With smiles and laughter, the students of Mitchell High School’s 2019 graduating class crossed the Corn Palace stage on Sunday signifying the start of a new chapter in their lives.

Hundreds of family members and friends packed the Palace to cheer on the 216 graduates, 61 of whom graduated with honors and 19 whom graduated with highest honors, signified by a 4.0 grade-point average.

Welcoming statements were given by graduate Everlyn Prewett and Superintendent Joe Graves, followed by a performance of “Older,” a song by Benjamin Platt, from the senior members of the Varsity Mixed Choir.

This year’s commencement speakers were graduates Maggie Kattner and Riley Szabo, and both spoke of the memories made throughout high school and the importance of the unknown future.

Kattner reminded graduates during her commencement address, titled “We Have Made It To The Starting Line,” that high school was the jumping off point for the future.  

“We’ve always been hurrying and rushing to reach the finish line, but the starting line is really what we’ve been striving for,” Kattner said. “It’s important to realize that our future is not just something that happens to us but it’s up to us to create.”

Szabo spoke of the fresh start beginning after graduation during his address, “As One Chapter Closes.”

“Like any book, the end of one chapter means another new chapter begins,” Szabo said. “Nothing in this life is easy and if you aren’t willing to work for what you want, you're going to be let down. … Start working on the next chapter.”

After the presentation of the class by Principal Joe Childs, diplomas were presented to the graduates by members of the Board of Education and Assistant Principals Craig Mock and Shane Thill.

With the movement of the tassel from the right side of the hat to the left, the 2019 senior class of Mitchell High School joined the list of alumni from MHS.

“Graduating is not an end goal, but is a big part of the journey we call life,” Kattner said. “It’s a milestone. … On your mark, get set, go.”