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CONESTOGA – Conestoga seniors made their final high school event a memorable one Saturday by earning diplomas in front of family and friends.

Members of the Class of 2019 took part in the district’s 41st commencement ceremony in the CHS gym. Forty-two graduates walked across the stage with their Conestoga degrees. The event also featured speeches, scholarship and academic recognition, a flower presentation ceremony and acknowledgement of foreign-exchange students.

Class valedictorian Cooper Moore and salutatorian Alex Lamoureux delivered commencement speeches. Both students earned many academic honors during their time at Conestoga. They also participated in a host of extracurricular activities.

Moore and Lamoureux joined fellow National Honor Society classmates Jacob Drake, Carson Henderson, Buck Welch, Jessica Williams, Morgan Wurtele and Riley Zimmerman at the ceremony. All eight Cougars excelled in many academic areas. They also took part in community-service projects and represented the school in fine arts, sports and conference-wide events.

Conestoga Guidance Counselor Laurel Kreifels honored students who had earned scholarships during the ceremony. The crowd also recognized two foreign-exchange students who sat in Conestoga classrooms in 2018-19. Rukhshona Ghanieva and Olena Vuzka enrolled at CHS last fall and absorbed both academic and cultural knowledge this past year.

Conestoga Junior/Senior High School Principal David Friedli read names of the 42 students as they accepted their diplomas. He shared future plans of each graduate and told the audience every student would make a positive difference in the world.

Friedli will be retiring from Conestoga at the end of the school year. School board members gave him individual hugs and handshakes after he concluded his closing remarks at the ceremony.

Students took a class photo on risers in front of the stage and then exited the gym with music playing in the background. They ended the ceremony by gathering on the school’s front lawn for photos and conversations.

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