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Falls City grads remember good times, look forward

Madelyn Hendrickson paused at the end of her address during Falls City High School's graduation on Friday to put on a pair of sunglasses, saying “the future of this class is super bright.”

Photo by Jolene Guzman
Madelyn Hendrickson paused at the end of her address during Falls City High School's graduation on Friday to put on a pair of sunglasses, saying “the future of this class is super bright.”



FALLS CITY — Be greater than what came before you.

That was the message Falls City’s Class of 2018 valedictorian Grace Tadlock left her classmates with at Friday’s graduation.

“We have to overcome the fear of being greater than our role models and our heroes,” she said during her address delivered in the high school gym. “Over the past four years, our class has been responsible for great achievements.”

She said members of her class have been part of a football team that made it farther in the state playoffs than any other and helped the girls track team break school records.

Later in the ceremony, class advisor Emily Kenagy noted that Tadlock also is a part of that trend, graduating a year early.

“Almost everyone in our class has a plan once we walk out these doors,” Tadlock said. “Through the support of our teachers, coaches, parents and friends, we’ve become a group who is able, who is ready to take on the challenges life has to offer.”

Falls City’s Class of 2018 included 14 seniors: Sabastian Lee, Makayla Rancore, Jeremy Labrado, Christina Jacques, Grace Ann Tadlock, Madelyn Hendrickson, Kierson Johnson, Sarah Mack, Zachary Varney, Reid Simmons, Noah Sickles, Emma Burgess, Christopher Doyle and Alex Frink.

Salutatorian Hendrickson shared a few lighthearted memories of her classmates — including the time Christopher Doyle caught a seagull on a field trip to the beach.

Kenagy jokingly offered $5 to anyone who could catch a seagull. Doyle delivered — and asked for his payment.

She highlighted — and wasn’t the only one — the time when Kenagy offered extra credit to Varney to jump through a hula hoop. That ended in a trip to the hospital and stitches.

Near the end of her speech, Hendrickson paused to put on a pair of sunglasses, saying “the future of this class is super bright.”

“Congratulations guys, good luck, and thank you for all the experiences you have given me,” she said.

Kenagy, the school’s health and PE teacher, has been the class advisor since the graduates began high school. The class picked her to deliver the commencement address.

“I’ve watched them grow up. It’s been really special,” she said. “These 14 young men and women have touched my heart in more ways than they will ever know.”

After the ceremony, Kenagy said saying goodbye to this class was difficult.

“It’s been pretty emotional, but I’m trying to keep it together,” she said.

She thanked them for being “the best students I could ever asked for,” and left them with some of her own advice.

“As you go into the world, remember you have the power to create your own happiness. Seek happiness over success and don’t forgot those who love you and where you came from,” she said.



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