Brainerd High School's graduation for the Class of 2000 went much smoother than last year's ceremony.
When the Class of 1999 graduated, a student mooned the audience and some spectators grew restless and walked onto Don Adamson Field during the ceremony.
Thursday's ceremony where 460 seniors received their diplomas was moved indoors to the high school gymnasium because of weather. With the precautions the district took to control the ceremony, the event went without a hitch.
"I am very happy with how things went," said Principal Steve Razidlo. "The kids did a nice job."
Razidlo and Superintendent Jerry Walseth both agreed the limited seating played a big role in controlling graduation. They issued six tickets per person.
"Last year there was a much bigger crowd," said Razidlo. During the ceremony, he asked everyone to remain seated. "We have professional photographers here, so we would appreciate your help out of respect to not take photos down on the floor."
The district also had police officers present. Seniors began bouncing a beach ball to each other during the "Battle of Jericho," performed by the A Cappella Choir. But a police officer took the ball away before anything got out of hand.
As the first class to graduate in the new millennium, eyes have been upon this class for the past dozen years. Now, the class is ready for a new journey.
"Your positive influences and lessons in what is right and what is wrong have been priceless in our quest for reaching the next step of our lives," Adam Hahn, class president, said during his speech.
Sarah Benson, who finished first in her class academically, also spoke and said she had trouble writing her speech because everything she wanted to say has been said before.
"I grew dismayed at the thought that the human race has progressed so little that the same advice has as much merit now as it did when it was first given, millenniums ago," she said. "It reassures us that everyone is experiencing life for the first time, no matter how many generations lie before them."
The Class of 2000 and staff wore yellow ribbons in memory of classmates who have died, including Kevin Hansen, Krisjana Hartje, Maggie Reynolds and Danny Wheeler.
"Even though Kevin, Krisjana, Maggie and Danny are not here wearing a royal blue cap and gown, they are walking along with us into the next chapter of our lives," said Molly Zauhar. "We will miss them, we will remember them and we will always love them, but most of all we thank them for touching our lives."
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