Lakewood grads celebrate accomplishments

The Lakewood High School Class of 2008 definitely seemed to enjoy the commencement speech of class speaker Bill Rist. -
The Lakewood High School Class of 2008 definitely seemed to enjoy the commencement speech of class speaker Bill Rist.
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MARYSVILLE There was a repeatedly malfunctioning microphone.

There was a fire alarm, though apparently there was no fire.

There also were about 128 students in the traditional cap and gowns who last week received their parting gift from Lakewood High School, namely their high school diplomas.

"My son is the most wonderful son in the world," declared mom Kellee Dregich just prior to watching son Max gather in his diploma during the June 12 ceremony in the Lakewood High School gym.

Besides his mom and dad, George, Max had several other family members in the audience, including aunt and godmother Melissa Cordero. Cordero said she drove up for the occasion from her home in California.

"I came up with two small children," she said. you imagine?"

One of two student speakers, class Valedictorian Sarah Dunn undoubtedly had families such as Max's in mind when preparing her talk. Sarah spoke at length about not meeting the goals she had set for herself during a recent state track meet.

"I was so disappointed, I was devastated," she said.

But Sarah added her commencement speech came into focus as she realized how many people supported and helped her despite her struggles.

Chosen by his peers to speak to the class, graduate Bill Rist drew big laughs from his fellow students, hitting on topics from the suspensions he said played a big part in his senior year to advising his fellow graduates that now is the time to hit up their parents for money for a car.

The featured faculty speaker, teacher Jeremiah Wohlgemuth provided students with 10 articles of graduation: some were serious, some were not.

"Each of you doesn't have the right to a job or profession, our country requires you to work hard," Wohlgemuth said, hitting one of his more serious notes.

After Wohlgemuth's speech, the ceremony featured what was described as a Lakewood tradition: a slide show featuring baby pictures, then senior class pictures of the graduates. Almost all received big rounds of applause from the graduates, especially the inevitable bare-bottomed baby picture.

That above-mentioned, malfunctioning microphone struck a couple of times, just minutes into the commencement ceremony during opening comments by school Principal Dale Leach.

"This night is the culmination of 13 years of school," he told graduates.

The fire alarm went off just as those same graduates were getting ready to come up to the stage to receive their diplomas.

"The good news is there is no fire," Lakewood Superintendent Larry Francois told the crowd. "The bad news is that was not a senior prank."

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