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Havre: Grads celebrate their future

 

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Havre High School graduates were excited, planning for the future and looking back at their accomplishments at commencement ceremonies Sunday.

A good number knew what their post-graduation plans were.

"I'm out of Havre," said Colin Carson, as he waited for ceremonies to begin ,. "I have a ranch job in Miles City."

He looked back at his years at Havre High with mixed emotions.

"There were great times, fun times, bad times," he said. "High school had its ups and downs."

Shelbee Friede will be going to Montana State University for pre-med courses. She hopes to become a family doctor.

"It's been great," she said looking back at her Havre High years. "I have a lot of memories."

The Blue Pony Band — minus the graduating seniors — played "Pomp and Circumstance" as the grads, clad in blue and white graduation gowns, entered the jam-packed gym. The overflow crowd watched, and got a better view, on a wide-screen television in the auditorium across the hall.

The senior band members joined the band to perform "Prairiesong."

Interim School Superintendent Andy Carlson praised the graduates for their accomplishments.

John Ita, a 20-year Havre High social studies teacher and Key Club adviser, was chosen by the class to give the address. He told stories about Mother Teresa and punk rock concerts as he urged the graduates to find their own path in life.

A woman sent a letter to Mother Teresa asking to join her in efforts to help the dying on the streets of Calcutta's slums.

Mother Teresa, who is on the verge of being declared a Roman Catholic saint for her work, told the woman to "find her own Calcutta."

Ita said at first he was shocked that Mother Teresa would reject Someone interested in helping her.

But she was telling the woman that everyone has to find their own path in life.

He got the audience in laughter as he told the story of attending a punk rock concert with three of his students while he was teaching in Long Beach, Calif.

Attired in a white T-shirt and tennis shoes, he was spotted immediately at the concert as an outsider, he told the crowd. Most of the others at the concert were in black and had spiked hair.

The point, he said, is that he lost himself when he was in the concert, acting in ways he would not normally act.

As you leave high school, he told the graduates, "your parents will play less and less a role in your life," he said.

"Surround yourself with positive people," he said.

"It's now the time for you to get out there and find your own Calcutta."

One by one, the graduates were then called to the front to receive their diplomas. Administrators and school board members handed out the diplomas, shook hands with the grads and moved the tassels on their mortarboards from the left to right side, signifying they had graduated.

Principal Jerry Vandersloot looked out in the crowd and exclaimed, "It is with great pleasure I present to you the graduated Havre High School Class of 2010' Cheers went up, and the crowd dispersed

 
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