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PL Graduation: Reflecting on the past, looking to the future

Mackenzie Rubitschung: Good evening friends, family, faculty and fellow 2017 graduates. My name is Mackenzie Rubitschung and standing next to me is Mallory Goerges. I remember my first week at Pequot Lakes High School. I was a freshman. It was tw...

Dan Determan/Echo JournalSeniors Mallory Goerges (left) and Mackenzie Rubitschung give the senior speech and present Principal Chip Ranking with a megaphone as a parting gift.
Dan Determan/Echo Journal Seniors Mallory Goerges (left) and Mackenzie Rubitschung give the senior speech and present Principal Chip Ranking with a megaphone as a parting gift.

Mackenzie Rubitschung: Good evening friends, family, faculty and fellow 2017 graduates.

My name is Mackenzie Rubitschung and standing next to me is Mallory Goerges.

I remember my first week at Pequot Lakes High School. I was a freshman. It was two weeks into the school year. I remember walking into the orthodontist and seeing Mallory. Who would've guessed, from that day on, we would we be color-coordinating our braces every month of our freshman year? Now we stand here as seniors, giving our high school senior address.

I also remember the day I received my cap and gown this year. I may or may not have worn it around the school for at least an hour before I realized I still had two weeks until graduation. I am truly humbled to speak on behalf of this graduating class sitting here in front of me tonight.

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  • Number of graduates: 118
  • Class colors: Red and charcoal
  • Class flower: Gardenia
  • Class motto: "It always seems impossible until it's done." - Nelson Mandela
  • Class song: "Good Life" - One Republic

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Mallory Goerges: After many years of anticipation, I remember walking into school the first day of my freshman year, finally being a high schooler. I had waited for this day for, what felt like, forever. As I stand here right now, it is still surreal that tonight will be the last time our senior class gathers as a whole. I am so grateful to have this opportunity. Speaking for and amongst all of you is truly something special.

Rubitschung: Class of 2017, we did it. After today we will share the accomplishments of being PLHS alumni and high school graduates. Some of us will look back on the years of high school and find them well-spent. Others will have regrets and, perhaps, missed opportunities. This is merely the act of growing up; it isn't easy, but it is crucial for each and every one of us to acknowledge where and who we are today and where we want to be tomorrow, three months from now, and even 10 years down the road.

Goerges: Ten years down the road you might think, "I have so much time" or "That's so far away." But just 13 years ago brings us back to kindergarten, where we all started our educational journey. I'm almost positive I can speak for our whole class when I say that the past decade has flashed before our eyes, and we never thought our big day would have come so soon.

Think back to freshman year, the seniors you looked up to and admired day in and day out. Those seniors were us this year, the past nine months of our lives.

Rubitschung: Of course, we wouldn't be walking across this stage today if it weren't for our family, friends and staff here in the Pequot Lakes community. If you haven't thanked them prior to this day, you definitely should.

Why, might you ask? Because these individuals have not only believed in us, but encouraged and pushed us to the extremes to be the best Patriots we ever thought possible.

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KLICK! Photo Gallery - Pequot Lakes HS Graduation 2017 - 632 photos!
Seniors graduated in ceremony at school's athletic complex.
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Goerges: Being a Patriot is so much more than dressing up in red, white and blue. Being a Patriot is respect, responsibility and integrity. Being a Patriot is something to be more than proud of; we have something to show for.

It doesn't end even though high school has. In a few short months, 117 patriots will be taking different paths, whether that may be joining the workforce, enlisting in a military branch, furthering your education at a postsecondary institution or for those of you who are undecided. Through all of these new chapters in our lives, we will never retire our Patriot Pride.

Rubitschung: When I think about the Class of 2017, I think of athletes, musicians, writers, mechanics, artists, leaders and so much more. We've been through so much together, and I wouldn't have wanted to achieve what we have with any other class.

Due to our stupidity and immaturity we were the first freshman class to ever get homecoming taken away. And yes, we're probably not the most athletic class, given our overall record in Powderpuff, Powderbuff and Winter Olympics currently stands at 0-8.

However, if the class of 2018 wants to join us at our 30-year reunion for a shuffleboard tournament, we will me more than happy to have a rematch.

Goerges: Yes, it's true, we're not the most athletic class and yes, we probably didn't pay the most attention to Mrs. Harsha and Mr. Smith in our PE classes. But, while everyone else was outside playing sports, you better believe our class was hanging out with Cindy in the library hitting the books.

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The class of 2017 had 13 students score a 30 or higher on the ACT test, the most in school history, might I add. We'd like to recognize these students at this time. So, if you scored a 30 or higher on the ACT please stand.

Rubitschung: OK, so maybe Mallory and I didn't spend as much time in the library as we should have. And no, our class is not perfect, but we have matured immensely and proven to many that our class will definitely go places in the future.

Goerges: Before each of us starts our new life adventure, grab onto these next summer months and cherish them. This our last ever high school summer that we will be in this area together.

Make the most of the time you spend with your friends and especially the time with your family. As much as you're going to miss them, they're going to miss you more.

Rubitschung: As we go our separate ways this fall, we'll start to miss what was familiar to us. We will miss Mr. Rankin screaming at us like a drill sergeant at 8:19 ordering us to get to first hour. And Diane in the office, she always seemed to know exactly where we were even when we didn't want her to. Parents of underclassmen: No need to have a tracking device on your kids, Diane has your back.

And class of 2017, It's OK to miss high school. Most of us were good at it, and it was what we were used to, and change is indeed scary. What some of us thought was "the best time of our lives" may not have been true for all of us. Let's face it, high school can be tough. But we are all here today, receiving our diplomas.

Goerges: We dedicate our admirable class to our teachers, paras, librarians, janitorial staff, food service, our office secretaries, administration and, of course, let's not forget Carol. Thank you, Carol, for not only printing off our 11-page comp papers the day before grades were due, but keeping this school running.

And thank you, Mrs. Stampe, this speech definitely wouldn't exist without your book-long study guides. We wholeheartedly appreciate the faculty in the district of ISD 186 more than words can say.

Rubitschung: Not only is our class leaving Pequot Lakes High School, but one person that has influenced and shaped our class as we know it is leaving as well. Mr. Rankin, thank you. Thank you for being our principal and such an inspiration to each and every one of your students.

Thank you for being real with us; we have learned more from you about life than we could ever learn from a textbook. From the bottom of our hearts, we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

Mr. Rankin, can you please come up here?

We'd liked to honor you with these gifts from the Senior Class of 2017.

Goerges: Gosh. There is really nothing else that I will miss more than this. It has been more than an honor to be a part of such a remarkable class of students and an even better school district.

For all of you underclassmen listening, take chances, try something you wouldn't have tried in the years past. You will not regret it, but you will regret it if you don't.

And most of all, hold on to the memories you make because you're only in high school once. Thank you for an unbeatable 13 years, Pequot Lakes Schools, I wouldn't have traded it for the world.

Rubitschung: It's been a great run, Class of '17. I am going to miss it. I'm not saying I'll miss waking up early, running into freshmen because they don't know how to walk in the hallway or the stoichiometry from Chapter 9 of high school chemistry.

But what will I miss the most? The people. I'll miss the memories made, but I'll definitely have stories to tell. Thank you, senior class of 2017, for an unforgettable four years and congratulations to all of the graduates.

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