During Mitchell Christian High School's commencement ceremony Saturday afternoon, valedictorian Luke Knutson addressed his graduating class as the six members prepared to head their separate ways.
"Here we are at the end of another chapter in our lives. We have many different paths we are headed for and many different plans that will guide us there," Knutson said, referencing Dr. Seuss' Oh, the Places You'll Go. "We know we have places that we want to go and that God is right beside us, leading us where he wants us to go, as well."
Mitchell Christian's graduates and 151 others became alumni of nine local high schools after commencement ceremonies were held this weekend.
Mitchell Christian teacher Mark Miedema encouraged the school's graduates to focus on continuing to serve, whatever their plans might be post-graduation.
"Some of you might know exactly what you plan on doing next year, and for some of you, it's still a big question mark. And that's OK," Miedema said. "But regardless, whether you have your four-year, five-year or 10-year plan all laid out or not ... please make everything count and continue doing that work in the next step in your journey."
Knutson, salutatorian Gabe Douvier and Mitchell Christian's four other graduates - Emily Hubbard, Sarah Morris, Alec Nelson and Braeden Nydam - were each presented with a diploma by administrator Gary Cookson and a Bible by school board president Tommy Cooper.
Mitchell Christian's graduating class was the smallest from the nine area high schools that held commencement ceremonies on Friday and Saturday and graduated a total of 157 students.
Fifteen graduated from Mount Vernon High School Saturday at a ceremony featuring speeches from valedictorian Jena Hanson and salutatorian Sydney Tlam. Seven graduated with honors.
An additional 18 graduated from Ethan High School, and nine graduated with honors, including valedictorian Alexandra Feiner and salutatorians Callie Hohn and Karly Gustafson.
Nineteen students each graduated from Corsica-Stickney and Kimball high schools, while 16 graduated from Woonsocket, 25 from Bridgewater-Emery, 24 from Plankinton and 15 from Sanborn Central.
"We're all going different places. And this isn't just true for my class. It's true for anyone in the world," Knutson said. "Jobs change; houses change; scenery changes. We all have different directions we are going."