John Glenn High School celebrated the Class of 2022 on June 24 at the school’s 60th commencement ceremony. The seniors marched on to the football field, clad in blue and white caps and gowns, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Senior Class President Maya Polese, and the national anthem, performed by the high school's band under the direction of Vicki Henson.
The ceremony also served as a farewell and salute to retiring Assistant Principal Leroy Cole.
“Mr. Cole, your mark on the Elwood School District will last for decades,” Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Bossert said. “We will fill your position but sir, you can never be replaced."
Dr. Bossert and Principal Carisa Burzynski both offered congratulatory remarks, praising the seniors for their achievements. Burzynski noted that the class had the highest ever number of students collectively earning cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude since the school adopted the system.
“Your children are pretty remarkable,” Burzynski told family and friends of the graduates in attendance. “And they have helped us to earn some really amazing accolades over the years.”
“It has been an absolute pleasure to watch you mature into the young men and women you are today,” Dr. Bossert said. “You have brought positive attention to our school district and given us all reason to celebrate and be filled with Elwood Pride.”
Salutatorian Trinity Hausch, valedictorian Anson Kwan, All-School President Alexandra Haddad and featured speaker Max Slesinski all spoke on behalf of the students during the graduation ceremony.
Hausch touched on themes of growth and change. “I hope we are all excited to meet the people we will become,” she said. “And I hope we promise collectively never to stop learning, never stop questioning, and above all, never stop being kind.”
“We’ve smiled and we’ve laughed,” Kwan said. “We’ve stuck together. And I think that’s the beauty of Elwood. Our size is the reason behind our greatest strength – our community. We, as Elwoodians, have always supported one another. Elwood is a place that thrives because of its community. And it’s through that community that I’ve learned so much.”
Haddad spoke on the seniors’ bonds of friendship and memories before introducing Slesinski, who was selected by his peers. He lightheartedly told his classmates to always enjoy the moment, quoting singer Miley Cyrus’ lyrics, “It ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side. It’s the climb.”
After receiving their diplomas and turning their tassels, the new Knights alumni tossed their caps in the air, beginning the next chapter in their lives.