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News from the week of May 23, 2001 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

2001 graduation

Sunday commencement marks new beginning for 94 seniors

A new beginning looms for the Class of 2001 at Tracy Area High School.

Commencement ceremonies for the 94 seniors unfold Sunday afternoon in the high school gym. The program begins at 2 p.m. The public is invited.

Alison Tanghe, Brady Schmidt, and James Holter are the senior class speakers. Kim Bornitz will give the class welcome. Andy Fraser will give the farewell.

Eighteen seniors are graduating with honors, having achieved at least a 3.67 (on a 4.0 scale) cumulative grade-point average in grades 9-12.

The honor students, who will wear gold honor cords and tassels for the ceremony, are: Kim Bornitz, Andy Fraser, Ben Gervais, Carin Gervais, James Holter, Kayla Hosier, Amanda Labat, Jennifer Laleman, Katie Louwagie, Abby Miller, Jacob Sanders, Katie Scharfe, Brady Schmidt, Leah Schmidt, Lisa Soupir, Alison Tanghe, Kelly Warner, Nicole Wilking.

The Class of 2001—the school's first graduates of the 21st Century—includes two AFS foreign exchange students from Germany, Michael Kehrer and Miray Demir. Eight of the seniors attended Balaton High School last year. (Balaton Public Schools, for the first time this year, has a tuitioning agreement with District 417 for its students in grades 9-12).

Highlights from Sunday's commencement ceremony include:

• “Pomp & Circumstance” processional performed by the high school band.

• “Irish Farewell” and “Friends” sung by the senior choir.

• “Top Gun” performed by the high school band.

• Announcement of class valedictorian and class salutatorian by Supt. Rick Clark.

• Presentation of class by Principal John Rokke.

• Presentation of diplomas by Dan Zimansky, District 417 school board chairman.

Immediately following the ceremony, the class will form a receiving line outside the school's north doors.

Jean Miller: `School is what I've lived for'

Veteran Tracy teacher Jean Miller has mixed feelings about her upcoming retirement. She says she wasn't in any hurry to retire.

“I love coming to school, but it's time,” says Miller, who has taught for 47 years.

Miller began her teaching career in 1954 in Belle Plaine, where she taught for one year. She then spent five years teaching in Arlington and one year in Marshall before getting married.

After getting married, she taught for one year in Butterfield-Odin and one year in Balaton before coming to Tracy, where she has spent 38 years of her teaching career.

Early in her teaching career at Tracy, Miller attended her first retirement party for a fellow teacher. At that party, she saw that teacher receive the gold bell that is given to Tracy's retiring teachers. Miller decided that, someday, she would also receive that bell.

Tracy Special Olympics prove extra special

130 participate in Lions-sponsored event

The 2001 Area Special Olympics were held in Tracy on Saturday May, 19 with about 130 athletes participating.

This year's Special Olympics were to be hosted by Jackson but a problem with their track surface prevented it from being held there. The Tracy Lions Club stepped into the breech, took over the job and did a magnificent job of putting it on and will host the 2002 event as well. LeRoy Johnson and Bob Giebner co-chaired the event.

"We had many volunteers to help and they all did their jobs well," said Giebner.

An interesting sidelight to the event was that, of the many balloons released in the opening ceremonies, one found its way to Tomah, Wisconsin.

"A man in Tomah, Wisconsin called me with the information that his granddaughter was playing in the yard at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday when she found a balloon with something inside that rattled," said Giebner. "When he opened the balloon he found that it had been released here and called me."

Lesewski will deliver Memorial Day keynote

District 21 Senator Arlene Lesewski is the keynote speaker for a Memorial Day program in Tracy Monday.

The program, which pays homage to American servicemen who died in the military service, begins at 9:30 a.m. The public is invited. “Remember the Dead by Helping the Living” is the program's theme.

Highlights of the Memorial Day program include:

• Presentation of Colors by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 871 and American Legion Post 173.

• Escort Gold Star Mother by Muriel Reinert, legion auxiliary president.

• National Anthem by Tracy Area High School band.

• Pledge of Allegiance by VFW Commander Warner Lessman.

• Invocation VFW & Legion Chaplain Ernie Surprenant.

• Remarks by Master of Ceremonies Bernie Holm.

• Welcome by Tracy Mayor Claire Hannasch.

• Selection by band.

• Memorial Day address by Sen. Lesewski.

• Benediction by Surprenant.

• Retirement of Colors.

• Placing of wreaths memorial wreaths for servicemen by Lessman and Holm.

• Playing of “Taps.”

Senior awards night

Straight-shooting students complete gun safety course

Seventeen Tracy students completed a firearms safety course at the Red River Sportsmen's Club Saturday.

The state-approved course is required for students to qualify for a hunting permit. Students needed to be at least 12-years-old by Sept. 1 to take the course.

Those successfully completing the course are: Chad Cooreman, Cody Schons, Celia Brockway, Casey Polzine, Rebekah Zens, Levi Miller, Timothy Jacob, Michael Lenerta, Nathon Jacob, Blaine Edwards, Patrick Van Nevel, Kyle McIntire, Dan Dieter, Matthew Dieter, Daniel Malmberg, Matthew Schons, Brady Jackson.

Curriculum included hunting heritage, marksmanship and safety fundamentals, equipment, hunter responsibility, wildlife conservation and identification, specialty hunting, first aid, water safety, hunting dogs and trapping.