BHS seniors mixed on graduation emotions
Saturday's Baldwin High School commencement address will feature a former BHS Bulldog speaking to many graduating Bulldogs.
Shelly Wakeman, a 1984 BHS graduate, will be speaking at the BHS commencement Saturday. The ceremony starts at 11 a.m. in the Baldwin Junior High School gym.
"It's a big honor to go back to your alma mater and address the class," Wakeman said. "I was surprised and honored."
BHS senior class president Annie Parr said Wakeman was chosen after a search was done to find a speaker.
"We threw around a lot of names and asked many people around the community," Parr said. "We got an overall feel for what we were looking for. We kind of wanted a woman and thought she would be a great candidate. She is young and we knew she would give a great speech."
Also giving speeches at the ceremony will be seniors Rose Garrison and Lynne Lammers. Both have been working with teachers to prepare their speeches.
"I have been working with Mr. (Charles) Holvoet on it and I am going to practice it with him some more before graduation," Lammers said. "I hope I don't get too nervous, but I probably will."
Garrison said she knows the nerves will set in on her while she is on stage Saturday.
"I met with Mrs. (Kathy) Cook and we talked about it," Garrison said. "It's coming along. I can guarantee that I will be very nervous by the time I step up there."
There will be one noticeable change at this year's graduation. BHS Principal Allen Poplin will not be at the ceremony after recently having surgery.
"It is still a little bit up in the air right now," Parr said of the graduation planning. "It looks like Mr. Poplin is not going to be there, so we are planning things without him. That's a little bit different."
Senior Jessica Hill was disappointed to hear Poplin won't be able to make the ceremony.
"Right now it hasn't hit me that we are graduating, but I am really excited," Hill said. "We hope Mr. Poplin will be back, but chances are he isn't going to be. That is a little disappointing, but it will still be a good day to celebrate our achievements."
After their final day of classes on Tuesday, many of the seniors have mixed feelings about graduation Saturday.
"I guess whether I am ready or not, it's going to happen," Parr said. "I don't think it's going to hit me that we are all done, until it's all over with. I can already tell from the honors banquet that I am going to be pretty emotional."
Lammers was glad to be done Tuesday with classes, but knows graduation will be emotional.
"Right now I am feeling pretty excited, because I just finished my last class," Lammers said. "I will probably cry at graduation, but I guess I am ready for it."
Senior Katelyn Miles is also excited about graduation.
"I am really excited," Miles said. "It's nice to have everything done. I have been looking forward to this for about a month."
Senior Ryan Jorgensen said he is just ready for it to be over with, so he can start a new phase of his life.
"I am not going to look back on this as a bad thing, but I am ready to get out of here," Jorgensen said. "I am looking forward to summer, starting my second life and my career."
For some seniors, graduation will not be the end of high school. Senior Spencer Wilson is one of several that will be running at state track next weekend in Wichita.
"I am ready for graduation and track to be over, so I can kind of relax for a bit," Wilson said. "I will enjoy it all in good stride. I look to enjoy the last couple weeks of my high school career."