Class of 2007 earns right to be called Eudora High School graduates
The yellow hackey-sack arched through the air.
Austin Crystal caught it on his foot and kicked it back up.
Next to him, Tim Fredrickson and Amber Jurkovich watched the ball's path and waited for it to come back.
The group played the game at lunch each day throughout their four years at Eudora High School.
After leaving the Eudora High School commons Saturday afternoon, the group removed cap and gown and started one last game with their family and friends ---- as graduates.
"It's been the longest day of my life," Crystal said.
The trio along with 103 other students were recognized as the Eudora High School class of 2007.
The ceremony included baby pictures, choral pieces and words of wisdom.
The class chose former coach and teacher Scott Stein to give the commencement address.
He gave the address as a pep talk to his former students.
"Now class of 2007, it's no more 'get her done' because you got her done," Stein said. "It feels good."
Stein laced the address with names of his former players and students. He joked at first by allowing his voice to jump in volume to the tone used with athletes.
He soon went to the speech's core.
"I do have a few suggestions," Stein said. "I'm going to tell you about the serious side of things."
He told the class each person is responsible for overcoming the emotional stumbling blocks keeping them from success.
He also urged the graduates to remember to be gracious.
"It's a lost art," Stein said.
It's important to do a job well and appreciate the work one finds, Stein said.
"If you're going to be contributing to today's society, do it with a passion," Stein said.
Stein finished with a request to the graduating class.
"Please don't allow this to be the best thing that ever happens in your life," he said.
The school recognized six valedictorians ---- Mary Cox, Brittney Graff, Katelin Harrell, Kellian Harrell, Charles Mersmann and Jessica Stewart.
Each kept a 4.0 grade point average through four years of high school.
Graff and Katelin Harrell each offered their own thoughts to the class of 2007.
At the beginning of the year, it seemed like the class had so much time, Graff said.
Before she knew it, the time disappeared, she said.
"The teachers were great because I felt like I could go to them for everything, not just homework help," Graff said.
Graff urged her classmates to make the best out of their college experiences and to take at least one class during their college career for fun.
"Wherever you go, go following your heart," Graff said.
Katelin Harrell also tried to motivate her classmates.
"Ready or not, now is the time to enter the real world," Harrell said.
She told the class she believed a secret to success follows Benjamin Franklin's advice to not put off until tomorrow what one could do today.
After Harrell's speech and two choir performances, the graduates received their diplomas and class flower, turned their tassels and ended the ceremony in a miniature blizzard of canned string and balloons.
The graduates filed out to the commons area to be greeted by their family and friends.
Graduate Desiree Marmon looked back on the day as people filed out after the reception.
She compared the entire experience to a rollercoaster, she said.
"It's pretty good," Marmon said.