Olathe turns out for graduation send-off

Photo by William Woody—Olathe high School valedictorian Morgan Stansberry addresses classmates on Sunday afternoon.

OLATHE — Few events in Olathe draw the population of the entire town to one location. The 2011 graduating class of Olathe High School did just that under sunny skies Sunday afternoon.

More than 1,000 spectators cheered, honked horns and snapped photos of the 75 graduates on Wilson Field at the high school.

Some plan to become nurses, engineers, musicians, auto mechanics and soldiers, and some will remain, to work the farmlands surrounding Olathe.

“Olathe mud will forever be in your blood,” Class of 1985 graduate and speaker Danny Byers said.

Valedictorian Morgan Stansberry told her classmates the change they have endured over the past 12 years was only a steppingstone for the next chapter of life.

“Go off the road into unknown territory. Make your own mark on the world,” Stansberry said.

Co-salutatorian Amanda Castle quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”

During the ceremony, two members of the audience succumbed to heat exhaustion. They were taken away by ambulance but later reported to be OK.

After the diploma ceremony, the students, donned in blue and gold, formed a circle to throw their caps into the air.

The 2011 class of Pirates had completed their voyage.


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