomas, they hugged special teachers and posed in front of their parents' waiting cameras in the filled-to-capacity bleachers.
After the last name was called, Principal Steve Blankenship announced the long-waited "turning of the tassels." Mortarboards flew into the air as the gymnasium roared with cheers. Air horns blared as students congratulated one another with high fives.