BY LUKE FYLE AND MARISSA MILLER
Luke: We’d like to say we’re honored to follow up the speech of our valedictorians — Erin, Gunnar and Alexis.
Marissa: They’ve put so much hard work into their academics and they really deserve the title.
Luke: Well, here we are at graduation. Like us, and those of you who’ve been here for the past 13 years, I think we can all agree that it’s been a long, long, LONG time.
Marissa: For those of us that haven’t been here quite as long, I bet we can still agree it’s time to close this chapter of our lives and begin a new one.
Luke: Even though this chapter has ended, we will still carry the memories we’ve all made together with us. Like in kindergarten when Marissa cried and puked every day because she missed her mom.
Marissa: But that wasn’t THAT big of a deal considering we only had to go to school every other day, and Whitney’s mom, Marcia, was there for hugs. What about when Emily Bickford had the longest hair ever?
Luke: In first grade when “Dee” and “Dee Dee” were our helpers
Marissa: In second grade when Mrs. Sopelle’s “Yacker-Tracker” went off every 10 seconds in art class.
Luke: When Elise Runberg became “teacher for a day” in Mrs. Thompson’s class.
Marissa: Or when Zach Northenscold’s name was Colby.
Luke: In third grade when everyone got to go on the camping trip EXCEPT Mr. Chantland’s class.
Marissa: Or when Jessica Kreitz’s Great-Aunt Cece would give out mints to everyone at recess.
Luke: In fourth grade when Matt Pitan and Jake Nelson let their lizards be Mr. Harmala’s class pets ... then their tails fell off.
Marissa: At lunch when Charlie Box shook his chocolate milk all over Maria Schommer.
Luke: Or when Marissa’s mom declared Connor Chambers the worst crafter in the world when we’d make clay pens or Christmas ornaments.
Marissa: In fifth grade when we skated on the pond together before Christmas break.
Luke: When we started switching classes and everyone was afraid of “Mrs. Dunn Dunn Dunn.”
Marissa: Or the time we all had to brave the dreaded “talk,” which turns out wasn’t about what we thought it was going to be about.
Luke: In sixth grade when we went to Ski Gull.
Marissa: Or when Samm Rathman broke her finger playing Red Rover ... then we couldn’t play that anymore.
Luke: Or when we got the gym class bus driver fired because she made us pay her to talk on the ride over.
Marissa: In seventh grade when Jens pushed Austin Leibel into Mr. Lempola’s computer and broke it.
Luke: When Marnie Goerges flipped over the handlebars of her bike during our first bike trip.
Marissa: Or when we had to make little blob families to demonstrate genetics in Mrs. LeSart’s class.
Luke: In the eighth grade talent show when Kyle Narveson proposed to Connor Chambers and we listened to the God-like voice of Paige Reiger.
Marissa: Back when we could buy three cookies for a dollar and other delicious treats at A la Carte.
Luke: But then we finally made it to high school, where we gained about 15 classmates from Crosslake Community School.
Marissa: Suddenly, we weren’t all in the same classes and began making the friends that we still have today.
Luke: When Elizabeth Ciesluk’s name developed into Theb, Elizrika, Debra, Elizabath, Deathray and many more heartfelt nicknames.
Marissa: The time Ellie Heggerston walked into biology class with her skirt tucked in.
Luke: When one day our dream to have a real fire drill came true and the bathroom lit on fire and flooded the hallways.
Marissa: The day that Luke and Cheyenne Syvertson got married in Mrs. Nelson’s English class.
Luke: Or when Nicole Traut and her relay team won state in track and field.
Marissa: What about that time that Kaylyn Eggena just disappeared from school for three months?
Luke: And the days that Kevin Beltz’s dad would bring his snakes to school.
Marissa: When Mrs. Bialon’s class left an open milk carton in her plant for a week.
Luke: Or the fact that Taylor Stiller has said “bless you” to everyone on earth who has ever sneezed.
Marissa: Nic Olmscheid and Cheyenne Wilson’s infectious laughs.
Luke: When Chris Whitney shot his middle toe off.
Marissa: Or the time that Abby Palmer and Morgan Steffen went to Costa Rica and Morgan came back looking like a tomato.
Luke: During the band trip when Zoe Buehl put pretzels and goldfish in Chelsea Dowdall’s hair while she slept.
Marissa: The day Allen, Aspen, Kegan and Travis buried Jesse Hanson’s truck in snow.
Luke: When Charlie Roy and Cohl DeVries got a “Macklemore” haircut, or the time that Wes Mumm convinced a quarter of the grade to participate in “Junior Skip Day.”
Marissa: At Savannah Stone’s birthday party when Maddie, Sierra and Amy drove the golf carts away.
Luke: When Ben Sullivan gave his speech to Mrs. Nelson’s English class.
Marissa: Or the fact that wherever you were in the halls, you would always be able to hear Jordan Redmond and Emily Erickson.
Luke: At Philip Huss’s summer party where Jared Brockway and Kendall Johnson went extreme tubing.
Marissa: When Brady Cable, Ashley Dawson and I were advanced math buddies.
Luke: How Rosie, Kristin, Abby, Emma and Sabrina led the volleyball team in its best season ever.
Marissa: Sean, Mikey and Peter’s crazy conversations in band.
Luke: Or being able to always count on Josh Schenk to show up late then fall asleep in first hour.
Marissa: We know that’s not everyone, and we could go on and on about the things we’ve done. But let’s save that for a reunion.
Luke: Even though it’s been said we’re a class that didn’t always get along, the fact is that we’ve grown up together, and that’s what counts.
Marissa: We’ve shaped each other into who we will be for the rest of our lives, starting now, and these silly memories overcome all of the struggles we’ve faced with each other and against each other for the last 13 years.
Luke: But today, it’s all over. When we leave, we will take the good and leave the bad. We will forget about who we were as a class and begin to identify ourselves as the individuals who we have become.
Marissa: As Macklemore once said, “And we danced.
Luke: “And we cried.
Marissa: “And we laughed.
Both: and had a really, really, really good time.”