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Hats off to Nisswa fourth graders

Graduation ceremony held before they head off to new schools

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Nisswa fourth grade students were honored with a graduation ceremony Friday, May 19, 2023, when they said farewell to elementary school life.
Travis Grimler / Echo Journal

NISSWA โ€” Nisswa Elementary School said bon voyage Friday, May 19, to 49 students graduating from fourth grade and moving on to middle schools in Pequot Lakes or Baxter in the fall.

Decked out in graduation shirts and blue mortarboards, graduates basked in nearly the same level of honor as a high school graduate in front of a crowd of family and friends gathered to celebrate their next stage in life.

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Stella Lesch and Karsen Wiczek were this year's recipients of the Twyla Doty Award at the Nisswa Elementary School fourth grade graduation on May 19, 2023.
Travis Grimler / Echo Journal

The ceremony included an entrance to "Pomp and Circumstance," the Pledge of Allegiance and a speech by Principal Molly Raske.

Students sang "Try Everything" by Shakira and "A Million Dreams," the second with solos by two students.

Emerson Miller, Lucy Smith, Lilly Lee and Walker Pierce read memories of their time at Nisswa School and five scholarship awards were announced.

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The Twyla Doty Reading Award went to Karsen Wiczek and Stella Lesch in honor of Twyla Doty, a longtime reading teacher at the school. They received a Turtle Town Books & Gifts gift certificate and their names were added to the award plaque displayed in the library.

The First Western Bank & Trust Excellence in Math Award was given to Emerson Miller and Cora Buckhouse, who have shown a great persistence and perseverance in the area of mathematics. They received savings bonds.

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Tressa Hedman and Elijah Kern received the Northway Scholarship Award in honor of Ed and Jan Northway, former Nisswa residents who loved and supported arts and science education. They received art supplies for demonstrating extraordinary efforts toward art.

The Erika Rempe Writing Award, in honor of Erika Rempe, who died at age 18, honors its namesake by recognizing students for demonstrating a love for writing like Rempe. Connor Tweed and Olivia Waagmeester received a copy of "Where the Sidewalk Ends," Rempe's favorite book, and journaling material to continue inspiring their writing.

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Matching graduation T-shirts took the place of graduation robes at the Friday, May 19, 2023, Nisswa Elementary School fourth grade graduation, but the event was treated with nearly the same gravitas as a high school graduation with caps, guest speakers, songs and scholarship presentations.
Travis Grimler / Echo Journal

An award honoring a former Nisswa kindergarten teacher, the Judy Lykins Memorial Scholarship recognizes two students who have demonstrated extraordinary efforts toward music. Henrietta Sanvig and Lucas Fredrickson received gift certificates to Rafferty's Pizza.

The graduates and their supporters watched a projected slide show of baby photos and graduate photos for each of the day's graduates before capping off the event with a cap toss.

Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or travis.grimler@pineandlakes.com.

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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