- School District of Beloit
Beloit Memorial High School Graduates Begin a New Phase in their Lives
BELOIT—Caitlyn Smith admitted she was a little nervous on Saturday as she waited for the Beloit Memorial High School graduation ceremonies to begin.
“I hope everything goes smoothly,” she said as the looked around the school gymnasium before ceremonies began.
Smith was one of the 430 students to receive diplomas Saturday and begin a new phase of her life.
For Smith, she was planning to further her education and pursue a career as a teacher, although she had not yet decided which university she would attend.
“I have my eye on UW Milwaukee,” she said.
A steady light rain caused the graduation ceremonies to move indoors, with family and friends of students filling the bleachers, some carrying balloons, flowers and pictures of graduates.
Memories and congratulations were shared by family, friends and classmates during the special day.
Karina Gonzalez, class president recounted her days as a nervous freshman, trying to find which classrooms to go to, but also remembering all the good times she shared with friends.
Now that her high school days are through, she advised her classmates not to think of it as an ending.
“Tis is not goodbye. This is see you in a few years when I am smarter, funnier and more good looking,” she said. She also added, “Failing is OK—Giving up is not.”
Brandon Dao, National Honor Society president, said he learned to be more self-confident in high school. He told his classmates to face their fears and pursue their passions.
“Remember to fight for what you believe in,” he said to his classmates.
Beloit Memorial High School Principal Emily Pelz told the new graduates to set goal, take risks and look for ways to contribute to society. She said this strategy is sure to bring rewards as they continue in the next steps of their lives.
“I can promise you, your most rewarding days are yet to come,” she said.
She also encouraged the graduates to look around at the family, friends and teachers in the gymnasium and remember, they would not have reached the accomplishment of graduation without the love, encouragement and support of all these people.
School District of Beloit Superintendent Dan Keyser said the graduates are transitioning to a new path as they have reached a significant point in their lives. He said they have overcome many challenges, including those presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. But more challenges will be waiting in the future. He urged them to take what they have learned in Beloit into their new lives.
“Your life is not defined for you. You define your life,” he told the graduates.
Beloit Board of Education President Sean Leavy told the graduates not to allow other people’s negative assessments define their paths. He said challenges in the future will be many and life is a continuing battle.
“Respond to the times in which we live. When you win one battle, you will have to move on to your next battle,” he said.
After the graduates moved their tassels on their caps from right to left, celebratory confetti burst into the air and applause filled the gymnasium.