DUNLAP — Sunshine poured down on more than 350 graduating seniors at Concord High School on Thursday evening as they made their way to Jake Field for commencement.
During the ceremony, students and school leaders alike offered words of encouragement to the graduating seniors as they prepare to head into the world and embark on their individual endeavors.
The valedictorian was Katelyn Zeser. Ainslee Zou was the salutatorian.
As Zeser addressed her classmates, she petitioned them to leave hurtful experiences in the past and to focus on healing.
“We have been bullied or have been bullies,” she said. “Remember how it feels to grow, become who you are beautifully without regard to anyone else ... All I ask of you is to love and be loved. Look forward to hurting again, because you can heal again.”
Class of 2018 officers included: Student Body President Will Boyer, Student Body Vice President Andy Ross, Student Body Secretary Violeta Campos, Senior Class President Rachel DeShone, Senior Class Vice President Emily Kennedy and Senior Class Secretary Elise Boessler.
Concord High School art teacher Bob Bieber served as this year’s keynote speaker. He was elected by the senior class.
In his speech, Bieber shared a handful of tips to the seniors as they enter the next chapter in their lives, focusing on the importance of relationships.
“No matter what direction you choose, no matter what path or wherever you end up in your future, you’re going to develop relationships, for it is the meaning of life,” he said. “Your life is going to simply come about developing relationships.”
Upcoming graduation ceremonies in Elkhart County include NorthWood High School in Nappanee and Elkhart Memorial High School in Elkhart on Friday and Elkhart Central High School on Sunday.