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Off to great places: Brandon-Evansville Class of 2019

The Brandon-Evansville Class of 2019 turn tassels after receiving the diplomas at Saturday's graduation ceremony. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press) 1 / 8
Christine Roers receives her diploma from David Anderson, Brandon-Evansville School Board chairman. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press) 2 / 8
Christopher Vinson (left) and Nickolas Zabroski, Brandon-Evansville seniors, walk into their graduation ceremony while Chandler Suchy waits her turn. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press) 3 / 8
Brandon-Evansville High School seniors Elijah Anderson and Brittney Blom walk into Saturday's graduation ceremony that was held at the Brandon School. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press) 4 / 8
Christina Kuismi, class valedictorian, addresses her class and audience members at the Brandon-Evansville High School graduation ceremony. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press) 5 / 8
While in the receiving line after the Class of 2019 graduation ceremony in Brandon-Evansville, Madison Quinn gives out a hug as Christina Kuismi (left) and Kerryn Lund stand by. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press) 6 / 8
Some students decorated their graduation caps like the one pictured here that reads "Let your faith be bigger than your fear." (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press) 7 / 8
Nicholas Zabroski shares a fist bump with high school math teacher Louisa Glenetske during the receiving line after Saturday's Brandon-Evansville graduation ceremony. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press) 8 / 8

While addressing those in attendance at the Brandon-Evansville graduation ceremony Saturday afternoon, Chandler Suchy said it was a bittersweet day as the Class of 2019 closed one chapter of its book and was getting ready to open the next. 

Suchy, the salutatorian of the class of 26 seniors, said she was beyond excited to see what the future would hold for her fellow classmates.

"No matter what, I am confident we will do great things," she said. 

Reciting the class motto, "Don't look back, you're not going that way," Suchy said it was time for the graduates to follow their dreams and not look back until their dreams become a reality. 

"Today we are off to great places, off and away," she said. 

Christina Kuismi, the class valedictorian, told her classmates that life was like a book and that each grade was a chapter in their book. She encouraged the Class of 2019 to make a list of chapters they want to write in their book. She said the list was like a bucket list of things they wanted to do, see, achieve. 

"Don't leave any of your pages empty," she said. 

Kuismi put out a challenge to her classmates, asking them to fill the pages of their book with good times with family and friends, telling them to value the people around them. She said to fill their books with lots of laughter and to celebrate and marvel at the things they accomplish. 

At the end of her speech, Kuismi shared a quote by Ernie Harwell, "It's time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad and I'd much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure."

Celeste Edenloff

Celeste is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. Besides writing articles for the Echo Press, she has a blog, “Newspaper Girl on the Run.” Celeste is on a continuous healthy living journey and loves to teach bootcamp fitness classes and run. She has participated in more than 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.

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