No amount of heat could defer tradition and a few laughs at the Humboldt High School commencement ceremony Sunday.
As friends, family and faculty fanned themselves in the high school gymnasium on a balmy 80-degree day, current class president Jason Haselhuhn passed on the school mantel to the Class President of 2011 Kyndsie Conlon who readily accepted the honor.
"Thank you Jason," Conlon said. "It represents the journey, friendships, and accomplishments of previous classes. I'm honored to accept it as your class addresses the new challenges that lie ahead."
The symbolic gesture was only one of many that took place.
Of the 99 graduating seniors, 25 were recognized for being part of the National Honor Society and 48 earned grade point averages of higher than 3.0.
Recognized with the highest academic honors were Danielle Carda, valedictorian with a 4.0 GPA, and Sierra Schnetzer salutatorian with a 3.993 GPA.
And speakers Patrick Tecklenburg and Kelsey Olson entertained the crowd with their speeches of high school memories and excitement for what lies ahead.
"The importance of choices came to me while I was in painting class," Tecklenburg told the crowd. "Our choices are just another brush stroke in the painting of our lives. We're not perfect, yet we're still beautiful. Our graduation today is just another fine detail of the portrait of our lives. ... Ultimately, we choose which path to follow. We know how far we've come, which shows us how far we can go."
Values of commitment and hard work are what allowed the class of 2010 to stand together as equals in their "blue robes and goofy hats" he added.
Olson had her share of creativity and goofiness in her address to her class as she implied her speech would discuss at length the years of memories she and her classmates had accumulated over the years.
"I've asked Katherine (Tierney) to accompany me on the piano with mood setting music," Olson said. "It's designed to cater to what you want to hear."
She then dove into a series of stories, through which she would abruptly stop and silently pantomime, presuming most people would ignore the words and listen to Tierney's fingers dance across the piano instead.
This form of speaking prompted laughs and smiles from the audience.
And there was a twinge of seriousness in Olson's otherwise witty piece.
"Being able to make a fool of yourself and laugh is a great skill that's vital for success in all walks of life," she said. "I look forward to laughing with you all again 10 years from now."
After the speakers had their say, Humboldt High School Principal Lori Westhoff read each student's name as they crossed the stage and received their diploma from Brian Ricklefs, President of the Board of Education and Greg Darling, Superintendent of Humboldt Schools.
Contact Lindsey Mutchler at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org