Nathan Holtmeyer told Blair Oaks High School's 90 graduates to get busy and "go, go, go" when starting the next chapters of their lives.Gallery: Blair Oaks High School Commencement 2018
The class chose Holtmeyer, a Blair Oaks High School social studies teacher, to be the featured speaker at the commencement ceremonies Sunday at the Falcon Athletic Complex.
"Now your work is not finished," he said. "Your ride has just begun. There is much to be ventured."
The class is the 50th graduating class in the school's history.
"It's not the largest class, but I'm often reminded that dynamite comes in small packages. And this class is indeed dynamite," Superintendent Jim Jones said.
In his speech, Holtmeyer often spoke specifically about individual graduates, at times encouraging them and at times joking with them.
Holtmeyer told the graduating class that they each had gifts that filled purposes in this world.
"Emily Yaeger, Katy Dampf, Katelyn Weber — you guys are great with horses. While others, like Austin Buscher, he can put out the flames in case that barn full of horses happens to catch on fire," he said to laughter.
Holtmeyer urged the class not to procrastinate, and to "attack life with drive." He also said they should not give in to immediate desires, but look to the big picture.
"There is a lot of work to do, so get busy class of 2018. This will not be easy. But everyone's purpose is huge. So get busy."
He told the class they are no longer baby birds, but "full-grown Falcolns."
Holtmeyer said he looks forward to following their lives.
"Sitting before me, I see welders, teachers, military men and women, doctors, police officers and so much more. Use your gifts and get busy. You have so much to do," he said.
"Again, congratulations, class of 2018," he said. "I hope you all soar high in life, where all Falcolns should be."
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Guidance counselor Jill Shanley said she set a goal for the class to earn $2.5 million in scholarships this year, despite the class being the smallest for many years to come. She said the class exceeded her goal, earning $2.6 million.
She said she should have been worried, but she wasn't because she knew the class had determination and dedication to succeed.
She said 22 students graduated with a 4.0 grade point average, nine scored a 30 or higher on the ACT, eight plan to compete in college sports, one has been accepted to the United States Air Force Academy, one is a National Merit Scholar and one scored a perfect 36 on the ACT.
Of the 90 graduates, 43 plan to attend a four-year college or university, 30 plan to attend a two-year college or technical school, nine plan to enter the workforce and six will enter the military.
The senior class motto was a quote from Beyonce: "I don't like to gamble, but if there's one thing I'm willing to bet on, it's myself." The class song is "You're Gonna Miss This," by Trace Adkins.