BYE BYE TO 'BUSCO: CJSHS seniors receive diplomas

CHURUBUSCO — The Churubusco Jr.-Sr. High School gymnasium was full of families and friends Friday night as 106 seniors walked across the stage and received their diplomas.One unexpected turn of events happened after Valedictorian Brandi Herron and Salutatorian Rachel Fehring spoke. The two girls lifted their arms in a dance move and a flash mob broke out with nearly 75 percent of the graduates dancing in sync. The audience began laughing, clapping and cheering for the celebrant youth.Prior to that Jana Lewellyn sang the national anthem. The senior was all smiles as she sang in front of her senior peers.Steve Darnell, superintendent of Smith-Green Community Schools, welcomed the graduates and all in attendance.CJSHS’s show choir, New Era, sang “Irish Blessing” under the direction of new choir director Parker Terry.Fehring spoke about the Class of 2012’s future.“I’m not going to tell you what to do, what the smartest decision is, or what will make you successful in life,” said Fehring. “Because you wouldn’t listen to me, I know I wouldn’t listen to me. I don’t know anything about that because I’m obviously, just graduating.”She spoke about dreams, changes, freedom and missions.“Throughout high school we’ve all changed. I know I have. When I was a freshman I wanted to be a doctor. Now I’m graduating and I want to be a doctor,” said Fehring.“Ok, maybe that is not the best example, until I tell you that as a freshman I wanted to be a doctor so I could have a car for everyday of the week and now it is so I can help people in pain. Whether we’ve changed a lot or a little, we have changed.”Herron’s speech focused on memories of the Class of 2012.“Remember filling Jim Folland’s chemistry class with so much smoke that we couldn’t finish our work. Dry ice and anhydrous potassium has never been so much fun,” said Herron.“Remember Jana Lewellyn’s spider in fourth grade, Mr. Beefy? No one thought it was alive until it crawled out of the box. Or more recently with the DestiNation Imagination team getting an award at the global competition or the porch collapse that ended up on The Today Show. We practically have celebrities in our grade.”Herron quoted Dr. Seuss saying, “it is a troublesome world.”“So as we know Churubusco isn’t the nicest most pristine school, but it’s ours and we should be proud to call it our own,” said Herron.“Cherish the memories you made these past 12 years and make the dreams you once had a reality. Churubusco has been our past, present and will continue to influence our future through the friends we made, teachers that have motivated us and the times we have spent together. So class, after roughly 2,340 days of school we are moments away from beginning the next stage of our lives. Congratulations Class of 2012, we made it,” said Herron.Folland was the guest speaker and he acknowledge every major accomplishment the class members had in academics, music, athletics and social events.Members of the school board handed out diplomas. They are Cathy Petrie, Michael Sturgis, Nick Uecker, Rick Trump and Tanya Young.After the tassels were turned, the seniors created the traditional Friendship Circle to “Hard to Say Goodbye“ by John Truscelli.Prior to the graduation ceremony many members of the CJSHS attended the optional Baccalaureate Ceremony in the Jason Smith Auditorium.Jon Pelz, Churubusco’s Campus Life director, challenged the students to focus on the little things that got them to this point in their lives.“Sometimes we look at just surviving,” said Pelz. “We make decisions just by choosing to include the little things like eating candy instead of bread. You are saying ‘I can get by without that.’ This is what formed you for this great day and today is a great stepping stone.”“Focus on the little things that led you here. Small decisions lead to consequences.”After a moment of silence, Pelz ended the ceremony by challenging the seniors to be careful to choose their words wisely.“Words you say can affect someone else for life,” said Pelz.He told of a disabled student in college.“This person had a limp and was teased constantly. This student later went before a room full of the same students that had taunted and teased him, they made fun of him. He stood before that class and told them ‘Jesus loves me and I love you’. His story has been retold for 20 years now. What’s your story? Enjoy the moments, hug everyone twice,” concluded Pelz.