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WKS Class of 2018 looks back with laughter

Kelley math teacher Amy Johnson (left) adjusts senior Everly Bauck's tassle before graduation. (Jamey Malcomb/News-Chronicle)1 / 5
William Kelley High School senior Ashley Evans snaps a selfie of herself and her graduating class before their ceremony. (Photo by Lisa Malcomb)2 / 5
Senior Megan Johnson makes her way down the aisle during William Kelley High School's graduation. (Jamey Malcomb/News-Chronicle)3 / 5
Former William Kelley High School students Cora Carter (left) and Morganne Curtis share a memory during their graduation ceremony Friday, June 1, in Silver Bay. (Photos by Jamey Malcomb/News/Chronicle)4 / 5
William Kelley High School English teacher Katie Fritz celebrates a successful bottle flip prior to her message to graduates. (Photo by Lisa Malcomb)5 / 5

Smiles, laughs, bottle flipping and, yes, even a few tears marked the 2018 graduation of seniors from William Kelley High School on Friday, June 1, in Silver Bay.

Students were still joking and kidding around in the Kelley cafeteria as parents, relatives, teachers and friends made their way into the auditorium, but things became noticeably quieter as Kelley's 30 graduates lined up to march in for graduation and the importance of the moment resonated.

Al Robertsen welcomed the guests to the ceremony and then Robertsen, Jeff Brecht, Lane Greer, Ashley Evans, Natalie Nelson, Leah Ramli and Alexis Miller left their spots with the class to perform with the choir one more time.

Max Andrus, Jason Blood, Megan Johnson and Jared LaBerge took the podium to reminisce about, and share a few embarrassing stories, about their years together, which started in kindergarten for many of the graduates.

Graduation speaker and English teacher Katie Fritz started by pushing a table out on the stage to demonstrate bottle flipping — a skill she learned from senior Chase Peterson over the years. Three tries later, the Gatorade bottle landed upright and Fritz raised her hands in triumph as the audience and graduates roared with approval.

Each student crossed the stage to shake hands with School Board members, Superintendent Bill Crandall and Principal Joe Nicklay, and then started the next chapter in their lives.

Following the presentation of the graduating class, the audience joined in for the traditional singing of "America, the Beautiful," and Morganne Curtis took the stage to say farewell to the graduates and their friends and family.

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb has been a reporter for the Pine Journal since October 2018. He previously worked as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle from 2015-2018. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. 

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