Racine Lutheran High School held commencement ceremonies for its Class of 2021 on Saturday, May 29, at the SC Johnson Sports Complex at Pritchard Park. The future journeys of the 57 graduates include pursuing higher education degrees from an array of universities, colleges and technical schools. Some graduates are enlisting with the United States Armed Forces, and others are stepping directly into the workforce.
To date, the graduates were offered more than $4.1 million in scholarships and awards.
Natalie Shreck and Brady Wilks earned the top two academic spots in the Class of 2021. Shreck, the valedictorian, will attend Augustana College, and Wilks, the salutatorian, will continue his education at Concordia University Wisconsin.
Shreck and Wilks addressed the guests at the graduation service. Their heartfelt speeches etched another memory into the minds of the school’s newest alumni.
The pair spoke on behalf of their classmates; however, the school’s senior English teacher, Johanna Pringle, encouraged each of her students to share thoughts, advice and reflections. Their words of wisdom were written for a year-end assignment and are listed below.
A memorable year
“When we were told that we were going back to school in the fall, our senior class decided that we were going to make the most out of every moment, and I believe we did just that.”
“I was constantly asked ‘How is school going?’ I gave the same response every time: ‘Just happy to be in-person with my friends.’”
“One thing we should take from this year is the fact to never lose hope.”
“Enjoy everything because it is gone before you know it. Get involved. Go to football and basketball games. Get involved in clubs and activities around school.”
“Keep your nose to the grindstone. No matter how tough it gets, stay locked in, and do your absolute best.”
“Everything you do here at RLHS is an opportunity to get to know new faces and make new friends. Be yourself because the welcoming walls of Racine Lutheran are based on the foundations of character.”
“Don’t hold grudges. Be open to change. Cherish the smallest of moments.”
“Remember the journey. Hold on to the relationships. Continue to persevere.”
“Be kind to one another.”
“You have made this school a sacred place where kids come to learn and grow into adults.”
“We each made a difference in each other’s lives, whether we know it or not.”
“Remember the moments of complete gratitude and love for every classmate, teacher, or friend you have acquired throughout these last four years, as they are the ones who have helped make you who you are right at this exact moment.”
A continuing journey
“So, what now? Now, we will all go on with our lives, working, pursuing degrees, or anything in between and making the most out of anything we are given. We go out with our Lord, serving him by helping others in the community. And for all of the future graduates to come through Racine Lutheran High School, make the most out of everything God gives you. Have a positive attitude in all that you do and know that your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is walking beside you every step of the way. I wish everyone the best of luck as we go on.”
High school years are fleeting. Wide-eyed freshmen evolve into confident upperclassmen who then step into the world as RLHS alumni, prepared for a life of service to God and man.
The final thought shared by a member of the senior class was:
“Ultimately, my last piece of advice for you is this: never forget to keep God first. Even when you’re not in a Christian-based environment, make Him the center of all that you do.”