High School Memories of the Class of 2020

Parting Thoughts

Seniors ranking in the top six scholastic positions at Osmond High School traditionally share memories of their school days, express hopes for the future and thank those who were a part of their life journey thus far. The 2020 senior speakers left graduation guests with these messages:

Kennedy Johnson

Valedictorian

When I was a little girl in elementary school, I remember looking forward to the day I could attend my cousin’s graduation parties. I would count down the days until I could eat a piece of cake and jump my little heart away on the bounce houses they had every year. I dreamt of the day it would be my turn to have a big celebration, but little did I know God had a different plan for when it would happen.

Another memory that stands out is in elementary school it seemed so crazy that our passwords included the year 2020, which seemed so far away. Let me tell you, when they say enjoy it because it goes fast, they mean it. Just like that, I am now the senior graduating that gets to have the celebration that seemed so far away just a few years ago.

Now, to say our class is special is simply an understatement. We were born during 9/11 and now we end our childhood in a national pandemic. We closed our final year at OHS without a spring sports season, award ceremony, senior skip day, or any of the typical events most seniors look forward to.

Losing the last third of our senior year to a virus was not what we had planned, but it’s definitely an experience that will affect our lives forever and a memory that we will never, ever forget. But we can make light of the situation.

In the process of getting our last quarter stolen from us, we had to evaluate what is truly important in life. It isn’t about getting to do all of the little senior celebrations, but it is about living life in the moment and making memories with the people you love because you never know when it will be your last.

Despite the initial heartbreak, our class has still managed to create some fun memories together. A lot of us actually got a lot closer and created friendships that we didn’t expect. We’ve spent our summer having bonfires, swimming, and have had a few close calls starting each other on fire with fireworks at Madeline’s house.

We are now onto bigger and better things where we will carve our paths and create our futures. Only the toughest people can get through such times like these, and I truly believe our class will be the one to change the world and accomplish great things.

Now I can’t end this speech without giving a heartfelt thank you to all those who have helped us get here on this special day:

First, I would like to thank the administration and school board, for allowing us to celebrate this special day. It may not look like a typical graduation ceremony, but I am grateful for what it is. I’m sure you have had to make difficult decisions, so thank you for making this possible.

To our teachers, thank you for being so flexible with us, and pushing us to become our very best. You taught us the basics from how to read and write to now (thanks to Mr. Morrison) how to write a 10-page APA research paper.

I know our class has been a lot to handle, so, on behalf of our senior class I would like to apologize to Mrs. Conn and the rest of our junior high teachers for putting up with our nonsense. I don’t know how you survived. :) I appreciate the time and energy you put into teaching us.

Most importantly I want to say a huge thank you to all families and parents. As we stand here on this special day, you have been behind the scenes helping us to get here and we couldn’t have done it without you. To my family specifically, thank you for all of the love and support you have given me to get where I am today.

Karter and Klaire, I will miss you two more than you know. Please show Willow pictures of me, so she doesn’t forget who I am. Just kidding. But seriously, you two have made my life interesting and full of laughter. I couldn’t have done life without you, so thank you.

Mom, thank you for being my guide as to how to be a strong and independent woman. You have been my biggest role model and number one fan throughout my entire athletic and academic career. I don’t have enough words or time to thank you properly, but just know that I would not be standing here today without you.

Dad, thank you for teaching me all of life’s necessities. Like fishing. We all know how important that is to know to succeed in life. No, but seriously, thank you for pushing me to work hard in everything I do and giving me great advice during hard times.

Grace and Lillie, you may not be in my immediate family, but I definitely call you sisters in my heart. Thank you for being my shoulder to cry on, my source of laughter, and everything in between. Although we only got two years in high school together, you two have made it the absolute best. I will miss you so much, and I will still continue to be your biggest fan from 148 miles away.

And finally, my classmates. Thank you for all of the memories throughout the past 18 years. From finger painting with pudding in Mrs. Wrede’s class in first grade to cheering on our boys at the state basketball tournament junior year, we have experienced life together, and you all will forever hold a special place in my heart.

If there is one lesson I have learned, and encourage you all to take to heart it is this: remember to enjoy every moment and soak it all in because you never know if that moment was really your last.

Class of 2020, we made it, and our story is one that will never be forgotten.

Thank you.

Grace Broekemeier

Salutatorian

Good afternoon. I would like to thank you all for coming today. You all have had a profound impact on our class, and we would not be here today without your sacrifices, support and guidance. I would like to start with a poem written by Laura Kelly Fanucci. It is entitled “When This is Over.”

“When this is over, may we never again take for granted

A handshake with a stranger

Full shelves at the store

Conversations with neighbors

A crowded theater

Friday night out

The taste of communion

A routine checkup

The school rush each morning

Coffee with a friend

The stadium roaring

Each deep breath

A boring Tuesday

Life itself.

When this ends

May we find

That we have become

More like the people

We wanted to be

We were called to be

We hoped to be

And may we stay that way —

Better for each other because of the worst.”

Fanucci doesn’t mention the words “coronavirus” or “pandemic,” but anyone who hears this poem knows what it is about. This virus has affected our class, our nation, and our world. It has reminded us that life is not what we expect and, more times than not, full of surprises.

So here we are in the middle of summer. A time when we all thought we would be looking toward our futures with our high school days behind us. Instead we are here, still in school for one last time as seniors of Osmond High School.

Now we have to go out on our own and begin our lives. We all are starting on a new page on our way to spend many years writing our story. I pray for each one of my fellow classmates that it is a happy story filled with joy and no regrets.

Each of us has our own goals, dreams, and even fears. But if this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we are more alike than different. We truly are all in this together.

I do not know what the future holds for any of us, but I for one am ready to turn the page and begin writing my next chapter. I am excited for us all and cannot wait to see how each of us will shine. I wish all of my classmates the best of luck and pray that when our stories near an end someday, we will be able to look back over the pages and be proud.

Landon Stelling

Third-Ranking

Well, Class of 2020, our big day is finally here. After days, weeks and even months have gone by full of anticipation for what is now here, we suddenly want to stop and relive the glorious high school memories that we all shared.

This little piece of paper that we are about to receive is a ticket to the next adventures in our lives and this couldn’t have been possible without many people. These people have helped me on my journey through high school and I will never be able to repay them for what they have sacrificed for me.

It all starts with my two biggest role models and supporters in life: Mom and Dad. There are no words in the whole world to describe how appreciative I am of the both of you and how thankful I am to call you guys my parents.

Mom, you have always showed me what a true warrior looks like. You have endured many struggles in your life, but not once did you let that get in the way of your love and compassion for your kids. I cherish the braveness that you show to everybody and I will never forget that.

Dad, you have showed me what it is like to be a hard worker. Growing up, you always made us kids work and it wasn’t until later on in life that I learned the reason you did that. It was to show us that things in life didn’t always get handed to you. You showed me to set my goals in life and to do everything possible to reach them.

I will always remember the late nights you two spent making supper for us after a hard day’s work. You both always asked me and my siblings how our days went in the midst of my sarcasm and fighting. The sincere kindness and respect that you taught me growing up shaped me into the person I am today and you have no idea how much I appreciate that. I strive every day to follow in the footsteps of you guys and I love you both.

Shelby, I want to thank you also for showing me how to love everybody. Throughout your whole life, you were never too quick to judge a person. You always had the sweetest heart and made an extra effort to make sure everybody had a little light in their world.

Logan, you are quite literally my day one and I can’t imagine a day without you. The craziness that you and I created together was enough to keep Mom and Dad on their toes and they will definitely be bored without us. I will always admire how fun you are to be around and the days we get back together from college will be insane.

I also want to thank my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends for everything they have done for my high school career. Thank you to the faculty at Osmond for making my high school years ones to remember and especially to my class.

The Class of 2020 at Osmond High School will definitely be the class to remember. This class was such a tight-knit group of people and we could all talk to each other about what was going on. From the days that we tried to plan our skip day that never happened, to the days of trying to drag on class so we would get no homework, there was never a dull moment.

There were nights that our class chat on Snapchat would not end until midnight and all the conversation would be about is what was for lunch the next day. This class is what got me through the long days at school and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Now bear with me for this next little part but I want to give you all a little insight on the things that our class has lived through. Half of this class was born in the same year as 9/11. We’ve experienced the Boston bombing, school shootings, wars, an economic crisis, a disruption in religious beliefs, political divide, and much more.

Most importantly, the last few months of our lives have been shaken upside down by a devastating pandemic. The things that we all have taken for granted suddenly disappeared, and the way that we have lived life for 18 years changed drastically. The way we were taught in schools and the routines that each of us were so used to were gone.

Now I am sorry that this speech took a turn for the worst and many of you are probably thinking to yourself, “Jeez Landon, thanks for this depressing speech,” but I am not intending for this to be depressing. However, I want to use this opportunity to share some advice to not only my class but to all who are listening.

Life without a doubt is going to throw curveballs at you and it has the chance to be difficult at times. It goes without saying that this class has endured many of these in our lives so far but we still continue to fight. Life is too short to give up on things.

As each of us grow up and wander in our own direction, the only thing I ask is to never give up and to continue to persevere through any challenge that comes our way. This mindset is said best in the words of Harriet Beecher Stowe. “Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Whenever life gets hard, keep fighting because there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Now to the Class of 2020. Today is not a day to be sad, but a day to be happy. I look forward to the day that we have our 25th class reunion and I get the chance to see what each and every one of you have accomplished.

I look forward to seeing the great jobs, the great families, and the great dreams that have come true for us. There is no doubt in my mind that this class will accomplish great things in life and from the bottom of my heart I thank you guys for shaping me into the person I am today.

Life will continue to throw challenges at us, but that is fine. We must go out and overcome everything that happens because I know the greatest challenges and accomplishments are yet to come.

Diandra Polt

Fourth Ranking

Hello everyone! On behalf of the Class of 2020, I would like to thank you all for being here. And thank you to those of you who are watching from home. We are pretty jealous of your air conditioning right now.

As is Osmond’s tradition, you are going to hear a lot of student speakers today. I’m sure my lovely classmates will take care of mentioning the best memories and thanking all of the right people, so, to keep things interesting, I would like to use my speech to address my class.

Hey guys. So, I know this year has been a little rough. I was going to use a different word, but my dad nixed that idea, so we’ll go with “a little rough.”

We did not get to experience a lot of the things we were looking forward to this spring. Not all of us got to attend state basketball. Nobody got a track season. We didn’t get to attend District Music Contest or Class D All-State Band or State FBLA. I didn’t get to try my hand at a repeat state championship in extemp. We didn’t get to drive our cars around the school on our last day and honk our horns really obnoxiously for way too long before driving off together.

And I know we as a class have done a really good job of not complaining too much — at least on the outside. Of just taking what’s been thrown at us and running with it. But I think we need to remind ourselves that it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to mourn.

I was listening to a podcast the other day (I know, lame, but what else are we supposed to do right now?) and I came across the quote “grief is love that has nowhere to go.” And I think, for me at least, that describes our situation pretty well. I am so sad over the loss of these experiences because I love this place and these experiences so much.

I have all this love built up inside of me that was supposed to be directed towards these experiences and now it has nowhere to go. However, I know that I am so lucky to be sad. I know that I am incredibly fortunate to have loved this place and everything I got to do here so much that I’m heartbroken to be missing out on parts of it.

Because not everybody gets that. While it’s far from perfect, not everybody gets the educational experience we were given here, and not everyone misses their high school or their hometown. But I know we will, and I’m grateful for the hurt that we’re going to go through. It’s just proof of how lucky we are.

As you all know, I’m going a really long ways away for college — 1,527 miles to be exact. A near-perfect 24-hour car ride. And I’m going to miss you guys so much. You too, Mom and Dad. I know it’s hard for you to have a daughter this ridiculously strong-willed. It must be exhausting to know that no matter what you do or say, I’m probably still going to do whatever I want. But I also know that my independence is a source of pride for you, and I think that’s pretty cool.

I would like to end this speech by reassuring you all that I’m not looking for anything better out there in Rhode Island. I’m just curious, that’s all. You guys were enough. You guys were always enough. I love you all. Farewell.

Zachary Alderson

Fifth-Ranking

On behalf of the Class of 2020, I would like to thank you all for being here for our graduation ceremony. I’m honored to welcome you all to our celebration this afternoon.

Well my friends, it’s finally here. Today we graduate. Although classes ended long ago, today is when it truly happens. Our senior year may not have ended like we wanted it to or even anywhere near what we expected.

Everyone remembers how their grandparents had to walk uphill to school both ways, but we got to go to school without leaving our bed. We’ll tell our kids “back in my day, the Wi-Fi couldn’t even handle three Zoom meetings at once.”

Before we look to the future, let’s take a look at the past, our last four years as high schoolers. Let me tell you, every single one of us has done some amazing things. Athletically, we have shown what determined, dedicated individuals can do, especially when around others with that same determination and dedication. There have been district championships and state tournaments. There has been triumph, and there has been heartbreak.

Academically, we show the merits of hard work, a quality of success that will never fail you. We’ve had our fun, our inside jokes, and our good times. That all being said, think of all the people who have helped us along the way: our parents, teachers and coaches, to name a few. Without them, we wouldn’t be the people we are today.

And now here we are, nervously awaiting that moment when we walk out of here a true graduate of Osmond High School, looking forward to what comes next. Each one of us may take a very different path these next few years, but one thing will always unite us, and that is this building right here.

So, as you take your next, everimportant steps in your life, always remember how you got there, and I’m confident you’ll know where to go next. Once again, I’d like to thank you all for being here and thank you for supporting us over the years.

Madeline Huwaldt

Sixth-Ranking

Well guys, we did it, we finally get to walk across the stage in front of all our friends and family, even if it is a few months late.

Where do I start with our class? We’ve made lots of memories throughout these past 13 years. Yes, it has really been 13 years since we started school together as scared little kindergartners. Who would’ve thought the years would fly by as fast as they have? I know I certainly didn’t.

If you were to ask anyone in this room, I’m sure they will tell you we weren’t always the “ideal” students, although we tried to be. There are actually quite a few teachers who would say were were more like “trouble-makers” than anything else.

And if these school walls could talk, they would be able to tell you all sorts of stories about the memories made by the Class of 2020. But since the walls can’t talk and I can, I will tell some of the stories about our memories.

To begin, we are going to go back to our elementary years where we will all remember when Mrs. Schultze was teaching us about vocab words and demonstrated “soar,” but the poor plant hanging from the ceiling didn’t survive because it was knocked down by Mrs. Schultze’s soaring arms.

Also who could forget Mrs. Schmit’s stories about history that made us feel like we were alive during the specific time period. And lastly, who could forget when Landon became Logan and Logan became Landon while there was a substitute teacher in the classroom during fifth grade.

Next we went into our junior high years where Mrs. Evans was first introduced to this class and once came back from being gone to find that some boys decided it would be funny to sharpen some erasers. Let’s just say, the boys in this class are very educated about the history of art.

Next we are going to travel a few doors down where Mrs. Ginn had a very interesting first year of teaching in Osmond because of our class and our unique lyrics to some warm-up songs.

It seems as though junior high was our most mischievous phase of high school because it was also the time where Mr. McKenna’s fire blanket was the greatest thing in the school and everyone wanted to see it. In fact, I don’t know what my class looked forward to seeing more in Mr. McKenna’s room: the fire blanket or old wrestling videos.

Now let’s fast forward to high school, where most of us matured a little bit. But we couldn’t let the memories stop. Actually I’m pretty sure most of us were excited to get new teachers to mess with.

For example, I’m pretty sure that Mrs. Morfeld knows all about the tricks and tactics used by Mary to scare her. And Mr. Ortmeier knows that Zach, sorry Richard, is no longer allowed to use the band saw.

Although he hates to admit it, we all know Mr. Morrison is a huge Husker fan and loved it when someone would wear a Husker shirt to class or would talk about Scott Frost. We all know Mr. Morrison especially loved it when his computer lock screen mysteriously got changed to a picture of Memorial Stadium.

As you can see, this class has some pretty great memories that will never be forgotten but as many of us would agree the best memories were made during our very short senior year. I know I will never forget smashing the pickup during the homecoming pep rally or racing around the track on our last day. And if it wasn’t for the late graduation date, we never would have spent the summer making many more memories as a class.

So yeah, if these walls could talk, they’d tell you about the millions of memories the Class of 2020 has made throughout the years from kindergarten to senior year. They would also tell you that we are a special class because not only were we a class, but we were also a family who was always there for each other.

Although we grew together, it is now time for the Class of 2020 to go our separate ways to bring what we can to this crazy world.

As a class, we thank everyone for coming to help us celebrate today. We also thank all of the teachers, administration, and other staff at OHS for pushing us to become the people we have become.

Finally, we would like to thank our parents, other family, and friends for the constant support throughout these past years. Most importantly, we would like to thank everyone for the support these last months where we were supposed to be making the best memories but our year was cut short. Lastly, thank you, OHS, for some great years and some great memories.

Stay in the know!

To get news alerts on your cell phone, get the Cedar County News app in the ITunes store or  in the Google Play Store.

 

Northeast Nebraska News Company

102 W. Main
Hartington NE 68739
402-254-3997

 

News First