Samantha Unger gives a tearful hug to her dad Don during graduation at Bergan High School Sunday afternoon.
By Nate Tullis
Most of them have spent the past six years together, but Archbishop Bergan's 1999 graduates took their first step in different directions Sunday.
Bergan President the Rev. Owen Korte and school board President Nick Herrman conferred 38 diplomas at Sunday's graduation ceremony. Family and friends gathered in the school's gymnasium to congratulate the class of 1999, which was the 48th class to graduate from Bergan.
"Everybody working together brought us to this day," Principal Don Cunningham said.
Bergan's top graduates this year were Valedictorian Christopher Shacklett and Salutatorian Nathan Sheets. Each spoke about their experiences at Bergan, remembering the years they've spent with their classmates.
"We gather once again in our Bergan gym," Sheets said. "We have come in here many times for prayer services, basketball games and sometimes just as a stop while we were wandering the halls. But today is the last time we will ever be in here together as a class. After today, many of us will go our own ways.
"Over the years, we have matured, made friendships and made memories. Today we'll be saying good-bye but we'll never have to say good-bye to the memories."
To help those attending see some of the memories, a slide show was presented, showing many of the graduates as tikes and again during high school.
Scholarships also were awarded Sunday to 56 percent the class. More than $129,000 in academic scholarships and more than $60,000 in athletic scholarships were received by the class. This fall, 34 of the graduates plan to attend either a four-year, community, or business/technical college. One plans to enlist in the U.S. armed forces.