Newell-Fonda Community Schools bade farewell to its beloved Principal Phil Casey who dedicated the last quarter century of his career to the school, 24 of those years as an administrator.
It was Casey's last graduation ceremony, but he was not alone in the pride shown for Newell-Fonda. There were no fewer than five valedictorians, all with perfect 4.0 grade point averages for their high school careers.
Valedictorians were Kristen Culp, Kristine Devereaux, Tim Seagren, Ruth Christiansen, and Lacey Koster. There were also two salutatorians, Kalee Kier and Destiny Sievers.
After 39 graduates made their way into the High-School gymnasium, there was a light-hearted video depicting all of the graduates at a somewhat tender age.
The high-school concert choir performed "Down the Road" by Ryan Rager, then Principal Casey presented scholastic awards. Superintendent Ron Day presented the five valedictorians. Following are excerpts from the valedictorians' address:
Ruth Christiansen: "But what constitutes a successful person? Not money, not fame, not influence or power, not even great accomplishments. True success is measured by strong inner character.
Kristen Culp: "Last but definitely not least I personally would like to thank every single classmate of mine from the class of 2005."
Kristine Devereaux: "The memories that we have made with our friends are those to cherish the rest of our lives."
Tim Seagren: "We have started in the right path, now we just need to finish the journey."
Lacey Koster: "There is also another important person who needs to be recognized for the time that he has invested in all of us. This person is Mr. Casey. Mr. Casey has not only been the principal of this school, but he has also been a friend to many here at Newell-Fonda."