Elkhorn graduates Zimmerman, Zych heading different ways
ELKHORN They’ve been through this many times before. Matt Zimmerman and Brandon Zych are used to standing at the end of the line.
“We’ve been together since fourth grade,” Zimmermann said as the two waited at the end of the line preparing to enter the Elkhorn Area High School gymnasium Thursday night.
The line of 2012 graduates was 214 seniors long. Zimmermann and Zych were 213 and 214.
“I was always last until Brandon came along,” Zimmermann said. “At least I moved up one spot.”
Being last is no big deal once you get used to it, Zych said.
“Once in awhile, someone will reverse the order, but we are usually the last two in line,” he said. “We always get there. It just takes a little longer.”
By the time Zimmermann and Zych received their diplomas, the gym had—as they say—heated up nicely. Dozens of well-wishers stood outside the gym near the open doors. Those inside fanned themselves with programs and sipped out of water bottles.
Despite the heat, the band, under the direction of Sarah Tauchen, performed the traditional processional as the graduates entered the gym and a fanfare and recessional to end the ceremony.
After more than eight years of standing at the end of the line together, Zimmermann and Zych are heading in different directions.
“I’ll be attending UW-Madison, where I hope to major in bio-medical engineering,” Zimmermann said.
“I’ve concentrated on art,” Zych said. “I plan to practice tattoo art and hope to have my own shop someday.”
Farther up the line, four grads were visiting and planning on keeping in touch after graduation. Kayla Tolzda, Katlyn Rockwell, Megan Strait and Chrystal Sparks have been friends since grade school.
“We were all at West Side Elementary School and have been together since,” Rockwell said. “We’re going on to different schools, but we’ll stay in touch.”
Before the ceremony, Elkhorn Area School District Superintendent Greg Wescott and Principal Tina Bosworth waited at the front of the line ready to lead the seniors through their final high school experience.
“What a great class,” Wescott said. “I wish them all well and know they will do well, but at the same time, I hate to see them go.”
A few weeks earlier, Wescott had been asked about his choice to hold graduation ceremonies inside when there was a chance of hot and muggy conditions.
“I’ve had them inside and outside,” he said, “and it seemed we had rain about 75 percent of the time during outdoor ceremonies.
“I decided to eliminate that problem.”