Elk River Star News

S tar N ewS 2017 Elk RivER • ivan sand • RogERs • spEctRum • ZimmERman Graduates urged to persevere by Joni Astrup Associate Editor Six years ago, Lynk Downing spoke at his high school graduation in Zimmerman. Wednesday night, he was back at ZHS again, this time as a recent teacher at the school who was chosen by the Class of 2017 to be one of the commencement speakers. “I became a teacher with the goal to make an impact on students’ lives, and I can’t put into words how happy I am that I may have done just that,” Downing told the class. Downing, two gradu- ating seniors and sev- eral school officials addressed the Class of 2017 during the cere- mony. Photo by Erik Jacobson Staff speaker Ensign Lynk Downing, of the United States Navy, was selected by the students to speak. The 2011 Zimmerman High School gradu- ate heads off to flight school this summer. close their wonderful school memories and put them to good use. She suggested using those memories to keep connections between friends stronger than ever, and to remind yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to achieve. “As we walk out those doors, officially gradu- ated from Zimmerman High School, remember the memories we have made together and use them to make the next part of your life better than the first,” she said. Student speaker Madelyn Muckenhirn stressed the importance of people pushing them- selves to the limits of their full potential. She Student speaker Mikayla Sonterre urged her classmates to hold Zimmerman to page 5B Photo by Erik Jacobson Mortarboards went flying high into the air of the gymnasium on June 7 at Zimmerman High School at the conclusion of the graduation ceremony. Ivan Sand grads clear yet another hurdle Elk River High School students, who were to graduate last night, appeared ready to take on the world on May 22 as they ventured over to their former elementary schools to parade around in their caps and gowns. A school guidance counselor said the idea to do this activity came from Facebook. Retiring Elk River High School administrator Ken Jordan led students through Parker Elementary, while coming across fourth grade teacher Barb Branco. Kaytlin Krivich (at right) gave the thumbs up after ERHS students got to parade through Lincoln, Parker, Twin Lakes and Meadowvale elementary schools. by Sophia Khori Contributing Writer Ivan Twenty-four Sand Community High School students who overcame unique barri- ers to getting their edu- cation graduated June 6. As the soon-to-be graduates filed in the into Zabee Theater at Elk River High School, excitement of family, friends and teachers filled the room. Once everyone was seated, Ivan Sand juniors and masters of ceremonies Meranda Burton and Ben Wald welcomed the crowd. The duo highlighted the new project-based learning option and Enchanted Forest prom that stu- dents participated in this year. They ended their introduction by saying the most import- ant opportunity stu- dents had was the space to build unique, mean- ingful relationships with the staff. Six student speakers presented speeches and proved that their com- mon ground was that their road to commence- ment involved conquer- ing individual struggles. For Frank Holzeau this was coping with the death of his best friend, Photo by Sophia Khori Retiring teacher Cheryl Netka thanked the graduates for their persistence. while for Anna Liashko it was putting in extra time and energy into her studies because Russian is her first lan- guage. Achieving goals and putting in neces- sary work will contin- ue for Holzeau as he begins flight school and for Liashko as she stud- ies finance at Bethel University. speaker, Another Clarissa Gursky spoke about how thankful she was for the support- ive staff at Ivan Sand, her “safe haven” while dealing with anxiety and depression. When Gursky’s conditions worsened and she had Ivan Sand to page 5B ations Graduates! l u t a r g n o C Now uNder New owNership See US For All YoUr GrAdUAtion PArtY needS! 26233 2nd St., Zimmerman 763-856-4461 • Bakery • Deli • Fresh Cut Meats Daily • Fresh ProDuCe 17137 Yale St. NW ∙ Elk River 763-441-3637 Elk River, MN | 763-233-6401