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‘Be more than you appear to be,’ Parks urges Nevis graduates

The high school's 106th commencement pulled out all the stops, with a slideshow, distribution of flowers, live music and a reception in the street.

Reese Mowell shoots a selfie after collecting his diploma during graduation May 28, 2022 at Nevis High School. Looking on are school board members Justin Isaacson and Andy Lindow and Principal Brian Michaelson.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise
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Nevis High School graduated 40 seniors May 28 in its 106th graduating class.

School board member Andy Lindow hands a diploma to Megan Lindow during the Class of 2022 commencement May 28, 2022 at Nevis High School.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

Live music included senior soloist Max Eischens performing “The Star Spangled Banner,” the high school choir directed by Jake Upton singing “Homeward Bound” and the high school band led by Lisa Moses playing “As the Eagle Soars.”

Graduating as honor students, with a grade point average between 3.333 and 3.666, were Ian Ahrendt, Sonja Habedank, Eddie Kramer, Megan Lindow, Nathan Pyburn, Samara Walker and Isabelle Wallace.

“Honor with Distinction” students (GPA 3.667-3.749) were Maggie Carrier and Marissa Engst.

“Exemplary Honor” students (GPA 3.75 or higher) were Amber Gabriel, Ava Isaacson, Tyler Lindow and Emma Soldwisch.


The Nevis High School commencement on May 28, 2022 was dedicated to teacher and coach Thomas Ahrendt.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

Each of these students also spoke during the ceremony, sharing memories of the Class of 2022 from kindergarten through high school, thanking families and school staff and bidding their classmates farewell.

According to the commencement program, Ahrendt, Engst, Habedank, Isaacson, Kramer, both Lindows, Walker and Reese Mowell also earned Associate of Arts degrees from Alexandria Technical and Community College.

Also during the ceremony, graduates handed flowers to their loved ones in the audience, viewed a slideshow of their classmates’ baby pictures and heard Ian Ahrendt dedicate the commencement to his father, teacher and coach Tom Ahrendt.

Superintendent Gregg Parks cited cartoonist Gary Trudeau as saying commencement speeches “were invented largely in the belief that outgoing students should never be released into the world until they’re properly sedated.”

The Nevis High School Class of 2022 lets fly with the customary cap toss following their graduation on May 28, 2022.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

Instead of giving “pearls of advice,” Parks gave what he called a community service announcement, paraphrasing pointers for success from sportswriter Brian Kenny, such as: if you don’t know what you want to do in life, at least know what you don’t want to do; become good at something; and be more than you appear to be.

Following the ceremony, members of the Class of 2022 received congratulations from their friends and family members in the street in front of the school.

The Nevis FFA Chapter started off the year sending their general livestock evaluation team to the region contest in Long Prairie on Sept. 21.

Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at rfish@parkrapidsenterprise.com or 218-252-3053.
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