Class of 2018 Graduates, Enjoys Senior Send-Off

Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

The memorable morning began with a welcome from Grant Noble, student body president, and the traditional parade of graduates–all 208 of them–into the packed gymnasium.  

Abbott Dane Radecki, who headed a cadre of Norbertine priests that sat onstage, gave the homily.

“Only God knows your future,” said the former principal and president of NDA.  “Trust God to help you get back up when you fall, and trust God with all your heart.”

Following Mass, the stage transitioned into a graduation platform, and senior Katie Romes gave a rousing rendition of her original song written for and dedicated to the Class of 2018.  

Then IB Coordinator Matt Schultz, himself a graduate of NDA, initiated the actual graduation ceremony by welcoming the attendees and introducing onstage guests as well as valedictorian Kathryn Stumpf and salutatorian Madison Polack.

Two student speakers punctuated memories and inspired graduates.

Using specific details, Marion Hermitanio reminded the graduates of their accomplishments, saying, “We are scholars, we are athletes, we are performers, and we are leaders.”  She concluded, “Compare yourself to who you were four years ago. You’ve improved, but you didn’t do it alone. We are one. We are Tritons!”

After the presentation of diplomas amidst cheers, applause and tooting horns, senior Andrew Gruesen reminded graduates that “NDA created an environment that demanded the best of us.”

“In the end,” said Gruesen, “all that remains is your relationship with God, with your friends and with yourself.  Don’t forget where you come from!”

The significant day ended at 1 a.m., closing time for Senior Send-off, a parent-sponsored party for graduates that included an assortment of games in the commons, auditorium and gymnasiums.