Rain can’t dampen Milton graduation
MILTON Hannah Hermanson told her classmates it was their turn to make headlines.
They didn’t wait long.
Thirty-one minutes into Sunday afternoon’s outdoor graduation ceremony, the skies opened above Milton High School.
It didn’t sprinkle.
It fell in buckets. The good, old-fashioned downpour outlasted the shortened ceremony, and the class of 2010 became the one that graduated in the rain.
Many in the audience made mad dashes to cars and the nearby school. Photographers and musicians tucked away equipment.
Others just shrugged and moved in for a better view.
Associate Principal Phillip Pape tried hard to keep things moving on stage. But after a few minutes, his program was too wet to read.
Then the sound system cut out.
No matter. From their seats in folding chairs, the seniors in perfect unison shouted the name of each classmate as he or she accepted a dripping diploma.
Occasionally, an arc of water flew overhead as one student or another joyfully swung an open water bottle.
It’s not like the kids were going to get any wetter.
Few fans remained in the bleachers. Those who did smiled under umbrellas, blankets and folding chairs.
Fifteen minutes into the storm, all 227 kids had sloshed across the stage, and Principal Jeremy Bilhorn formally introduced the class of 2010.
For a second, it looked like a fountain erupted from the folding chairs. But it was just silly string bursting through the rain.
The good and the bad
Class President Hermanson couldn’t predict the rainstorm that was both fun and uncomfortable.
But the storm fit nicely with her welcome speech about the Redhawk seniors’ triumphs and failures in 13 years of public education.
As a group, they won championships and came in last place, Hermanson said. Also, they survived the swine flu, she said.
“Now it’s our turn to write the news headlines,” Hermanson said.
Even before the storm made the day a memorable one, Bilhorn urged the students to “take the excitement you feel today and hang on to it.”
“Go get ‘em,” he said.
What got rained out
You’d think Corrine Lyke would be sad that her salutatorian speech got rained out.
But after a change of clothes and a break inside the dry house, she told a Gazette reporter that the memorable storm meant more to her than her speech.
“Frankly, I’m more happy that it rained,” Lyke said. “It was awesome.”
School officials after the ceremony recorded Lyke’s speech for inclusion in a graduation DVD. And she chose a line to pass on to her classmates who read the Gazette.
“Success is not important,” Lyke said. “Because it’s failure that makes us grow.”