HUNTLEY – Miranda Peterson reminded her classmates Saturday that they were standing on the next stage of their lives.
The memories of football games, classes, dances and even the random mustache-themed parties in the cafeteria that helped unite the graduating seniors at Huntley High School will live on, but also give way to new memories, the valedictorian said.
“There is always another adventure, big or small, waiting to be undertaken,” Peterson said. “Where we are at now, there a lot of adventures before us.”
Peterson and 465 other Huntley High graduates crossed the stage inside the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffmann Estates to receive their diplomas Saturday, marking a bittersweet end to their high school careers.
The moment is meant to celebrate the past but also look toward the future, said Salutatorian Peter Gorski.
Many of Huntley High’s 2013 graduating class will go their separate ways to pursue college, a career or military service. But they shouldn’t forget about the teachers, the faculty and friends that helped them reach graduation day, Gorski said.
“We won’t forget our school’s quirkiness, sophistication and undeniable sense of humor, but now is the time to leave our high school days behind us,” Gorski said. “Most of us won’t even see each other again. Let this be a time to say our final goodbyes before we all leave the cradle of high school.”
Gorski will leave for Drake University to study actuarial science. Peterson will leave for the University of Michigan to study aerospace engineering.
Both credited the school’s teachers and families for helping them reach the next stage of their lives.
The class itself accomplished success. The speech team placed third in state, the girl’s basketball team placed fourth, and the staff at Huntley High’s student newspaper, The Voice, won numerous accolades.
In his welcome, District 158 Superintendent John Burkey expressed pride for the graduates and their accomplishments throughout their time at Huntley High.
He later honored retiring Principal Dave Johnson for his 17 years of work as the high school’s top administrator.
“You’re at a time in your life that a lot of people sitting around this arena wish they could go back to and relive again,” Burkey told the graduates. “You’re incredibly lucky at this point in time.”