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West Central Co-Salutatorian-Co-Valedictorian

The 3rd graduating class of West Central High School, 67 strong, came together for one last time, Saturday, May10, not as rivals (Union vs. Southern) but as commrades and friends. Graduates reflected on what they were leaving behind, what they had learned, and how they looked forward to what lies ahead.

"This school has come together in a united group of friends and family:given us a chance to be the next great generation of men and women, and to show the world what a small midwestrn school has to offer," said Cody Harden in his welcoming meditation.

Seniors Rachel Keane and Valerie Corey, thanked their families, "Our support system from the very beginning.

"Today is the day, so no more worries," Rachel told parents.

"You have done a great job. We will continue to make you proud use the wisdom that you have shared with us," she said.

Valerie added, "We would like to thank the faculty and staff who have given us so many opportunities taught us so many valuable lessons given us tools preparing us for life after high school."

Bradley Buss Co-Salutatorian with Chianne Hartman, said in his address- "Most people do not realize what we have accomplished as a class we've given back more than anyone could imagine, established a great reputation for our school developed a sense of pride for "The Heat" and future classes to build on."

Chianne, full of emotion, said, "Wow, This is it! This is what we spent our last 13 years working toward.

But Brad reminded classmates to remember why they came here.

"High school is only the beginning of a story that needs to be finished."

"Where will the path lead you? Only you can decide."

Valedictorians Miranda Clark and Alyssa Griepentrog responded.

"Our high school career is officially ending today, but this is not the end of our journey. We will all make new memories and pave the way to the next chapter of our lives," said Miranda.

As Dr. Seuss wrote in his book, "Oh The Places You're Go," she quoted:

"You have brains in your head

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.

You're on your own

And you know what you know.

You are the guy who'll decide where to go."

Alyssa Griepentrog said it was their sophomore year they all came together from separate schools and embarked on a new journey.

"Now we are standing on the verge of the rest of our lives. All of us, without exception, have God-given talents and interests. My challenge for you today is to really think about what you will do with your abilities."

She quoted her favorite poet, Shel Silverstein and his poem "Magic Carpet":

"You have a magic carpet

that will whiz you through the air, to Spain or Maine or Africa

if you just tell it where.

So, will you let it take you

where you've never been before,

or will you buy

some drapes to match

And use it

on the floor?"

"Everyone has what it takes to soar high in this life, to go where they wish to go."

Alyssa said the tragedy is that some ignore the good things they have.

"Every single member of this graduating class has within them the power to impact the world in a positive way. Wherever you go next year, always remember that you have something to offer. Work hard, help others.

A magic carpet never does anybody any good if it is left to lie on the floor."

Superintendent Ralph Grimm gave the class some final words:

"Someone who has come before you has paid and paved the way. Today I ask you to do the same for those who come behind you."

"Second, do all you can to leave your corner of the world a little bit brighter, a little bit cleaner, a little bit friendlier than you found it. Laugh and smile every day."

"Third, remember a few of the lessons you learned in Kindergarten" crediting author Robert Fulghum.

"Say please and thank you; share everything; play fair; don't hit people; clean up your own mess; say you're sorry when you hurt someone; take a nap every afternoon; live a balanced life; learn some, think some, draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

"Be aware of wonder; Goldfish and hamsters and white mice-they all die. So do we. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned-the bigget word of all-LOOK.

"Always be looking for each new day holds a wealth of surprises if you are just aware enough to see them.

"When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together just as you have done as a class for the last 3 years.

Supt. Grimm's final wishes was a quote by Henry David Thoreau: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."

"Remember this about dreams, if your mind can conceive it and your heart can believe it, than you can achieve it."

"Finally, please be careful as you celebrate tonight. Each of you has a bright future ahead of you."

The top ten scholars receiving the highest grade point averages in the West Central High School Class of 2008 were recognized:

Bradley Buss, son of Mr. and Mrs. Dale Buss; Miranda Clark , daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Brian Clark; Valerie Corey, daughter of Mr. Bruce Corey, Mr. Darrell Jones and the late Junille Jones; Alyssa Griepentrog, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tony Griepentrog; Chianne Hartman, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Brownlee; Rachele Jack, daughter of Ms. Karen Jack and Mr. Steven Jack; Jessica Saldeen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel McVey; Emily Smith, daughter of Ms. Cindy Smith and Mr. David Smith; Ethan Thompson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Mike Thompson; Kayla Whiteman, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Whiteman.

West Central Board members were thanked for their many hours of service: President- Dr. Lonnie Brent; Vice-President-Mr. Brad Arnold; Secretary-Mr. Paul Anderson; Mr. Brian Clark, Mr. Richard Clifton, Mr. Doug Sams, and Mr. Mark Torrance.

Valedictorians Miranda Clark and Alyssa Griepentrog

2008 Salutatorians Brad Buss and Chianne Hartman