Forty-nine students walk across stage, become adults

By Emily Nummer Special to the Herald

EVART — On Sunday, the Evart High School graduating class of 2016 didn’t let rain stop them from celebrating.

While the ceremony was indoors, all 49 students braved wind and rain to toss their caps in the air.

Commencement speaker and Evart High School alumna Wendy Drake Curcuri, global sales director with Delphi, reflected on the significance of graduation, while providing advice to make use of meaningful experiences in the graduates lives thus far.

“Today marks the day in which now it is your time to lead,” she said. “To cultivate all the love and support you have been given by your precious family members and friends sitting in the stands for you today. To take everything that the Evart school system has done to educate you, to give you the foundation being professionally and intimately capable and successful in whatever ways you find success.

“To reflect on different friendships you’ve established here, and what you have learned so far in life about the value of people and our relationships.

“And finally, the time to look into the mirror and have confidence in yourself that you, too, can go out and do absolutely amazing things.”

Curcuri also provided students with six life lessons she has learned. She advised the students to set big dreams, push themselves without fearing failure, plan relentlessly but remain flexible, live life with purpose and passion, say thank you often and be humble.

Curcuri concluded with a charge for the graduating students.

“Class of 2016, today is your day. Today is your beginning. You, your families, the school system, and your community have prepared you for greatness. Now it’s simply up to you. Go be great, and go make your mark on the world, whatever that is,” she said.

In addition to Curcuri’s speech, valedictorian and salutatorian siblings Nicholas and Natasha Niles each addressed their class.

Valedictorian Nicholas Niles spoke of the longstanding impact from high school memories and friendships.

“Now it is time for us to leave high school, but I don’t believe any of us here will forget where we came from, because we’ve made memories that will last a lifetime,” Niles said.

“No matter where we go, or how big of an impact each of us has on the world, we will always be remembered,” he added.

Salutatorian Natasha Niles discussed how graduation was a time of transitions.

“High school was hard and complicated at times, and it seemed like it would last forever, but here we are. We can’t forget those moments when we have laughed and smiled. Hopefully, ten years from now, when we have our own families, careers and responsibilities, we will remember those things. Remember this day, which right now seems like the end, but in reality is just the beginning,” she said.

“This may be the end of life as you know it, but it is the beginning of another,” Natasha said. “We will always have the memories both good and bad.”

In addition to the speeches, performances featuring graduating seniors were given by the Evart High School Band and Evart High School Choir.