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NHS Class of 2022, 776 grads Rise Up and Survive Challenges

(Photo courtesy of Marnie Cooke of Noblesville Schools)
Noblesville High School Class of 2022 president Emily Johns speaks to the class of 776 members during graduation on Tuesday at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Congratulations to our 776 members of the Noblesville High School Class of 2022.

Tuesday’s commencement ceremony at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum at the Indiana State Fairgrounds was the first time since 2019 that we’ve seen a graduation ceremony. Although in 2020 and 2021, due to the pandemic, the school had a wonderful parade of graduates in the parking lot.

NHS teacher and senior class co-sponsor Richard Harden, a graduate of the NHS Class of ‘83, welcomed the Class of 2022 to the 147th commencement ceremony.

Classmates slowly filled the main floor of the coliseum to the music of the Pomp and Circumstance graduation march.

Student body vice president Anna Schlueter invited U.S. military and veterans to stand to be honored, and student body president Nathaniel Cook led the Pledge of Allegiance.

The NHS class of 2022 spent only two complete years in the NHS building, freshman and senior years. “Stronger Together” was the school year’s motto.

“And together we helped and supported each other through the good times and the bad,” said NHS principal Craig McCaffrey, who spoke in front of the class, calling commencement a “surreal moment.” The school year was closer to normal than the two previous school years, with a homecoming parade and dance, a prom and multiple state championships.

“While graduation celebrates an entire class, it also celebrates each of you as an individual,” McCaffrey said. “I wanted to recognize your individual hard work and dedication and remind each of you that you are somebody … You’re somebody who has endured, led, followed … someone who has mattered … You are someone who will impact our world … you are somebody … Congratulations Class of 2022 for what you have achieved now, and we can’t wait to see what you’ll achieve in the future.”

Senior Rowan Wolke, who was extensively involved in NHS’s genders and sexualities alliance club, said, “I have just spent the last year already missing a place I haven’t even left yet. There’s something about Noblesville High School that is so strangely special …Noblesville has always been exactly what all of us needed … No matter where you’re going … take a moment and really look around, think of every special moment you’ve had here…. Don’t let it go even as you look up and start your new journey.”

Senior Madison Durst said, “One thousand, two hundred and eight days ago, we walked into Noblesville High School as freshmen, never knowing how weird and challenging the next four years would be … This year, we took every ounce of normalness we had and transformed it into something beautiful. Our jazz band was picked for the second-consecutive time to play at the Superbowl of Jazz, our show choirs have had their most successful season since 1977, our boys soccer team won state, our marching band qualified and placed at state for the first time, our thespian troupe won regionals and, of course, our girls basketball team absolutely dominated their entire season and won their state championship.”

Durst said, “I’m so proud of us for continuing to rise up, for not only surviving each challenge but finding a way to thrive in each scenario, for being a true definition of a Miller….”

Senior Class President Emily Johns, who graduated summa cum laude and who will study Aerospace Engineering at Purdue University College of Engineering, took listeners down a beautiful path, reflecting on the high school years.

“These past four years have been filled with so much growth, laughter and happiness. Today, our graduation brings a new sense of freedom. What you do with that freedom is up to you. Maybe that makes you excited. Or maybe that makes you terrified. Despite whatever you may be feeling, I urge you all to strive to create a version of the world that you want to live in  … Pursue what you are passionate about and do not let anything stand in your path. Above all, remember that you are only bound by the limitations you set for yourself,” she said.

NHS choir director John Neubauer directed seniors in the choir in singing “For Good” from “Wicked.

Noblesville Schools Superintendent Beth Niedermeyer declared members of the class as graduates of Noblesville High School.

Johns returned to the podium and led the turning of the tassel. “The changing of the tassel will signify that we are official graduates of Noblesville High School,” she said. “Congratulations to the Class of 2022.”

Over the past few weeks, Noblesville Schools on Facebook has been showcasing senior pictures each day along with each student’s college choice and area of study.

Earlier in May, the NHS Honors night announced “a record-setting $6.3 million in scholarship dollars earned and celebrated over 300 students with academic honors cords for grade point averages of 3.5 and above,” said district spokesperson Marnie Cooke. More than 130 individual local scholarships were awarded to 84 different students and more than 150 students reported university and other scholarships for post-secondary education.

Cooke said, “The Noblesville High School Class of 2022 is really impressive.”

Yes, it was, and always is, a great day to be a Miller.

– Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.