Farewell, seniors 2007!

In spite of the inclement weather Mother Nature brought to the city Friday night, that didn’t seem to put a damper on the steady flow of countless friends and relatives entering the Ennis High School gymnasium to attend the class of 2007 commencement exercises.

As with the large turnout inside the gym, there was an even larger crowd seated in the commons area to view a live video feed of the ceremony.

With the EHS band playing the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance,” all 285 graduates entered with smiles and tears to the loud screams coming from the audience.

As the ceremony got under way, senior classmate Joseph Brown led the invocation as he thanked God, all the parents and all the teachers who were present.

“We are so thankful that all of you are here,” Brown said. “Without God and your support, we would not be here.”

Preparing to share their words of wisdom to their classmates were the salutatorian Ann Alston and valedictorian Eleanor Michalka as EHS principal David Averett introduced them.

Thanking all parents, friends, teachers, administrators and God was Alston as she begun reading her speech.

“I would like to thank everyone here who has helped us through high school and in our daily lives,” Alston said. “Your assistance and guidance is very appreciated.”

Alston made a point to remind her fellow classmates that life is what you make it saying, “we have to take all the knowledge we have accumulated in our short lives so far and apply what we know to our futures.

“Graduation is a huge step because now we can no longer rely on others for everything; we have to learn to be independent,” she continued. “Now that high school is over, some of us will move away, some will find jobs and some will go to college, but all of us will take tremendous steps toward adulthood. Whatever each of you decides to do, I only ask that you do it with honor and integrity.”

Immediately stepping to the podium after Alston was Michalka as she attempted to shed a little light on life as it is and life as it will come.

“I am honored to be here with all of you this evening…let’s here it for the class of 2007!” Michalka yelled as she looked at her classmates.

“I don’t know about you, but it seemed like this day would never come, but I always knew it would eventually.”

In her speech, Michalka spoke of life and all the risks that must be taken in order to successfully succeed here on out.

“Life is about taking risks and I’ve found that it’s when you are uncomfortable and unsure of yourself that you make your biggest accomplishments,” she said. “Therefore, take the risks, take the falls, take your bows, take the glory and take with you the knowledge you’ve gained here at Ennis High School.”

Receiving standing ovations from everyone at the conclusion of their speeches, both Alston and Michalka congratulated their fellow classmates on a job well done.

Averett then announced the awards and certification of graduates, including the academic top 10 students awards (as they formed a single line before their class), departmental awards and perfect attendance awards.

“It is a great pleasure for me to present these awards to these students for their outstanding achievements,” Averett said. “The departmental awards are given to those students who have displayed academic achievement in specific subjects.”

Recipients of the American Legion Awards were Ann Alston, Ben Baumgartner, Andrew Bibby, Jamie Boyd, Joseph Brown, Sherrita Gardner, Lauren Little, Robert Locke, Eleanor Michalka, Emily Moser and Robert Scott. Receiving Honorable Mention were Jamie Boyd and Joseph Brown. Recipients of the American Legion Citizenship Awards were Emily Moser and Robert Locke.

Recipients of the Departmental Awards were Juan Garcia, career and technology education award; Janeth Vasquez, business award; Colby Pechal, science award; Andrew Bibby, math award; Ann Alston, social studies award; Eleanor Michalka, fine arts and English awards.

The top 10 students recognized for their academic excellence and for maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 97.5 or above were Eleanor Michalka, Ann Alston, Andrew Bibby, Colby Pechal, Ben Baumgartner, Kristi Blazek, Jamie Boyd, Casey Barton, Robert Scott and Erica Wotton.

After reading the several names of the students awarded those particular awards, Ennis ISD board of trustees president Pete Bibby took the center stage and presented to the graduates with their diplomas.

Once all diplomas were presented and Averett announced the class of 2007, all seniors switched their tassels from one side to another as representation of having graduated.

As a tradition, faculty and staff, friends, family and all 285 seniors joined together in singing the school song, “Maroon and White” as everyone raised their “L” to the sky in a show of Ennis Lion pride.