NEW ULM - The value of relationships was stressed by several speakers Friday as the 128th annual New Ulm High School Graduation Exercises included 139 members of the Class of 2013.
"Laugh as much as you can, the right way. Life can be tough," said senior Connor Johnson in the Commencement Address. "We need each other. Value your relationships. They're the most important things in life. Don't cry that it's over. Smile because it happened. Let's do this thing. Let's graduate."
Guest Speaker, New Ulm High School Social Studies teacher Charles Anderson, said where you end up is more important than where you start.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Faculty, and school board members (right) react to Connor Johnson’s Senior Class commencement address during the New Ulm High School 2013 Graduation Ceremony Friday at the New Ulm Civic Center. For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com.
"I never thought I'd be a teacher," said Anderson who said he ran away from an orphanage as a youth. "You'll be the product of your experiences and your life will be richer for it. Take a chance. The regrets I have are the chances I didn't take. Follow your dreams, reach your vision of success."
After selling insurance door-to-door and selling used cars, Anderson joined the U.S. Army, joined the 82nd Airborne Division, became an Army Ranger and was awarded the Bronze Star.
"I learned discipline and commitment in the Army, jumping out of perfectly good airplanes," Anderson said. "I hope I've inspired you, at least in some small way."
Retiring Superintendent Harold Remme thanked school board members, talked about relationships and quoted a number of notable people.
"Like Steve Jobs said, time is limited so don't waste it on someone else's life," Remme said. "Like former Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes said, 'nothing that comes easy is worth a dime.'
He told graduates to stay persistent.
"It's things that don't go your way that can turn into something right," Remme said. "Be skilled at recognizing opportunities. Much can be accomplished when a team works together. Use this (graduation) milestone to your future advantage."
Commencement Faculty Representatives were Anderson, Anita Longtin, New Ulm High School Principal Steven Weber, Ed Fornberg of Jefferson Elementary, Terri Schuette of Washington Elementary and Support Person Ann Hillesheim.
New Ulm High School Principal Mark Bergmann thanked Remme for his 16 years of service to the school district.
Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.