Mount Pulaski High School’s 103rd Class full of talent and surprises

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[May 31, 2015]  MOUNT PULASKI - Mount Pulaski High School celebrated its 103rd Annual Commencement on Saturday, May 23, 2015 in the Ed Butkovich Gymnasium. Thirty-nine students graduated in the Class of 2015 ceremony that lasted just over one hour and twenty minutes, but it was perhaps one of the most entertaining graduations ever held at the school.

Not only did the ceremony offer the usual "Pomp and Circumstance" and speeches, but also a reunion of the high school band "Haircut Actual" featuring graduates Brady Walsh, Garrett Johnston and Andrew Moody along with former band member and 2013 MPHS graduate Caleb Coppinger. The group dedicated the Fleetwood Mac song "Landslide" to the Class of 2015 in what was a planned performance with the prior approval of Principal Terry Morgan. Following that performance, band leader Brady Walsh quickly surprised everyone and led the band into "Thunderstruck" by ACDC. Their rockin' rendition of the 1990 rock anthem brought the house down, the crowd to its feet and even a round of applause and smile from Mr. Morgan. The moment was truly spectacular and certainly defines the personality of this class.

The Class of 2015 is overflowing with talented, smart, athletic and caring individuals who will make a positive difference in this world.

At the top of this year's class are two young ladies who will indeed make a difference, Co-Valedictorian Alec Hayes, who is bound for Illinois State University and Co-Valedictorian Julia Beccue, an IHSA All-State Academic Scholar, who will be attending the University of Illinois.

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Also taking the podium Saturday were Blake Collier, bound for Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, who led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Senior of the Year Elizabeth Allen, who is committed to Purdue University.

Allen's opening remarks included several entertaining movie quotes that brought a lot of laughter from the crowd. Class President Haley Vaughan also spoke inspirationally about the Class of 2015 and the future ahead.

Several graduates were also recognized on stage for maintaining a 3.5 GPA or higher while in high school. It was nice to see that stage so crowded.

Meanwhile, Sam McCarty and Hannah Riedle put together a fantastic slide show of the senior class that featured many "ahhh" moments. Mr. Morgan also put himself back in the ceremony and he offered a slide show of inspirational quotes for the graduating class.

Finally, diplomas were handed out by board members and fathers Jeff Beccue, Charles Hickey and Joe Olson.

Last, but certainly not least, Maggie Olson's colorful closing remarks focused good-naturedly on her classmates and the highs and lows of their high school career.

Ending on a high note, the graduates tossed their hats into the air as Mr. Morgan proudly presented the 2015 Graduating Class of Mount Pulaski High School to the crowd.

Congratulations and you did it!

[Teena Lowery]


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