277 Kearney High School seniors receive their diplomas at Commencement
Kearney, Mo., May 23, 2023: Another band of Bulldogs is ready to pursue their college and career goals.
Kearney School District celebrated the Class of 2023 during the annual Commencement ceremony on Sunday afternoon, May 21 in the Kearney High School gym. KSD staff, family members and friends packed the bleachers as 277 seniors received their diplomas during the event.
The KHS choir performed a stirring rendition of the National Anthem after the traditional processional entry by the graduating seniors. KHS Principal Andy Gustafson then offered opening remarks in which he encouraged them to remember all the people who helped them over the years and take pride in their own achievements.
“Graduates, please take a moment to think about everyone who has effected your education and brought you to this very moment,” Dr. Gustafson said. “And now, please think about all the hard work and dedication that you have put in yourself. Even though you have had people who supported you though this journey, this accomplishment is yours and you should be celebrated.”
KSD Superintendent Emily Miller also addressed the seniors. She talked about how they have created a new standard of achievement for future graduates.
“Bulldogs, you have been an impressive group of students in the classroom, on the stage, on the field, or supporting your peers in the stands,” Dr. Miller said. “You have set the bar high for future classes to contribute and develop a sense of community. Seeing your dedication to showing up for one another is inspiring. It is evident that these qualities have been modeled throughout your life.”
Dr. Miller’s remarks were followed by a performance by seniors Eleandra Cooper and Madison Tevebaugh of the song, “For Good,” from the Broadway musical Wicked. Emma Palmer then delivered the Senior Address.
“The best part about life is that we choose who we want to become,” Ms. Palmer said to her classmates. “Your beliefs determine your reality. Your perception of your potential is the only thing holding you back. The level at which you believe in yourself is the level at which you will achieve.”
After Palmer’s address, KHS Counselor Mandy Jury announced that Aiden Hansen was the Class of 2023 Valedictorian and Anna Tourney was the Salutatorian.
The ceremony culminated with the official presentation of the assembled seniors who had all completed the course of study required for graduation. Board President Darlene Bailey then handed out the diplomas as each graduate’s name was read and they crossed the stage to the cheers of the crowd.