TK Class of 2024 Has ‘A Beautiful Day’ for Graduation

Keynote speaker teacher Maggie Wilkinson, introduced by senior Charlotte Nelson, reminded students every day is a beautiful day and class speaker Jonas Grummet told students they hold the key to being heroes in their own life stories.

“Some days are not going to be so amazing…even though it may not be the beauty that you wanted…it can be beautiful, because (and students joined in saying,) “It’s a Beautiful Day.”

The phrase “It’s a beautiful day” caught on this year for Wilkinson and her students. It started, she said, when a student said, “Happy Thursday Coach.” Even though it wasn’t a particularly great day for Wilkinson she acknowledged the energy and enthusiasm that was part of the message delivery made her realize she could change her mindset and make it a happier day. That transpired to this years’ saying, “It’s a beautiful day.”

Graduates quickly joined in saying the phrase after several points in her speech and as the speech continued, their enthusiasm grew.

She told the class, “Be Good, be kind, try to be better. You cannot control what other people do…you can only control you and how you react to a situation and others. When you are not sure…take a leap of faith and go for whatever your heart tells you to do…Do what you want and be amazing. There is so much potential in this group of graduates, harness it and live a beautiful life because, “ It’s a Beautiful Day.”

Wilkinson continued, “Something I have noticed about you - the Class of 2024 - is the community you have created amongst yourselves and your friends...Continue to surround yourself with good people and be good to each other. You never know when the good you do may come back around. As you move into this next season of life, surround yourself with people that will always tell you the truth, but give you grace, and allow you to be you, because “ It’s a Beautiful Day.”

“In the words of St Catherine of Siena, “ Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire” because “It’s a Beautiful Day!”

She told the graduates to continue taking risks and following their hearts. “Sometimes when you take risks or say yes to something outside your comfort zone it turns out great. Other times it doesn’t turn out so well…but there is always a story to be told, a lesson to be learned, and beauty to be discovered in the process.”

In the opening comments senior Cade Hicswa admitted he was stepping out of his comfort zone. “I am as comfortable giving this speech as a penguin is in a sauna, so if my voice gets shaky - it’s the wind. But the class of 2024 has perfected breaking out of the comfort zone and it is my honor to recognize the great achievements of this class and to welcome the next stage of each of our lives.”

Senior Jonas Grummet said as a writer and storyteller he was grateful to be speaking to his classmates and told them they should be the hero in their own life story.

“In the grand scheme of our lives and the great many years the earth has spun, our time with the people at TK is only a short note within a massive symphony. However, we must, and will remember the moments our paths crossed. Fleeting as they may be, they are only made more wondrous because they are temporary. Stories only hold as much power as they do because they come to an end,” he said.

He reminded students of their responsibilities as they create their own legacies. “Each and every one of us has a responsibility to do the right thing, not because someone told us to, but simply because we have the power to. When we step outside of ourselves and do our best to be there with an open ear and a warm heart for others, we become heroes. We become a story worth telling. Our legacy is written in the hearts of those we leave behind.”

He continued, “In the words of Spider-Man as written by Stan Lee himself, ‘With great power, there must also come great responsibility.’ When you hear this phrase you may come to question: What power do I have?...I mean, sure, none of us have radioactive spider powers (unfortunately) but we might just have an open hand to extend to someone who’s fallen down or to hold the door for someone whose hands may not be quite as free. We have a voice to inspire with our stories or to advocate for people less fortunate than ourselves. That is power. Looking out for the little guy; using what you have to make a difference, no matter how little that may be. It can have an impact that goes beyond any boundary we may set for it.”

Grummet shared a quote from the musical “Big Fish.” “On a wing or on a prayer, you’ll get there only with your voice. With a story in your heart, you won’t need any other choice. You’re a hero, fighting dragons, winning wars. Be the hero and the world will soon be yours.”

High School Principal Tony Petersen also talked about legacy, which was part of this year’s academic theme of “Choose Your Legacy.”

“Your legacy is built each day through your actions and the lives you touch. Take the tools and lessons you have learned in your time at TK and go forward with confidence and create a legacy that reflects the best of who you are,” Petersen said. “As you leave here today, please know that no matter where life leads you, you will always be a member of the TK family and will forever be a TK Trojan.”

One-by-one students walked across the stage as their name was called. They received their diplomas, shook hands, gave hugs, and faced family and friends with the most genuine smiles of pride, joy and excitement for their futures.

The ceremony also featured the Honors Choir singing the National Anthem and later “You’ll Be in My Heart” before senior Kaden Hamming looked out on his classmates and all the family members for the closing remarks.

“No one knows how great we will be, how far we are willing to go, and where we will end up; but what I do know is that they will remember us, the greatest class ever, the class of 2024. As I conclude the graduation ceremony, I would like to thank every person who has taken the time out of their day to attend; especially our parents who have supported us through the ups and downs of our academic journey and never gave up on our dreams. God bless every one of you who attended today, but specifically to my classmates, it’s time for us to leave our mark, build our legacy, and change the world.”

With that, Shelby Robinett led the tassel ceremony, and the mortar boards flew in the air with whoops, giggles and laughter as the band played the school fight song one last time.

It was a beautiful day.