Students milled around the MAC field house as they prepared for one of the biggest days of their lives by adjusting gowns, pinning on yellow carnations and making sure that tassel was just perfect. Parents were scurrying around with cameras trying to get pictures and make sure everything was just right with their child.

Jessie Schwent was hanging out with his friends Brandon Naucke and Seth Nichols waiting to line up. Schwent said he was feeling a little bit nervous and he didn’t know why.

“I’ve never been nervous for anything before. I played baseball and football all four years of high school so I don’t know why I’m nervous now. I plan to work for a few years and go to Linn State Technical College and earn an engineering degree. I’m just glad the next chapter in my life is starting,” said Schwent.

Nickles said he was pretty excited and a little nervous because he’s out of high school now.

“I have to go onto the next level in life and I’m ready for it. I played football all four years of high school and I’m ready to go play more football. I received a scholarship from Missouri Baptist (University) and I’ll go play for them. I plan to go into sports medicine and someday hope to make it into the major leagues with my sports medicine degree,” said Nickles.

Naucke has known his whole life what he wanted to do for a career and he is going to make the dream come true.

“I’m pretty excited. I’m ready to get out of high school and start on the EMT/Medic program at either Mineral Area College or Jefferson College. My plans are to be a paramedic/firefighter in West County,” said Naucke.

There were 11 students who wore a red, white and blue cord over their shoulders for graduation. It symbolizes that these students are enlisted to serve in the United States Military. Derrick Satterfield will go to Army boot camp in August.

“It’s so weird to be graduating. I can’t believe 13 years have gone by so quickly. The only thing missing is my mom. But she raised me well enough to know I can do this by myself. Right now I’m focused on my military career, but I do hope to be a teacher someday,” said Satterfield.

Jessica Sherrill was very excited. She plans to go to MAC for at least a half of semester and then transfer in the spring to a Christian college and major in Biblical Studies.

“My dream is to be a missionary. I really feel that God has called me to mission work, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I traveled to other countries,” said Sherrill.

Rachel LaMarr wants to be a teacher and plans to go MAC to get her general studies out the way and then plans transfer to Southeast Missouri State University or somewhere similar.

Tyler Collins will be getting a part-time job and save money to go to college. His dream is to be a writer and have his book published that he has been working on. He also wouldn’t mind being a pastor at his church.

Since the graduation ceremony was moved indoors and it briefly rained, it gave North County the chance to put the two golf carts they purchased to use.

“I thought it would be nice to have something like this. We refurbished the golf carts and they are able to seat six to eight people. There are a lot of grandparents coming tonight and it’s a very long way to walk. So we pick them up and drive them to the door. This was the first time we have used them and I think they will pay for themselves. We have tip cans mounted on them and they can also be used as fundraisers,” said Superintendent Dr. Yancy Poorman.

Principal Lance Sprenkel welcomed everyone to the ceremony and gave recognition to several individuals who made the ceremony possible.

“I would also like to thank the parents who supported this group of seniors throughout their education. Without their support many of the students that are seated out here today would not be graduating.

"Most of all I would like to thank the seniors for their hard work. Through their hard work, the class of 2014 has been awarded $900,000 in scholarship money over the next four years,” said Sprenkel.

The seniors requested that the principal take a moment to remember Thomas Duncan who lost his life in a car accident his freshman year. They had a chair in the front row with a cap and gown to honor his memory.

Student Council President Clayton McAntire thanked several people and congratulated all his fellow students.

“Well graduates, here we are. We worked really hard to get here. Congratulations, we have made it finally. When we leave this place I know that our minds are going to be full of memories that have accumulated over the past 13 years,” said McAntire.

He went on giving examples of memories that had his classmates laughing, and left them with encouraging words.

“I know that many of you have already made big decisions about your life and I want to encourage you to go the distance. Find the way, somehow be strong, and go as far as you have to go to reach your dreams. Don’t let anything get you down and when life starts weighing on you and you’re burdened with stress, do as Elsa says and let it go. Don’t let it hold you back anymore,” said McAntire.

Valedictorian Cheyenne Anderson took the podium and presented her speech to her graduating class, after she took a “selfie”.

“I want to encourage you all to reach for the horizon. As cliché as that sounds, really do it. Set a goal and accomplish it. Dream a dream and let it become a reality. Make plans and determine the steps to get there. We all start somewhere so let it begin now and don’t let anybody tell you that you're to young or inexperienced to do it,” said Anderson.

She asked an important man in their lives, Steve Cross, to contribute to the ceremony and read a quote from him ... “You are the flowers of the future, you can bloom where you are planted or settle where your seeds are scattered by the winds of opportunity.”

Salutatorian Jacob Johnson also gave words of encouragement

“We started out as the freshman that we the seniors love to hate. After the floating leg incident of homecoming 2010, our class went on to become the three time reigning float building champs. From Mr. Rawson’s pop quizzes, intense soccer matches in gym, eight page papers in Mr. Cross’s class and to the shortest senior year ever because of the blizzards this school year ... the class of 2014 has survived it all. The best is yet to come and I wish each and every one of you good luck. It’s been real,” said Johnson.

Also during the graduation, Sprenkel recognized students for their achievements earned during their four years in high school by having them stand when announced. He recognized the top 10 students in the class, National Honor Society members, those joining the military and those who earned A+ scholarships. For the first time ever some students wore white cords over their shoulders. These symbolized those who achieved a GPA within the Latin system.

He also recognized two students who attended all four years of high school without missing an hour of school: Amanda and Amber Willette.

The North County Class of 2014 included: Brittany Ellen Abotobik, Shelby Lin Ahlersmeyer, Johnathan Tyler Alexander, Jace Crockett Allen, Kendol Isaiah Allred, Cheyenne Marie Anderson, Alexandra Marie Beck, Molly Astress Bess, Brittany Nichole Bielicke, Allison Rose Black, Destiny Marie Blair, Brianna Ashley Bockenkamp, Madison Chandler Bone, Makayla Nicole Borchers, Brittany Virginia Boyd, Audrey Elise Bozada, Blake Allen Branson, Christopher James Brayton, Zachariah Anton Breck, Dasia Rae Brewer, Stacy Leigh Brinkley, Mya Marie Brooks, Karl Wayne Brown, Jessica Michelle Brown, Kendra Elizabeth Burns, Shawntae Renae Burns, Alisha Brunilda Caro, Trent Michael Cassidy, Tyler Paul Cassidy, Paige Rachelle Charboneau, Levi Charles Clifford, Sean Eric Cline, Aaron Fredrick Clinton, Paige Colleen Coleman, Tyler Michael Collins, Wyatt Christopher Compton, Alex Prescott Conway, Leah Danielle Countryman, Dylan Ryan Crider, Brittney Nichole Crump-Cowin, Kayla Christine Czapla, Sylvia Whitney Darden, Wyatt Nickolus Derousse, Justin Ryan Detie, Ashley Nichole Dickey, Jacob Charles Dierker, Bryan Joseph Dobas, Jasmine Nicole Dorris, Michael Paul Eaton, Derick Austin elders, Cayla Nalani Star Ellis, Christopher Wayne Filley, Samantha Alanna Finley, Tristen Leanne Victoria Forshee, Whitney Ann Gamblin, Abigail Rae Gant, Amie Lyn Gibson, Austin Grant Gibson, Camille Elizabeth Gibson, Robert Lawrence Gibson, Ciara Rae Givens, Carson Ray Goff, Jolien Grafe, Levi Cole Gramlisch, Tristan Scott Gray, Jacqueline Nichole Greer, Justin Ray Griffin, Caitlyn Anne Hall, Olivia Anne Hall, Erica Rose Hampton, Jacob Allen Harris, Brandi Paige Harrison, Heather Ann Hartrup, Sarah Marie Hawk, Zachery Charles Wilson Heath, Michael Alan Heberlie, Zachary Henderson, Dean William Henk, Gavin Ray Hernandez, Daniel Frederick Hilliard, Georgia Katherine Hoeft, Kuranda Renée Horton, Eric Jonathan Howder, Dakotah Michael Huff, Ethan Michael Hughes, Nicholas Scott Inman, Joseph Patrick Inserra, Kyle Edward Isgrig, Hannah Elizabeth Jaco, Anna Lynn Jacobs, Brittany Nicole Jarvis; Jacob Tyler Johnson, Jimmie Johnson, Megan Taylor Johnson, James Delmar Kahn, Marshall Wayne Kemp, Colleen Kay Kissee, Kelsey Lynne Kitchell, Steven Lee Knight, Brooke Nicole Koester, Rachel Margaret Lamarr, Deztyni Mae Lawson, Hunter Thomas Long, Mariah sue Loraine, Kayse Michelle Madden, Justice James Madonna, Miranda Ashley Maeys, Patrick Michael Mahurin, Emily Ann Major, Toby Z Marler, Trevor Cole Mason, Clayton Garrett McAntire, Jessica Ann Mcclanahan, Madison Lea Mccord, Riley Theodore Melton, Haley Cynthia Miller, Mckenzie Lynn Miller, Nicholas Gene Jerome Miller, Ryan Craig Miller, Clayton Chase Missey, Katie Lynn Montgomery, Laurie Lynn Morris, Kody Michael Mullen, Nicole Dawn Murray, Page Elizabeth Nash, Brandon Michael Naucke, Brittany Michelle Naucke, Ariel Desiree Nicholson, Jordan Tyler Nicholson, Seth Matthew Nickles, Jacob Lee Noll, Dyllon Shayne Parmley, Shane Matthew Phillips, Emilee Dawn Pierce, Austin Blake Pinkley, Brittany Nicole Plymale, Kiersten Eileen Powell, Grace Belle Pyeatt, Shawn Lee Rau, Nikolas Bernard Recar, Caleb James Haley Reed, Rodney Jason Reiter, Cory Michael Reynolds, Kimberlea Che Richey, Emily Ann Robinson, Mikayla Marie Rodebaugh, Tristan Matthew Rosa, Tyler Allen Roux, Robert Rey Jacob Roy, Daniel Gene Sadler, Derrick Tyler Satterfield, Samuel William Schrum, Zebulin David Schutte, Jesse David Schwent, Nicole Leigh Scott, Kaitlin Brooke Seabourne, Alex Matthew Seiter, Ryan Mathew Settles, Jessica Marie Sherrill, Alissa Nicole Shoemake, Jenny Lin Skaggs, Ann Skaggs, Logan Skaggs, Derrek Skyler Skildum, Paige Renee Slinkard, Dakota Mykel Smith, Isaiah William Smith, Wanda Cheyenne Smith, Stephanie Ci'an Soltys, Kyle Anthony Sorbello, Paden Scott Sorbello, Lana Lynn Stegall, Connor Mackenzie Stephens, Duncan Stotler, Chelsey Lyn Reed Strange, Gerald Alan Sturm, Kandace Maureen Tedder, Terry William Thomas, Emma Sherry Thrasher, Seth David Tiefenauer, Tiffani Gabrielle Tucker, Morgan Ann Bernice Turner, Brandon M Twomey, Morgan Elizabeth Umfleet, Richard James Volpe, Kaitlinn Ann Waite, Daniel J Walker, Theresa Re'e'nay walker, Christopher Alexander Walsh, Justice Allen Ward, Nathaniel Isaac Webb, Judd Austin Weible, Chelsea Christine Wells, Joshua Paul Wells, Lane Colton Whaley, Miranda Elaine White, Desireé Gabrielle Whitener, Dylan Michael Wilkins, Courtney Michelle Willett, Amanda Lynn Willette, Amber Lynn Willette, Ty Austin Williams,Timothy James Wilson, Konnor Jade Young and Brandi Michelle Yount.

Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or rbronaugh@dailyjournalonline.com

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