Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Freeman Graduation Coverage

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

Catholic Memorial High graduates 175 in Class of 2014

Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA – Catholic Memorial High School’s Class of 2014 was greeted by a brilliant, sunlit day at the conclusion of Sunday’s commencement ceremony. It was the kind of day that befit all of the glowing words said of the class earlier in the celebration.

Early on, the Very Rev. Paul Hartmann, CMH president, assured students that they will “have a place to fill in the world.”

Of the 175 students who graduated on Sunday, 94.9 percent of them plan to attend a four-year college or university, said CMH English teacher and theater director Tom New. Those institutions range from Saint Louis University to Clemson University to the Savannah College of Art and Design to the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Small percentages of graduates will attend twoyear or technical colleges, enlist in the military, enter the workforce or have yet to decide about their futures.

As a whole, the class was awarded more than $12 million in scholarships, garnering nearly $70,000 per student, which is CMH’s highest total ever.

Successes and missed steps

Salutatorian Alexa Jaeger talked about how she and her classmates have learned from their successes, but also from their missteps – which have included missed steps.

“Personally, one of the things that I feared most entering high school was tripping on the stairs,” she said. “I had this traumatic mental image of just faceplanting on the staircase, dropping all my books and being laughed at by the students. That I’d be so embarrassed that I would just crawl into a cave and hide from society for the rest of my life.”

Despite her friends and family assuring her this would never happen, Jaeger said it did happen. Often.

And, the first time it happened wasn’t as terrifying as she’d imagined.

“Walking on the stairs, I missed the next step,” she recalled. “This was it, the moment I’d dreaded for so long.”

People laughed, she said, just as she expected they would. But, something unexpected happened.

“I laughed too,” Jaeger said. “Then I got back up and kept walking. I did not feel so embarrassed that I had to become a hermit. Surprisingly, life moved on.”

Valedictorian Marisa
 Ulrich’s speech also highlighted those pesky stairs, as well as not “sweating the small stuff” or “letting fear stand in your way.”

“We’ve all fallen down the stairs a time or two here at Catholic Memorial, both literally and figuratively,” she said.

The literal falls are a lesson that there are more important things to worry about, Ulrich said.


Catholic Memorial graduate Diane Heighway (center) is swarmed by her fellow graduates. 
All photos -  Josh Perttunen/Freeman Staff

Joe Diedrich and Edward Dillett (foreground) lock hands with their fellow graduates during the Mass that preceded Catholic Memorial High School’s commencement ceremony on Sunday.

Catholic Memorial senior Tyler Agnew is the first of 175 graduates to receive his diploma as the Class of 2014’s ceremony begins.

CMH graduating senior Becky Calhoun offers Communion moments before the Sunday Mass transitions into the Class of 2014’s graduation ceremony.

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