‘Sea of gold’ at Jacobs ceremony

They entered as students and exited as graduates.

It was a sea of H.D. Jacobs High School’s signature gold color as roughly 550 members of the Class of 2013 donned caps and gowns for graduation Saturday morning at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.

“These are some really great students, a lot of people who are going to go on and make a huge difference in whatever field they go in,” Principal Ami Engel said.

Emily Alessio was named valedictorian and Katie Rim was named salutatorian of the class that coined the phrase, “Jacobs ’til We Die.”

Alessio shared that although the generation which includes her graduating class is often noted as having a pessimistic attitude, she looked to Harry Potter’s Albus Dumbledore – a man the class of 2013 grew up with - to show different.

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light,” she said, quoting Dumbledore.

The class survived the Y2K scare as it first entered school, and made it through the end of the world, as predicted by the Mayans, this school year. They’ve lived through the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, an ailing economy and more.

“We’ve seen disaster, but we’ve also seen people band together after,” Alessio said, encouraging her peers to make the most of their futures, whatever path they choose.

Rim shared a message of thankfulness for the parents, siblings, teachers, administrators and others who’ve helped her class achieve their dreams over the years.

“I think all of us can pretty much say our parents are our biggest fans,” Rim said.

The Class of 2013 chose to donate a new flag pole to the school, to be placed by the tennis courts, as this year’s class gift.

“I hope our class leaves behind not only this flag pole, but the greater school spirit we’ve created,” said Megan Simpson, senior class president.