On June 7, 367 Spring Lake Park High School graduates turned the tassel at the school’s graduation ceremony at the Panther Football Stadium.

A moment of silence was held for Spring Lake Park High School junior Tim Cao Nguyen, 17, who died June 1 in a drowning at Coon Lake Beach in Columbus.

“His loss is deeply felt within the student population and the entire Spring Lake Park community,” said Principal Matthew Boucher.

Boucher and many graduates wore bracelets during the ceremony that read,

“Tim Nguyen gone, but never forgotten.”

Boucher continued with the ceremony, welcoming the Class of 2019 and their families.

“Tonight we close a chapter in your life titled high school, and tomorrow you’ll start writing a new chapter,” he said. “I implore you to not run from the challenges in the next chapters of your life but rather run towards them. Do not fear failure, but see failure as an opportunity to learn. Students I hate to tell you that you’ll never be a finished product. However each time you learn something new you get one iteration closer to the next best version of yourself ... I encourage you to aim high, fail gloriously, extract from every challenge you encounter the learning moment it’s offering you and never stop creating the next best version of you, because that will be your contribution to the world.”

Seniors Noelle Capehart and Cassidy Thompson spoke.

“Throughout my years in high school I have learned numerous things, and today I’m going to narrow it down to one single thing, the art of procrastination,” Capehart said. “The true art of procrastination is knowing the perfect moment to begin your task. The art of procrastination is waiting until your energy, creativeness or knowledge are all at the maximums all while your stress and distractions are nonexistent. Procrastination is not neglecting your duties at hand and half doing them at 3 a.m.”

Capehart encouraged classmates not to allow deadlines and due dates to define them.

“When you don’t take a break and take the time to enjoy the things around you, you miss out on the moments that matter the most,” she said.

Thompson spoke next, calling high school a “wild ride.”

“When you leave this football field I encourage you to find inspiration in the people that surround you,” she said.

She encouraged seniors to “bring your whole self into the room and don’t be afraid what people have to say about it.”

“Take risks. Fail hard. Go up in flames,” she said. “What person would you be proud to become?”

Out of the 367 graduates, 59 students graduated with Highest Honors with Academic Distinction for having a GPA of 3.7 or higher and also having completed 29 credits of high rigor classwork; 14 students graduated with Highest Honors for having a GPA of 3.7 or higher; 57 students graduated with High Honors for having a GPA of 3.4-3.699; and 77 students graduated with Honors for having a GPA of 3.0-3.399.

To watch the full graduation ceremony, visit bit.Ly/2XAV9I1.



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