The 54th Annual Coon Rapids High School Commencement celebrated 516 newly minted high school graduates.

During a ceremony in Mariucci Arena, Coon Rapids graduates marked a milestone in front of family and friends gathered in the bleachers.

Senior representative Ellie Biggins introduced herself as the master of ceremonies before launching the series of speeches from students and administrators.

Graduates Andrew Truong and Ryan Kemp presented speeches that recalled the growth of the graduates over the last three years.

Superintendent David Law followed up, speaking about the concerns and complications that came from construction during the school year before quoting Hollywood starts 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.”

Following Law’s presentation, graduates lined up on both sides of a ramp leading to the short platform where they received their diploma and shook hands with administrators.

As students walked back to their seats, they were often greeted by raucous cheers from the crowd and the occasional air horn.

The ceremony celebrating the graduates’ futures ended with explosions of red and white confetti streaming up and over the red-robed figures as they tossed their caps in the air.

“Class of 2019, let’s make our future now, let’s make our dreams tomorrow’s reality,” Kemp said.

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