Commencement Address to Nazareth Class of 2014
“Whichever road you choose–forge ahead”
I would like to thank the Class of 2014 and the administration for allowing me to speak this evening. Seniors, I was here at the beginning of your journey and am honored to be here as you begin a new adventure and start down a new path in your lives.
Throughout your lives you have made your decisions about the roads you would travel. Some decisions you regret, some you are proud of, and some you wish you had made. Your whole life will consist of choices. In 2002 you took your first road in kindergarten. Through the years you have discovered who you are and where you want to go.
I remember walking down the elementary hallway and reading the work of an incredible young 2nd grader. She was a writer then and ended up a state literary champion in headlines. Kyla keep writing! I remember a cute little red headed boy and knew he always had a point to make. Bryce was constantly analyzing and reaching his own conclusions. This quality will take him far in life. Keep analyzing Bryce! Then there is Lane. He’s a thinker too, but he thinks outside the box. There is never a dull moment when Lane is around. He always has a unique idea or a different approach to any problem. I will always remember Lane sitting in the gym, playing with my keys and inquiring what each key opened. Keep thinking outside that box Lane! Abby quietly began to bloom as she became involved in the Ag program. She found her niche when she began to show animals and participate on judging teams. She emerged from her shell and became a fierce competitor in all competitions. Keep competing Abby!
Vicente – I remember that “V” has been leading the band since 7th grade. I think we should have hired him as the band director for several years. He was and is an excellent musician. Keep playing that music Vicente! Treva – I never heard a word from Treva until she began her public speaking career. This year she advanced to the state meet. Not everyone can do that in this world. Communication is a lifelong skill. Keep speaking Treva! David – When David came his junior year I never saw him much because he spent the majority of his time in the Ag shop welding. Now he is heading to Tulsa to pursue a career in welding and the good news is they won’t make you shave every day. Keep creating David!
Lexie – Lexie with an ie – I have known you most of your life. You have never ceased to amaze me in all of your endeavors. In the classroom and on the field of competition you have excelled. I would expect no less. Keep giving it your all, Lexie. Macy – I remember when you added the most exciting quarter to a basketball game. Thank goodness you survived! You grew up to become an asset to all the programs you were involved in. She’s a survivor! Mrs. Huseman informed me she could not have survived yearbook without you. Keep surviving Macy! Braden – As I looked through the annuals in every picture Braden is running. His junior year at the area track meet he counted himself out at 5th place when in reality his placement was 4th and he had advanced to the regional meet. Never quit running for that goal Braden! Rebekah – I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing you, however your reputation preceded you with teacher’s compliments and your athletic ability. You were named as the best ever 5th grade P. E. aide. Keep impressing them Rebekah!
All of these memories have been mere bumps in the road- whether it be trouble, people you made mad, difficult classes, or convincing your parents you didn’t do something that you shouldn’t have done. They are only bumps! When you think about the smooth highways you think in terms of trips to Austin, College Station, or just to Amarillo for dinner and a movie. Always cruising right along that highway!
Now you have come to a division in the road. Robert Frost in his poem “The Road Not Taken” speaks of two roads and says he is sorry that he could not travel both. One had wear and the other was less traveled by others. Frost said, “Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
My advice to The Class of 2014 is: Whichever road you choose- don’t look back, don’t falter, forge ahead to your ultimate goals. Thank you.
2014 BLUE-&-GOLD COMMENCEMENT
The shadowed sunset glowed gold Friday, May 30th, on Swift Field as the small but impressive 2014 class of Nazareth High School gathered for their Commencement Ceremony. Processing out onto the field to the tune of “Never Say Never”, the class and dignitaries then honored our nation as Fide and Larry Pena instrumentalized the national anthem. All paused to give thanks to God as Fr. Ken Keller offered the Invocation – this class had chosen Jeremiah29:11 as their theme: “For I know the plans I the Lord have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
Then the Salutatorian Address was given by Kyla Acker, and the Valedictory by Bryce Betzen. The class’ former principle and mentor since early grade school, Mrs. Deborah Clinton, gave a memorable commencement, followed by the awarding of both college scholarships as well as diplomas. Mr. Glen Waldo, the new superintendent of Nazareth and Mr. Joe Kleman, chairman of the School Board handed on the diplomas and congratulations. Class Sponsors from the faculty were Austin Heck, Morgan Saul, Jessica Hatley, and John Stanaland, while the Ushers were Kaden Hatla, Payton Robb, Mason Kleman, and Taylor Damron. Before the recessional of “Take a Walk”, Deacon Bob Birkenfeld offered the Benediction. The Class celebrated the moment in a circle, tossing mortarboards and then receiving guests offering their congratulations to this class in which each graduate has already received acceptance to the higher education of their choice.
COLLEGE GRADUATIONS CONGRATULATIONS:
(Please inform us of other grads, too)
Anthony Hochstein – Graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ag Business from West Texas A&M University (son of Joe & Angie Hochstein).
Emily Gale Verkamp – Graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Photography from Texas Tech University (daughter of Walter & Jenny Verkamp; granddaughter of Mary Verkamp).
Amber Huseman – Graduated with an Associate Degree in Radiology from Amarillo College (daughter of Derwin & Vera Huseman).
Kyle Hoelting – Graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Construction Engineering from Texas Tech University (son of Keith & Karleen Hoelting).
Jake Hoelting – Graduated with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Texas Tech University (son of Jim & Sandee Hoelting).
Kyla Schacher Beedy – Graduated with a Masters of Science Degree in Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) from Texas A&M Corpus Christi (daughter of Rusty & Lydia Schacher; granddaughter of Julene Gerber).
Ashley Fence Schilling – Graduated with a Masters of Science Degree in Communications Disorders from West Texas A&M University (wife of Brandon Schilling; daughter-in-law of Randy & Monette Schilling).
Alexandria Gerber– Graduated with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Nursing from West Texas A&M University (daughter of Joel & Mary Beth Gerber; granddaughter of Alvina Gerber and Leola Ramaekers).
Deavon Jo Heiman – Graduated with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Nursing from Abilene Christian College (daughter of Wayne & Sandy Heiman; granddaughter of Dennis & Pill Heiman).
Erika Wych– Graduated with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Nursing from Texas Tech University (daughter of Jon Wych and Lori Bermea; granddaughter of Julene Gerber).
Joshua L. Williams – Graduated with a Bachelors in Corporate Management from Lipscomb University, Nashville (son of Lynn & Jeana Williams; grandson of Jimmie Schulte).
THE NAZ SUMMER SCENE IS LOVE & LISTS
Over a dozen weddings decorate the summer calendar among Nazareth families, along with numerous wedding anniversaries and family reunions. “It’s like a village industry” here in the community and all these events keep families and friends joining in the fun.
When asked at the local gift shop in beautiful downtown Nazareth, Between Friends, Mrs. Karleen Hoelting, the proprietor, gave us the scoop on coming couples’ ceremonies by sharing her list of “Selections” given by various brides and grooms: Kelcee Kleman & Tye Keith; Kelby Myrick & Brooks Brock; Macee Schulte & Evan Huseman; Coach Morgan Saul & Ben Moore; Jessica Shelton & Nathan Huseman; Julie Echevarria & Shay Wilhelm; Anna Brockman & Josh Harrison; Raven Jones & Beau Bradley; and Kate Halfmann & Kyle Birkenfeld.
THANKS FOR THE GIFT OF LIFE:
The Amarillo Blood Bank sent a thanks card to Nazareth: “I thank you for hosting the May 20th blood drive. While there we received 29 life-saving donations from your community residents. This was an awesome turn-out and we appreciate the community’s willingness to help others. “Thoughtful giving begins with thoughts on giving” said one author — so apt for your community as these gifts of blood are truly priceless gifts.