Graduation: Dan Carstens and Bryce Maurer give speech four years after speaking at their Wilson Middle School graduation

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By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN

EXETER – Dan Carstens and Bryce Maurer gave the high academic address during the Exeter Union High School’s graduation on Friday, June 1. Almost four years to the day after the same duo spoke during their promotion from Wilson Middle School. During that time, each of the speakers brought a different view point.

Carstens reminisced about the past four years. He brought to mind the freedom which high school offered. Atop his list was the ability for the students to go off campus for lunch. The ability to choose which classes to attend was another he and his classmates enjoyed. No matter how enjoyable the freedoms were the responsibility to learn was still there. Each of the 214 students put in 33,000 hours in order to receive their diplomas. Carstens mentioned the difficulty of running the mile, having assigned readings, and taking standardized tests.

“We can all look back at the mountain we had to climb with solidarity and pride,” Carstens said.

In contrast Maurer looked mostly to the future with one exception. The last time the two spoke Carstens promised to make apple juice out of lemons.

“I haven’t seen you do that yet,” Maurer said.

Maurer emphasized although the world they were entering was not perfect each and every student embodied something unique. For them they are the next generation of laborers, teachers, and influencers to the world. The challenge of becoming accustomed to new faces, places, and ideas is what tomorrow brought. Before ending she left her classmates with some advice from Will Ferrell.

“To those of you graduates sitting out there who have a pretty good idea of what you’d like to do with your life, congratulations,” Maurer said. “For many of you who maybe don’t have it all figured out, it’s okay. Enjoy the process of your search without succumbing to the pressure of the result.”

Members of the Exeter Union class of 2018 cheer on their classmates as they walk to receive their diplomas. Photo by Patrick Dillon.

Members of the Exeter Union class of 2018 cheer on their classmates as they walk to receive their diplomas. Photo by Patrick Dillon.

Over the course of four years they have achieved much. Associate Student Body President Kassi Stolz focused on many of their accomplishments. She saw firsthand one of the accomplishments when the Monarch volleyball team won the Division II Valley Championship. She was a setter for that team. It was one of two teams to bring home section titles. The other was the Monarchs softball team who had won it one week earlier

“The awesome class of 2018 athletes has collected so many medals, rings, patches and bling that our letterman jackets have almost became too heavy and noisy to wear to class,” Stolz said.

The athletes not only achieved on the playing fields, but in the classrooms as well. The average grade point average for varsity athletes was 3.23.

Athletes were not the only ones bringing home awards. The symphonic band and color guard received numerous awards. The Exeter chapter of Future Farmers of America agri-science team was named the 2018 California FFA State Champions.

They raised $500 for “Pennies for Patients,” more than $2,700 on Kids Day for Valley Children’s Hospital, and donated 60 pints of blood. 

When the student speakers walked onto campus for the first time four years ago they were joined by a new principal Bob Mayo. He took special privilege in highlighting some of the achievements of the class.

Combined they have earned over $200,000 in scholarships. They had 24 students earn lifetime memberships to the California Scholarship Federation. Twelve students were honored with the title of valedictorian with another 10 being named salutatorians.

“Inspire others to overcome obstacles and to truly make your tomorrow better than today because that is what I’ve seen you do,” Mayo said.

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