provided perfect weather as 488 Chesterton High School seniors received
their diplomas and celebrated the end of high school and the beginning of
The Trojan football
field stands were overflowing with family and friends, schoolmates and
The graduates filed
in to their seating area on the field to the processional “Pomp and
Circumstance” played by CHS band members under the direction of Band
Director Michael Scheiber.
Vice-president Megan Homme made introductions. Cole Teal, Senior class
treasurer, led those gathered in the Pledge of Allegiance and CHS student
Kendall Wright sang the National Anthem.
Secretary David Gutierrez welcomed graduates, families and friends and
Senior Class representative Andy Hurst introduced the CHS Science teacher
Dan Paff, who gave the commencement address.
Paff, who is
fighting stage three colon cancer had some hard-earned wisdom to share with
the 2014 graduates. His battle for his life has put many things into
perspective, he said. He urged the graduates to work hard, and never allow
themselves to use excuses not to do so. He urged them to find and share
love; to show their gratitude to those who help and love them; and to strive
toward optimism in their daily lives. He said he had not originally thought
he was destined to be a teacher, but that his teaching and coaching have
become a daily joy and he looks forward to the next 30 years.
The Senior Honor
students were presented and the Senior Choir members sang together one last
time, sharing “100 Years,” by Five for Fighting, about the fleeting nature
of life, under the direction of CHS Choir Director Kristin Morris.
Jonathan Kindmark, who peppered his speech with movie title references,
noted that the class of 2014 could include future humanitarians and CEO’s,
engineers, athletes, actors, lawyers and welders. Each student can make
their mark through courage, character, conscience and confidence. He urged
his classmates to proceed to what’s next in their life with integrity.
“Honesty and loyalty are not options,” he said. He told his classmates he
feels confidence moving forward in part due to their support as friends.
“I’ve got your back and you’ve got mine.”
The presentation of
diplomas grew more joyful and raucous as the long list of graduates was
The sense of
celebration culminated when the Class of 2014 turned their tassels in unison
and, led by Senior Class President Mitch Winey, they threw their caps high
in the air.