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Meet the graduation speakers for 2011

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news Hastings, 55033
Hastings Star Gazette
651-437-5911 customer support
Hastings Minnesota 745 Spiral Boulevard 55033

Allie Marshall, Mackenzie Lucas, Daniel Green, and Courtney Boucher want to talk one more time with their fellow Hastings High School grads, families and friends.

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And they will get that chance at this year's commencement ceremony, set for Friday, June 3. The four are the commencement speakers. They were selected after an audition process which was open to all graduating seniors.

Boucher liked the idea of graduates giving the commencement speeches and is a friend of Jordy Klimek, one of last year's speakers.

"I think it offers all classmates the opportunity to connect with the speakers," said Boucher. "It makes it more real."

Her speech will be about the deeper meaning of high school, said Boucher, "the purpose for life."

She, her mother and father had talked about her speech and what to present at graduation.

Green likes public speaking and has enjoyed being in drama productions during his high school years.

"I am very comfortable speaking in front of audiences," he said. "I always wanted to speak at graduation."

Graduating seniors should speak at their commencement, he said, "because they can connect with their peers. It means more," he said.

When asked, Green said his theme, at first, "was all over the place." But it has been narrowed down.

His topic is superheroes.

"That's the little bite I'll offer now," said Green.

There is some comedy in the speech and a few other topics, but it does go back to the theme, he said.

Lucas began thinking about being a commencement speaker at the beginning of the year, but she had no ideas for a topic. She talked to her parents, but was not too enthusiastic about their ideas.

She then talked to her yearbook advisor ,who offered some ideas. Then, it was back to her mother, who had recently read Katie Couric's book, "The Best Advice I Ever Received." She thoroughly enjoyed the book, but still, the ideas did not come.

"A week passed and then one morning I got up, just starting writing," said Lucas. After a break she went back to the speech and finished it.

Her topic is "Failure," which she admits does not sound too uplifting. She quickly added that in achieving the successes, the failures do play a part.

Speaking at graduation has been one of her high school goals, said Marshall, who will give the welcome.

"I love public speaking; I get a thrill from it," said Marshall. "It is the writing part that I have a hard time with."

Initially, she did not tell her parents she was going to audition. One night she started to write the speech. She liked what she wrote and thought that maybe she had a chance. After her selection, she told her parents.

Her topic is a recap of what her life has been like until the present.

"It's now our turn," she said.

The speech has been modified slightly to reflect that it is the welcome for the evening.

Marshall is the daughter of David and Nickie Marshall. She is the older sister to twin sister and brother, Jordan and Jacob. During high school, Marshall has been on the A honor roll, a member of the Excel program for four years, the color guard (she was captain during her junior and senior years, the National Honor Society , French Honor Society, show choir for four years and the Riverside Company this year. This fall she will attend Viterbo University in La Crosse. She hopes to be a first-grade teacher.

Lucas is the daughter of Jeff and Lynn Lucas and the older sister to brother Mitchell. During high school, she has been an Excel member and an honor roll student. She has been involved in Link Crew, Youth Planning Council, Minnesota Youth Council, French Honor Society and the yearbook staff. This fall she will attend the University of North Dakota where she plans to major in social work.

Green is the son of James and Karla Green and younger brother to David, who graduated three years ago from Hastings High School. Green has been active in jazz band, show choir, solo ensemble, Knowledge Bowl, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Spanish Honor Society, National Honor Society, Drama Club and varsity soccer. He was nominated for Boys' State and has been in the Top Ten academically all four years. He was the lead actor in several drama productions. Next year he will attend St. John's University to major in theatre and psychology. He then plans to attend law school.

Boucher is the daughter of Ron and JoAnn Boucher and sister of Colin. She is a three-year letter winner on the girls varsity soccer team and a five-time letter winner on the girls varsity hockey team. She was captain in both sports. She is president of National Honor Society and is a member of the Spanish Honor Society, Link Crew, Captains Council, Dombeck's 4th Hour POC class, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. This fall she will attend Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.

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Jane Lightbourn
(651) 319-4503
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