A salute to the Class of 2018

Waterville High School’s graduating class is all smiles during ceremonies June 2. (Provided photo/Stephanie Stibal)

 

See more photos of the Class of 2018 receiving their diplomas

See more coverage honoring members of the graduating class from the April 7 issue of Empire Press

 

By Suzanne Robinson
Empire Press Correspondent

Class of 2018 valedictorian Lexi Deishl. (Empire Press photo/James Robinson)

Families, friends and community members gathered June 2 for Waterville High School’s commencement ceremony for the Class of 2018.

Members of the graduating class were Jesus A. Capi, Stefani Capi Maldonado, Kevin Casteel, Laura Castillo, Justine Claire Clements, Benjamin Covarrubias, Lexi Deishl, Kellen Dills, Benjamin Garnica Rangel, Edgar Gonzalez-Loera, Alyssa Hansen, Haley Henson, Devyn Klinginsmith, Cole Koenig, Jesse Lua-Henry, Sonia Ivette Martinez, Miles R. Mittelstaedt, Kyle Johnathan Morris, Johnny Mullen, William Osborne, Ethan Petersen, Karsen Shafer, Miguel Silva, Brooke Simmons, Jacob Stibal, Ericka Thornton and Taylor Willms.

Class of 2018 salutatorian Jacob Stibal. (Empire Press photo/James Robinson)

The 27 students entered the gymnasium as the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” was played. The class motto was “Don’t Tell Me The Sky is the Limit When There are Footprints On the Moon.”

Superintendent Cathi Nelson welcomed everyone to the ceremony. Justine Clements, class president, then introduced this year’s guest speaker, Kelly Hinderer.

Hinderer started her speech by saying that most commencement addresses are inspiring and full of positive thoughts, however, she felt she needed to be honest to this class of graduates.

“Life is hard. Learn from your mistakes and celebrate your successes. Don’t let life happen to you, make it happen for you. Live in the moment and reflect on your journey.” She concluded with a reading from a book entitled “The Train of Life.”

Salutatorian Jacob Stibal addressed the class and those attending by thanking all of the teachers, coaches and community for supporting him and his fellow classmates in their journey th

A salute to the graduating class at Waterville High School. (Empire Press photo/James Robinson)

rough school. Throughout his school years, he learned how to be a part of a team and to be a team player. His advice to his underclassmen was to work hard, be dedicated to their education and work as a team.

Valedictorian Lexi Deishl began her speech by saying, “This community is awesome.” As she prepared what she would say for her address, she asked each of her teachers — from kindergarten on up — if there was one word that they could use to describe this class, what would it be? Some of the words used to describe the class were, unique, independent, competitive, fierce, argumentative and one even said lazy. Deishl agreed that all of these words described their class correctly. She gave examples of some of their actions including when they were in junior high and planned a sit-in and refused to go to class because they were being disciplined by not being allowed to attend a Missoula Children’s Theatre production.

The 2018 graduates greet friends and families after the ceremonies. (Empire Press photo/James Robinson)

“It didn’t work. We still were not allowed to attend the production,” she said.

Deishl further explained they did get the attention of the administration and learned some valuable lessons from the experience.

Her advice to her classmates was to stay competitive and to learn from their mistakes as they go on in life.

Diplomas were handed out to each student by Waterville school board members Joel Harding, Misty Viebrock, Amanda Viebrock, Seth Normington and Stephanie Stibal.

After receiving their diplomas each graduate presented their parents with a rose, a handshake or a hug.

The ceremony was followed by a video presentation of each class member from infant through senior year in high school, along with memorable class photos of years past.

 

Waterville High School’s Class of 2018 on stage during commencement ceremonies June 2. (Provided photo/Stephanie Stibal)

 

Justine Clements introduces guest speaker Kelly Hinderer during Waterville’s graduation ceremonies June 2. (Empire Press photo/James Robinson)

 

Jesus “Alex” Capi introduces the video of the Class of 2018. (Empire Press photo/James Robinson)

 

Graduates Miguel Silva and Ben Covarrubias. (Empire Press photo/James Robinson)

 

Waterviile High School’s Class of 2018 watches a video presentation showing their lives from childhood through senior year during commencement cermonies. (Empire Press photo/James Robinson)