HOWARD — Just as the caterpillar emerges from the chrysalis as a butterfly ready to explore the world, so too, do teens emerge from high school to embark on their adult lives.
The theme of the caterpillar and the butterfly ran through the remarks of each of the student speakers at the East Knox High School graduation: Salutatorian Brittany Wellman and valedictorians Mitchell McDaniel, Kayla Stephenson and Adam Rine.
Wellman began the theme by telling of the caterpillar listening to his mentor, the owl, as he makes his way through youth, getting ready to become a butterfly.
“Like the caterpillar,” she said, “We are ready to spread our wings and soar.”
She also urged her classmates to follow the advice of Henry David Thoreau: “Be not simply good, but be good for something.”
McDaniel continued the theme, stating high school was an “incredible time to grow and learn,” and urged his classmates to “Make time to enjoy the little things; they make life worth living.”
Stephenson also quoted Thoreau, telling her classmates to “go forth confidently in the direction of your dreams.” She said as they emerge from the cocoon of high school, they should lead a life of purpose and passion and, again quoting Thoreau, to “live the life you have imagined.”
Rine continued the theme, explaining how dreams and aspirations changed in high school and as they thought about their aspirations as they approached adulthood, they have emerged from the chrysalis of high school into a world of endless possibilities.
“Don’t forget to spread your wings and fly,” he said, and as he concluded, some students in the back row of the class released butterflies.
Earlier, high school principal Ryan Gallwitz told the audience that the 2012 class of 87 students had been awarded $1,671,841 in scholarships, more than $300,000 more than the class of 2011 earned and the largest amount an East Knox class has earned.