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2017 Tigers take the last prowl

By: Scott McLendon

Donned in their ivory gowns, the 2017 class of Luverne High School accepted their diplomas and crossed the stage from childhood to adulthood. The evening was set by Principal Jamie Howard’s thoughtful address to his pupils.

“It is extremely difficult to find something to say to impressionable teenagers getting ready to go out into the world,” Howard said. “I notice most great speakers, especially those who consider themselves motivational speakers, they reach back in time or lean on present voices to guide their thoughts. Sometimes in life, graduates, you won’t know what to say or who to say it to. I thought to myself what can I say to these students to keep their attention for at least five minutes.”

Howard told of a childhood memory that has left an impression on his life. He followed up by pointing to high school memories that will impact Luverne’s 2017 graduating class. The first touchdown reception, being named drum major and first cheering experience are all memories that will be staunch in the minds of the graduates according to the principal.

“Those are moments you’ll want to hold onto,” Howard said. “There will be moments that are just the opposite that; you don’t want to hold onto. It’s nice when times get rough to reminisce on great nights like tonight.”

“Since kindergarten we have grown together and made memories that will last a lifetime,” salutatorian Blake Meadows said. “Kindergarten is where some of us received our first paddling, it is where some of us received our only paddling and kindergarten is somewhere where some of us received the first of many paddlings.”

The salutatorian took the crowd year by year through the trends and memories of his class. He spoke of fashion trends, strict labs procedures and driver’s licenses received.

“Senior year came along and none of us realized how short our time together really was; we made a lot of fun memories, nonetheless,” Meadows said. “I can honestly say that the time has flown by and that I will miss you all dearly.

“My granddaddy told me one time, don’t dread leaving until you have to go. At the time I didn’t really know what that meant, but now I know it means to make the most of the time you’ve been given while you still have it. We didn’t know at the time that we were making memories; we were just having fun.”

“My message and the message of my class is larger and more meaningful than our successes and failures,” said Megan Hudson, valedictorian of this year’s senior class. “We are effectors of change. Our great nation is at a crossroads and the class of 2017 will not blindly stand by in a state of complacency. We must look deeply within ourselves and shake off the stereotype of low expectations and disrespect that has been placed upon us by others and achieve our full potential.

“We must move away from being self-serving and move toward a service heart. We will be barrier breakers and history makers. We will work diligently and tirelessly to overcome social injustices that have plagued previous generations. Failure is not an option. I challenge each of you to reach someone, teach someone, save someone and remember to become someone your guardian would be proud of. Be activists in your community, state and country. Let us unite as graduates and create our own legacy that will serve as a beacon of hope for future and past generations.”