Lincoln-Way East Hosts Class of 2015 Graduation
Thursday, June 4, 2015

Last night, 550 students graduated from Lincoln-Way East High School in a special commencement ceremony held at the schools stadium.

Valedictorian Brianna Mckenna and salutatorian Sedona Cady led students on to the stadium field as East musicians played Land of Hope and Glory by Elgar.

East Principal Dr. Sharon Michalak congratulated Easts Class of 2015 on the leadership and positive change they brought to the school.

We are not the same school we were when you entered here in 2011, Dr. Michalak said. We are better because of your presence and because of the impact you made on Lincoln-Way East and our communities.

Since 2011, test scores have steadily risen with the Griffins to where Lincoln-Way East High School has been named a top school in the nation and in Illinois by U.S. News & World Report, Michalak said. Seniors, you also continued to put us on the map athletically and through activities.

The National Anthem was sung by students Megan Arseneau, Emma Hansen, Thomas Hoblin, Alexandria Irby and Daniel Provis. McKenna and Senior Class President Jimmy Finn addressed the students.

There seems to be this idea that to change the world you have to become a billionaire or invent the newest tech craze or lead a country, McKenna said. But thats not true at all -- 30 seconds here or there can change someones day, or even someones life.

Find happiness in living the life you want. But remember: be kind along the way, and youre not just successful. Youre a person to be admired and remembered, because youve changed this difficult world for the better, McKenna said.

Lincoln-Way East has given us the groundwork for our future, Finn said. Of course, we could not have made it to this moment alone. I would like to say thank you on behalf of the entire class of 2015 to all the teachers, counselors, administrators and staff members of Lincoln-Way East for always supporting us and pushing us to do our very best.

Finn paid tribute to former classmate Patrick Mizwicki who passed away in a tragic accident freshman year.

Thank you Patrick for the many great memories you left us and we know you are in your cap and gown today watching over all of us, Finn said.

When Mizwickis name was read during the awarding of diplomas, the thousands of people that filled Easts stadium rose to their feet in applause to memorialize and honor Patrick and his family.

District 210 Superintendent Dr. R. Scott Tingley addressed the members of the Class of 2015 stating, "To the young men and women in front of me this evening, your best years are ahead of you, as most likely are your greatest challenges.

It is my sincere hope that your experiences at Lincoln-Way have prepared you for all of life's challenges and successes that will certainly come your way," Dr. Tingley said.

Board of Education member Christopher McFadden congratulated the graduates on behalf of the board.

Being true to yourself might mean that your journey will take you off the beaten path. If you go off the beaten path, it will never be easy, McFadden said. But the people who change the world are the people who are crazy enough to think they can. And if you are pursuing something you enjoy, you more likely to find success in it, and with success, you are more likely to find happiness.

Just prior to the ceremony, members of the senior class presented the district and Board of Education with a class gift. The gift, a blue victory light, was purchased with proceeds from candy sales and other fundraisers.

The light is a V positioned at the top of the school, which will be lit up every time an athletic team, music group, or any other clubs experience a win as a constant reminder of East students commitment to excellence and their community involvement.

The gift was presented by the senior class officers as well as senior class advisor Patricia Tutko.