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Wilson Creek celebrates nine graduates for the Class of 2024

by GABRIEL DAVIS
Staff Writer | June 12, 2024 1:30 AM

WILSON CREEK — The Wilson Creek School District celebrated and honored nine graduates in the Class of 2024 Saturday at Wilson Creek High School with a ceremony put on by the graduating class.

Nolan Willis, the class of 2024’s salutatorian gave some advice to his classmates.

“Do not be afraid to take the lead and try new things in your life. You never know what will become of something if you don't try it,” Willis said. “Whether you want to have your own business or whether you want to change the world in your own way, embrace a leap and jump into your new adventure. So what if you fail? You'll learn and move on. But the worst thing to do is cower and hide away from life’s hard challenges because you never know what lesson … it might have in store for you.”

Isabella Hochstatter and Lucia Rodriguez both graduated with the highest honors, earning a 3.75 grade point average or higher. Jessa Bise and Willis received high honors for earning between a 3.5 and a 3.74 GPA. Zane McMillan received honors for earning between a 3.0 and 3.49 GPA. 

“I want to thank everyone who has made this journey meaningful and thank the people who pushed me to be the person I am today,” Willis said. “To everyone else, please remember you can't change the past but you can always change your future, and you should live life to the fullest. Thank you, and congratulations to the Class of 2024.”

Hochstatter, the class valedictorian, reflected on passing time.

“As a little kid, something like this seems so far-fetched. Now, it's a reality; we grew up and made it,” she said. “(We) spent so much time waiting for these dreams to become a reality that (we) didn't always take in the moment and cherish them as they were happening … Waking up before 8 a.m. was worth the joy that I was blessed with by all of you.”

The graduating class then handed out roses to family and friends as a tribute to them, before welcoming the ceremony’s guest speaker, Wilson Creek business teacher Jackie Floetke.

“You should be proud of all you accomplished this year. I know your parents and I are and we're all heaving a great sigh of relief,” she said. “Be calm. For the most part, all of you are. You are accepting and helpful to all around you. However, if need be, you can also be tough and critical.

“As you go down these stairs and out the doors, you will be closing one chapter in your life. What the rest of the chapters are is totally up to you. They will be made from decisions you make, the things you choose to do, the people you surround yourself with,” she said. “There are a lot of decisions that are made when you reach adulthood. Walking through those doors is the first step.”

Wilson Creek Dean of Students Anna Thomas and Superintendent Laura Christian handed out scholarships and awards.

“Today, (is) a significant milestone in your life,” Thomas said. “While you may not have realized it, during your time at Wilson Creek you have been forming the building blocks of your future … These moments of connection are the foundation of your life. The person sitting next to you has been building their foundation too, and someday these shared experiences will feel like home to you. My hope for you is that you stay connected with each other.”

Thomas said the Wilson Creek Class of 2024 earned a total of $59,800 in scholarships. 

“I hope that you celebrate the many joyous moments in life and stand strong for each other during the inevitable hardships that may come your way,” she said. “Your class has been a beacon of compassion, maturity, school spirit and kindness. As you leave high school and step into adulthood, I hope you carry these values with you. They're the true building blocks of who you are.”

Gabriel Davis may be reached at gdavis@columbiabasinherald.com.

    Wilson Creek graduating senior Lucia Rodriguez accepts her diploma during the graduation ceremony Saturday morning. Rodriguez graduated with the highest honors after earning a 3.75 GPA or higher.
 
 
    Wilson Creek Class of 2024 Valedictorian Isabella Hochstatter, left, accepts a scholarship award from Superintendent Laura Christian, right, during this year’s graduation ceremony.
 
 
    Wilson Creek High School graduating seniors move their tassel from one side of their cap to the other, marking the certification of their graduation.
 
 
    A Wilson Creek graduate hugs an audience member during the family and friends tribute portion of Saturday’s ceremony.
 
 
    Part of the family and friends tribute during Saturday’s Wilson Creek 2024 graduation ceremony, which is put on by the graduating class themselves, is to give out roses to loved ones in the audience.