Washington Evening Journal
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WMU commencement features reminiscence … and rap
WINFIELD — The 33-member Winfield-Mt. Union Class of 2023 walked the stage and shook school officials’ hands Sunday, celebrating the end of their high school careers.
In a speech at the ceremony, Valedictorian Melina Oepping recounted a handful of class memories, including a teacher who passed out once, “barricade shenanigans” from a Spanish class, and “a certain incident that happened to one of our classmates” on a bus in junior high.
“The hardest part is realizing that you will never again hear Mr. Wachs and Mrs. McCabe saying, ‘Good morning’ to you as you walk through the halls,” Oepping said. “Even though it feels like we are saying goodbye, we will always be connected by the memories we have made together.”
Salutatorian Isabell Kann said that history was worth holding on to, as students faced the future with its many unknowns.
“All the things that you’ve already overcome, all the detours that you’ve faced, all the rough patches … all those things, you’ve faced and you’ve overcome to be where you are today,” she said. “All of that is a reminder that the future can’t be so bad. You’ve already done so much.”
Social studies teacher Matthew Sheyko was the commencement’s keynote speaker, stealing the show with an acoustic guitar performance, and then a rap solo, after delivering his own heartfelt speech.
Sheyko compared the students’ futures to years of his life spent living in Los Angeles, an experience that was both exciting and hazardous at different times.
“You might have a plan about where you are heading, how you are getting there, or stops that you will make along the way,” he said. “But don’t be afraid to live in the uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to live in the unknown. We want to plan our lives out to a T, but I think when we do that we miss out on some of the adventure we could be having.”