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Sycamore High School graduates remember prank, closeness

Class valedictorian David Emmert speaks during Sycamore High School's commencement Sunday afternoon.
Class valedictorian David Emmert speaks during Sycamore High School's commencement Sunday afternoon.

Sycamore High School Class of 2013’s senior prank was one of the most memorable moments in John Cavanaugh’s years teaching the recent graduates.

The chairman of the math department recalled a well-organized prank where students went back inside the school after graduation practice and skated in the hallways on skateboards. The prank showed how close the students were, he said.

“These guys would work with anyone,” Cavanaugh said.

Parents, faculty and staff gathered Sunday at Sycamore High School to watch 302 seniors receive their diplomas. During his speech, class valedictorian David Emmert questioned the notion of whether high school was the best years of the students’ lives.

“Who’s to say that all this enjoyment has to stop here?” Emmert said. “Because we don’t. We decided that we’re going to make every moment count.”

Senior Jessica Johnson said she was sad about graduating and seeing everyone go their separate ways.

“I liked the environment and my teachers,” Johnson said.

Her parents also were sad, as she is the last of their children to graduate. She came to her graduation wearing her brother’s cap and gown.

Sycamore Principal Tim Carlson calls the Class of 2013 “the Golden Rule kids.”

The students would challenge the faculty appropriately in an effort to improve the school, Carlson said. They were the type of students who would embrace and guide the freshmen rather than ostracize them, he said.

“If we had a group like this every year, our life would be very easy,” Carlson said.

Carlson said the students were close and caring toward each other. During the senior dinner dance Friday, the students huddled together and sang the school fight song “Hail to the Sycamore Spartans” one last time, he said.

The graduating class are so close because they are a small, young class who grew up together, class president Henry Johnson said. When he looks at his fellow classmates, he said he still sees the same students with which he went to grade school.

“We see the world from the same lenses and that draws us closer,” Henry Johnson said.

About 70 percent of the students who graduate from Sycamore High School go on to two-year or four-year colleges and universities, Carlson said. After high school, Jessica Johnson plans to study graphic design at Northern Illinois University.

“I guess I’m looking forward to going into the college atmosphere,” Jessica Johnson said.

The impact of graduation has yet to hit Henry Johnson, who tentatively plans on studying economics at Harvard University in the fall.

He thinks students are confused on how they should feel about graduating. He plans to spend some time on a diary farm before heading to Harvard, but he thinks the summer will pass by in a blur for everyone.

“We’re going to look at the clock and before you know it, it’s going to be ticked,” Henry Johnson said.

Local Graduation Photos
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