Determining their route

MARSHALL – In her speech to fellow graduates, Marshall High School senior Ashton Stahl said that we use a GPS to find the quickest route to our destination.

The pathway is calculated and planned and easy to navigate, she said, kind of like school. You take the required classes, like English and social studies. Beyond school, life is also calculated with extracurricular activities, such as dance or sports,

“However now that we’ve graduated, we have to pull the road map out,” Stahl said. It’s time to grab a hold of the steering wheel and go to that place on the map, she said. That place may include college or other places.

Stahl, along with Nicholas Lozinski, Troy Timmerman and Munira Osman, were the speakers for the MHS Class of 2014 graduation Friday night. MHS Principal Brian Jones said that 157 students were graduating, and of those students, 66 graduated with honors. Cassandra Pieschke was named the class valedictorian.

No matter the rough patches they faced on the way of their high school journey, Stahl said they stayed on the route to their destination.

“So Class of 2014, it’s time for you to pull out your road map and determine your route,”?she said.

Timmerman said he wishes the world they were venturing out into was a good one.

“But to sum it up in one word (it’s) imperfect,” he said. There’s disease, war and the United States has the largest deficit in the world, he said.

“And Justin Bieber has 50 million Twitter followers,” he said jokingly. And that’s one-sixth of the U.S. population, he said.

On their second day of kindergarten, Timmerman said they witnessed the worst form of terrorism, 9/11.

“Our images of a perfect world are shattered,” he said.

But in the aftermath, we saw great feats of heroism, Timmerman said, and 9/11 taught us we can rise up.

Timmerman said he sees among his classmates future doctors, business leaders, scientists.

In his speech, Lozinski said that mother pandas will throw their babies out of the tree to see if they will fall.

“Sometimes in our life we may fall out of the tree,” Lozinski said.

But we can learn from our failures, Lozinski said, and some of the greatest success stories have come from failures. Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first job on TV, and Walt Disney was told he lacked imagination when he was let go from a job, he said.

“Stay positive and keep trying,” Lozinski said.

Lozinski said to his classmates that they’ve impacted each other’s lives.

“Since I’ve known you, I’ve changed for the good,” he said.

Osman said to parents out in the audience to “please don’t think you’re getting old; it’s graduation day.”

“It’s an eventful occasion for decades to come,” she said.

Graduation is also important because education is important, Osman said.

“You grow when you learn,” she said. The human brain is like a plant, you nurture it to help it grow, she said.

There may have been days where you thought “enough is enough,” Osman said to her classmates.

“(Your) high school years is where individuals grow the most,” she said.

Osman said her class was ambitious and challenged itself, and she hoped her fellow graduates fulfill their aspirations.

“I hope we become the individuals we dreamed of becoming,” Osman said.