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‘Go be you:’ EHS Class of 2018 graduates

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The Ellsworth High School Class of 2018 stands as Principal Mark Stoesz presents them for graduation to the audience Friday, May 25 in the EHS gym. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 17
Ellsworth Middle School teacher Jon Claesson was presented the Ellsworth Community School District Foundation Teacher of the Year award by foundation vice president Jack Hines at the Friday, May 25 Ellsworth High School commencement ceremony. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia 3 / 17
Ellsworth High School Salutatorian Anna Olson's speech was called "Untitled," which she gave at the EHS commencement ceremony Friday, May 25. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia 4 / 17
Kiley Smith, speaker at the Ellsworth High School May 25 commencement ceremony, encouraged classmates to "go be you." Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia 5 / 17
Salutatorian Anna Olson (left) and Valedictorian Sydney Albarado made their way into the gym for the Ellsworth High School graduation ceremony Friday, May 25. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia 6 / 17
Kyra Hayes, who died in a car crash Oct.21, 2016, had her own chair, cap and rose next to her classmates Friday, May 25 at the Ellsworth High School commencement ceremony. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia 7 / 17
Courtney Leonard and Elle Leonard smile for the cameras Friday, May 25 as they process into the gym for their graduation ceremony. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia 8 / 17
Ryan McGregor makes his way into the gym Friday, May 25 for the Ellsworth High School commencement ceremony. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia 9 / 17
Rachael Sullivan and Sam Stuhl process into the gym Friday, May 25 at the Ellsworth High School Class of 2018 commencement ceremony. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia 10 / 17
Olivia Matzek's speech was titled "Nineteen years of change." The Friday, May 25 Ellsworth High School commencement fell on her 19th birthday. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia 11 / 17
Class of 2018 Valedictorian Sydney Albarado's message was "Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself." Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia 12 / 17
Class of 2018 students wait in line to receive their diplomas Friday, May 25. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia 13 / 17
Dalton Huppert hams it up with Ellsworth High School Principal Mark Stoesz as he steps onstage to receive his diploma Friday, May 25. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia 14 / 17
Alexa Rasmussen (left) and Desiree Raethke were all smiles as they processed into the Ellsworth High School commencement ceremony Friday, May 25. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia 15 / 17
Megan Bignell as she received her diploma and rose Friday, May 25 from Ellsworth School Board members and teacher Julie Graber. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia 16 / 17
Olivia Carlson just after receiving her diploma Friday, May 25 at the Ellsworth High School graduation. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia 17 / 17

As the Ellsworth High School Class of 2018 gathered as one full group for one last time at their Friday, May 25 commencement ceremony, the messages from speakers were uplifting.

Superintendent Barry Cain made special note of the 10, 780 hours of community service performed by the class.

“That represents making others’ lives better,” Cain said.

Ellsworth Community School District Foundation Vice-President Jack Hines introduced the 2018 Teacher of the Year Jon Claesson to a roar of applause.

Claesson, who has been with the district as a middle school science teacher for 30 years, said “My teaching family keeps me sane, as sane as a middle student teacher can be.”

Aside from the jokes and laughs, Claesson became choked up when speaking about student Kyra Hayes, who died in a car crash Oct. 21, 2016. Hayes was represented with her own chair, cap and rose.

Student speakers included Valedictorian Sydney Albarado, who told her classmates “Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself;” Salutatorian Anna Olson, who asked her class to choose to live deliberately and create their own stories; Kiley Smith, who made a good point: “If someone says it’s already been done before, let that be your starting point and not your stopping point. Go be you!” Chase Gilbertson urged his classmates not to be defined by labels, while Olivia Matzek detailed her “Nineteen years of change.”

The class flower is the purple-tipped white rose; class motto is “Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.” Class colors are purple and white.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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