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Local High Schools host commencement ceremonies in Stormont Vail Events Center

Local High Schools host commencement ceremonies in Stormont Vail Events Center
Published: May. 15, 2022 at 10:55 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Hundreds of local high school seniors made their way across the stage to receive their diplomas.

240 Shawnee Heights High School seniors marched into Landon Arena kicking off Sunday commencement ceremonies inside the Stormont Vail Events Center.

The grads said four years of high school - before, during, and after a pandemic - leaves them uniquely prepared for their futures.

Joy Childs said, “I think that you have to be quick on your feet and that you’re always going to be able to meet the challenges that come. We weren’t expecting covid to happen but we were still able to learn and persevere through it all.”

Seaman High grads made their way shortly after. Nearly 280 students say farewell as Vikings.

Anson Appelhanz said, “I think it’s a massive weight lifted off my shoulders but at the same time, you know, it’s bittersweet. I might not see a lot of these people ever again but as long as I still have the memories in my head I can cherish the times.”

Washburn Rural wrapped up all the graduation speeches and walks Sunday night.

“I’ve been a part of a lot of different clubs like the orchestra and for debate, I qualified for the national tournament, and then just other memories I’ve had with my friends have all been really fun in high school,” said Jackson Taylor.

For some, the moment hasn’t felt real yet.

“I don’t think it hit me hard enough yet but I think eventually it will,” said now Seaman grad Lilly Ruiz-Pineda.

Graduates now head on to the next adventure of their lives. Some go to college, some work, and some still find their path.

“The past four years have taught us a lot of flexibility, a lot of failure leads to success, and a lot of integrity for all that we are and it helps us keep going even though life throws challenges in our way, and so this for years has taught us a lot of what we can do and what we are still able to do,” said Pierce Gutierrez from Shawnee Heights.

Some of the graduates we spoke with said they are going to Washburn, Kansas State, or Kansas. We attended KU’s graduation commencement ceremony as well Sunday morning.

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