Bright future awaits Milton High Class of 2011
Milton singers perform at graduation ceremonies on Sunday.
Milton High School
Number of graduates: 253
Honor graduates: Whitney Mueller and Jordan Buhle
Songs: "The River" by Garth Brooks and Victoria Shaw, "Go the Distance" by Alan Menken and David Zippel, school song, "Washington and Lee Swing" and "Fanfare and Processional," usually known as "Pomp and Circumstance," by Edward Elgar.
MILTON Last year, graduation day at Milton High School was a sodden affair consisting of rain, rain and more rain.
This year, 253 graduates walked across the stage to receive their diplomas under sunny skies.
"What a special day," Principal Jeremy Bilhorn said. "Today is the day we get to celebrate tremendous group of young adults and their many accomplishments."
Among those accomplishments:
-- Seniors took 145 advanced placement classes and had the highest pass rate on the exams in Rock County.
-- Josh Dohs, Teagan Dosch and Austin Will designed and built a high-mileage vehicle that got more than 100 mpg.
-- Lauren Metcalf helped establish an aquaponics program so the high school could raise plants and marine life in water. She presented her research and even was mistaken for a graduate student at a conference.
It also was a good year for sports. The swimming, gymnastics and golf teams went to state, and girls' soccer was a game away from state.
Rain, rain, go away
It didn't rain, but graduates were prepared. They all brought umbrellas—tiny cocktail umbrellas that could be threaded through the zippers of their gowns or tucked behind their ears.
Bilhorn, who brought a real umbrella, was so grateful for the sunny skies that he asked the audience to give the weather a round of applause.
He has fond memories of last year. Well, not really.
"After the last dry cleaning bill came, and the band instruments dried out and the cameras were repaired, we certainly feel like we deserve the weather today," Bilhorn said.
He joked that he started checking the weather radar in March.
Student speakers talked about their memories and saluted their teachers, friends and families for helping them succeed.
After graduation, some students plan to go straight to work. A significant number plan to attend UW System schools in Whitewater, Milwaukee, Madison, La Crosse, Oshkosh, Stout, Platteville, Green Bay, Eau Claire, Stevens Point, River Falls and Janesville.
Blackhawk Technical College and Madison Technical College also were popular choices.
Nolan Heniges is attending St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., and Whitney Mueller is going to Haverford College in Philadelphia, both highly selective liberal arts colleges
Patrick Johnson, who is spending the second semester of his senior year abroad, is attending Yale.
The women wore red robes, and the men wore black. That's where the similarities ended. The women's toenails sparkled in multicolored hues. Flats, spikes and wedge shoes accented the red robes, and many of red mortarboards sported sparkly stick-on jewels. Madelyn Brewer's mortarboard had a raffish zebra-striped flower.
John Haas' neon orange shoelaces stood out, as did Jordan Gerharz's neon green sneakers.
Amid all the sneakers and spikes were two pairs of black shoes so shiny and spotless you could see your reflection in them. They belonged to Alyshia Fry and Johnnie Clark, two seniors who graduated mid-year and immediately entered the Marines.
District administrators allowed Fry and Clark to wear their uniforms instead of the traditional cap and gown.
Both looked sharp and tough in their uniforms, and they both carried themselves with the gravity befitting members of the U.S. Marine Corps.