A total of 391 Andover High School graduates swathed in black gowns celebrated a step into adulthood June 2 in Minneapolis.

The high school hosted its 2019 commencement ceremony in the Mariucci Arena, marking the moment when Andover High School seniors metamorphosed into alumni.

Graduates Matthew Brodeur and Madison Gustafson read an invocation ending in a moment of silence to consider the achievements of Andover graduates.

Superintendent David Law followed up, speaking about the concerns and complications that came from construction during the school year before quoting Hollywood stars such as Will Smith.

He explained that each graduate’s diploma will be key to starting their careers or furthering their education.

“You will all soon have your diploma; this is your key to American opportunity,” Law said. “For some it will be a map to start your career. For most it will be the key that opens your next educational door.”

He congratulated the students on having one of the highest graduation rates in years as well as an appetite for college and career-ready classes.

Graduate Lucy Anderson spoke after Law, framing her speech in a metaphorical bike ride through the years of high school.

She began with a rocky transition into freshman year followed by sophomore year, which introduced her to classes that presented a challenge, Anderson said.

Junior year meant the ACT, part-time jobs and many sleepless nights. That led to senior year, where Anderson reflected on college admissions, senior prom a Boundary Waters trip and more.

She urged her classmates to continue their push for success and “enjoy the ride.”

“When the wind is pushing you back, just remember, it will be pushing you forward in just a few short turns,” Anderson said. “Keep pedaling. After all, our hardship is just as responsible for our success as is our good fortune.”

Following Anderson’s speech and remarks from Principal Rebecca Brodeur, graduates lined up along one side to collect their diplomas.

As the event wound down, a premature eruption of streamers only momentarily delayed the graduates celebrating by tossing of their caps into the air.

connor.cummiskey@ecm-inc.com

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