High fives and handshakes abound at WDC 2019 graduation
57 students received diplomas and said their final goodbyes to fellow classmates, teachers, and faculty at the Wadena-Deer Creek High School Friday night. The evening was filled with hugs, high fives, and a little air horn.
After a short introduction, the graduates made their way into the gymnasium. Graduates entered in twos, meeting near the center of the gym to exchange a handshake or butt bump before being seated. The small group was engulfed by the hundreds of family and friends packing the bleachers.
The alumni address was conducted by Tommy Merickel, a 1974 WDC graduate and executive vice-president for the Taylor Corporation. The Taylor Corporation specializes in print and communications. Merickel shared intimate details of his life from graduation to his very successful career in business. During his address he described certain achievements, from being able to travel all over the country, to flying in a company jet, a milestone he was particularly proud of. Not everything was fun, he explained. Merickel had his struggles as well. Merickel openly discussed his bouts with alcoholism and coping with anger, hardships that shaped him as a person.
The ceremony had several student speakers with Sophia Kreklau providing the opening welcome. Alec Larson and Ashley Adams also addressed the audience, with Elissa Ikola issuing closing remarks. Speeches were rife with kind words, humorous anecdotes, and a general feeling of accomplishment.