BY KATHRYN BASSETT
WATERLOO — Members of the DeKalb High School graduating class of 2014 were challenged to invest in others, to dream and to be open to new ideas during the school’s 47th annual commencement ceremony Sunday afternoon.
David Bruce offered the welcome, acknowledging the family, friends, teachers and administrators who had invested in him and his classmates.
“Mentoring has made a great difference in my life. I am who I am because of others who have invested in me,” Bruce said.
Bruce reflected on time spent with his uncle planting trees. During that time, Bruce said, his uncle taught him how to care for and nurture the land, as well as “watering, fertilizing and pruning” Bruce so he, too, could become a mentor.
Bruce challenged the adults in the audience, as well as the graduating class, to continue mentoring the next generation.
“It’s our time to begin investing in others,” Bruce said. “Every generation must invest in the next.”
Salutatorian Will Pierce used a scientific demonstration to illustrate the point of his address. Pierce shook a flask of clear liquid, causing it to turn blue.
“When we shake up our lives, we open our minds to new ideas,” Pierce said.
Valedictorian Sean Mentzer challenged his classmates to dare — dare to dream, dare to be independent thinkers, dare to act when others will not, dare to seek out the wrongs of the world and dare to question.
“Dare to change the lives of others, and through them, the world,” Mentzer said.
Codey Albers delivered the intention speech, noting the many differences in the individuals who made up the class of 2014. Albers noted the strength shown by the class when it came together to grieve the loss of two classmates. That strength will help members of the class when facing future hardships and loss, Albers added.
He encouraged his classmates to cherish each day and not take for granted any moment spent with friends and family.
Sydney Weghorst delivered the farewell, thanking parents, teachers and others who had helped the class arrive at the point of graduation, as well as fellow classmates.