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RFHS Class of 2018 celebrates commencement

Elisabeth Oberlin was one of two students chosen to speak for the Class of 2018. Oberlin spoke to her classmates about failure. She said failure and low points in life are inevitable, and encouraged her fellow students to persevere and gain personal strength. 1 / 8
Sara Hildreth recieves her diploma from Mike Thompson, school board member, on Sunday, June 3 at RFHS. 2 / 8
Lindsey Cardell speaks for the class of 2018. Wearing a party hat, Cardell encouraged students to "party like it's 1999." She told her classmates, "We are the children of a new millennium. We are not just some New Years resolution," she said. "We are a new millennium's revolution."3 / 8
Linnea Baerenwald shakes hands with school board president Stacy Johnson Myers, before receiving her diploma Sunday, June 3.4 / 8
New RFHS graduates leave the gymnasium as the ceremony concludes on Sunday, June 3. From left: Elise Banitt, Mariama Larson, Haley Langer, and Sydney Landgraf. 5 / 8
Macie VanNurden, student school board representative, welcomes everyone to the River Falls High School class of 2018 graduation ceremony Sunday, June 3. Gretta Stark / RiverTown Multimedia.6 / 8
Jerric Blair receives his diploma from school board president Stacy Johnson Myers on Sunday, June 3.7 / 8
River Falls High School seniors sit at graduation Sunday, June 3, in the RFHS gymnasium. Shown, from left are: (front) Alexa Kromrey, Samantha Krueger, Ryker Kubera, Anna Kuehn, Sebastian Kulow, Kiera LaCroix, Sydney Landgraf, Haley Langer, Mariama Larson, Parker LaVold and Justice Lemerand; (second row) Kaitlyn Levi and Jake Lindsay. 8 / 8

"If not us, who? If not now, when?"

Those words, originally spoken by President John F. Kennedy, were chosen as the River Falls High School Class of 2018's motto.

During the graduation ceremony Sunday, June 3, District Superintendent Jamie Benson told students to think of and thank those who had supported them and helped them reach their graduation day.

He encouraged students to contribute to the wellbeing of the world. He said the world needs "good, civic-minded people" to improve it.

"There is a place for you in this world, and the world needs you," he told the class of 2018.

Principal Kit Luedtke told students to remember what matters most. He encouraged them to stay rooted in friends and family.

He also encouraged them to change our "ego-centered society." He spoke of finding ways to slow down, be humble and listen to their moral compasses. He encouraged students to love themselves and the gift they are to the world.

Student speaker Elisabeth Oberlin spoke about failure. She told her classmates failure is a part of life, and how you respond to it is important. She encouraged her classmates to rely on their support systems, but never take them for granted, and to learn to fail and then try again.

Student speaker Lindsey Cardell told her classmates "We are the children of a new millennium. We are not just some New Year's resolution. We are a new millennium's revolution."

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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