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Congrats, grads: Hastings High School celebrates commencement

Alexis VanVossen gives the first of three student speeches using the Hastings bridge as a symbol/metaphor for HHS and the community. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 9
Gabrielle Novak gives a passionate speech about the good and bad memories of high school and the need for all the graduates to go out and make memorable moments and relationships. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 9
Jacob Streeter gives the last student speech about the impact the class of 2017 has made and needs to continue to make. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 9
Eight students are honored for achieving 4.0 GPAs through all four years. Pictured, from left to right, are Daniel Williams, Marinna Smallidge, Aaron McCullough, Emily Johnson, Hannah Hornbuckle, Jacob Brown, Noah Brenny and Michaela Becker. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 9
Retiring choral director Lin Warren leads the class of 2017 onto Todd Field at the start of commencement. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 9
Lin Warren stands and is recognized for his 33 years of service to HHS. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia6 / 9
Lin Warren leads an HHS choir for the last time as a select choir of HHS seniors perform two songs. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia7 / 9
Graduate Becca Francis delivers the student welcome as members of the Board of Education listens behind her at the start of the ceremony. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia8 / 9
The class of 2017 tosses their caps in jubilation as they are dismissed. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia9 / 9

The Hastings High School class of 2017 celebrated its commencement on a beautiful night Friday, June 9

McNamara Stadium at Todd Field was full as over 300 members of the class of 2017 graduated and move on to the next stage of their lives.

Becca Francis delivered the welcoming address and compared her and her classmates' high school experience to an ever-evolving work of art that is now a masterpiece.

Alexis VanVossen, Gabrielle Novak and Jacob Streeter all gave speeches.

VanVossen used the Hastings bridge as a symbol and metaphor for HHS and the community, while reiterating the mantra "be great!"

Novak reflected on memories of their four years in high school, both good and bad, while emphasizing that going forward the class of 2017 make memorable moments and relationships. Streeter talked about how their class has impacted Hastings and the need for his fellow graduates to continue to "put a ding wherever they go," referencing the quote by Steve Jobs.

Eight students were recognized for achieving highest honors (a 4.0 GPA over four years), 20 for high honors (a 3.935 GPA or better) and 14 who graduated with honors (a 3.867 GPA over four years).

The ceremony also served as a goodbye to retiring HHS choral director Lin Warren, who has held the post for the past 33 years. Warren oversaw Hastings choirs and developed one of the most successful show choirs in the country. Warren led the class of 2017 onto Todd Field.

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a RiverTown Multimedia sports reporter covering Hastings, Farmington and Rosemount athletics. He graduated from Drake University with a journalism degree in 2014. 

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