OTTUMWA - Sunday marked the end of high school for all the graduating seniors from Ottumwa High School.
Family and friends of the students packed the Bridge View Center, leaving standing room only for late-comers. You could feel the excitement in the room as everyone waited for the graduates to enter and take their seats. Cheers broke out as the students filed in one by one and when the last one took their seat the ceremony began.
Davis Eidahl, the superintendent of Ottumwa Community Schools, welcomed everyone to the ceremony and talked about how proud he was of this class.
“You guys raised the bar in and out of the class room,” Eidahl said.
Eidahl spoke of the 9,000 hours the students spent doing volunteer work and that they broke the record for the highest percentage of a class to graduate.
“You will be leaving here with the knowledge and skills to succeed in anything you decide to do after,” Eidahl said.
Next to speak was Class President Marcus O’Brien, who, after a quick selfie from the stage, began his last speech to his fellow classmates. O’Brien felt that a major theme of this last year in high school was time. He talked about all the time they spent together as a class and all the time they still had left in their lives. He also pointed out that a time capsule had been provided to the class and that may students planned to put a letter in the capsule.
“Head off now to follow your calling,” O’Brien said. “But be sure to not make your plate too full, enjoy the next part of your lives.”
Another speaker that shared this same sentiment was Melissa Carpenter, an OHS English teacher. Carpenter was voted to speak to the crowd by the graduating class and shared many humorous stories about the students she taught and left them with some advice.