MVL graduates told to embrace their growth

MVL graduates file into the gymnasium to begin their commencement ceremony.

NEW ULM– Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School graduated 42 students on Sunday.

This group of seniors were in ninth grade when COVID-19 started. The changes it forced affected several parts of school. After a unique four years, they move forward to the next chapter of their lives.

Two students were invited to speak at the commencement ceremony.

Natalie Hennig was the first speaker. She talked about how far the class had come from freshman year and how much growing defined the class of 2023.

“The naivete that comes with being fourteen has been replaced with spiritual maturity, deeper thoughts and blooming wisdom.” Hennig said “It seems just yesterday, we were asking Mr. Nehls to open our lockers for us. Or we’re being brought together to discuss proper hygiene, which is code for we smelled. Look how far we’ve come.”

She ended her speech by reassuring her fellow grads their faith will be a rock through trying times. “It’s arguably certainly in the four years we’ve spent together, no matter what differences may have separated us, one thing has always remained the same.” Hennig said. “We share an incredible love for our Lord that has grown with us and has been cultivated to make us ready for this very moment.”

Gracen Lukasek recalled in her senior speech how COVID changed school.

“I don’t think any of us expected to be attending an online Phy Ed class.” Lukasek said. “Or watching videos of Mrs. Uher teaching in a southern accent while we sat in our pajamas at home. Thankfully, the season passed, and we learn to appreciate seeing each other’s faces again.”

Her speech’s theme compared the passing of seasons from winter to spring to the transition from school to graduation. To finish her speech, she emphasized the importance of change.

“Just like we need spring in order to continue the cycle of nature, we need graduation from high school to start our own journey.” Lukasek said “And whether that be joining the workforce, taking a gap year, or going to college. Whether you are sure about what you want to do for the rest of your life, or if you aren’t, God has a plan.”

Both Hennig and Lukasek finished their time by reciting the class verse, Jeremiah 1:19. “‘They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the Lord.”


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper?


Starting at $4.38/week.

Subscribe Today