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As 350 Fremont High School seniors gathered to celebrate the culmination of their high school careers on Saturday, some of their fellow classmates reminded the Class of 2019 that it’s not all about what you do, but about how you do it.

“It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you are passionate about it,” Avery Decker, one of several Class of 2019 students who spoke at the FHS graduation ceremony on Saturday, told her fellow classmates.

Along with providing a message of finding and pursuing your passion—whatever it may be—Decker also reminded her classmates that nothing that is worth pursuing will come without adversity.

“On the way to meeting our goals we are often confronted with many conflicts. Being able to handle adversity is what defines our character,” she said. “And resiliency is one of the best qualities a person can have in my opinion. The ability to face adversity time and again speaks volumes about the type of person you are the kind of person you will become.”

While every FHS student who graduated on Saturday will certainly have to face adversity as they move from high school into college and onto full-fledged adulthood, many already proved their mettle in the face of conflict as unexpected adversity struck the entire Fremont community in March.

As Edmund England told the crowd, when the historic March flood hit the community, many in the Class of 2019 showed the community what kind of people they already are.

During his commencement address, England shared his story of the first night that flooding hit Fremont earlier this year.

England and several classmates were at Trinity Lutheran Church, which had been turned into a shelter for those whose homes had been inundated with water earlier that day.

“I overheard the United Way director say that we may have to turn people away because she didn’t think there would be enough volunteers to open another shelter that night,” he said. “By this time the First Lutheran shelter was over capacity and Trinity was nearly full with more people coming in.”

But England knew what kind of people his classmate are, and knew they could be counted on when faced with adversity.

“I walked over to the director and said ma’am if we need to open another shelter we can get the volunteers,” he said.

When Salem Lutheran Church opened just a few hours later, many of the volunteers that staffed it were Fremont High School students.

“In the middle of the night, when people needed help, it was students—many of whom are in this room—who stepped up,” he said. “The next day I went back to help sandbag and I couldn’t tell you how many high school students I saw helping.”

And that trend continued throughout the first week following the flood, as England—and many of his classmates—continued to answer the call.

“It didn’t matter where I went to volunteer I was preceded by my fellow classmates eager to serve,” he said.

Following the addresses from Decker, England and fellow classmates Tate Moeller and Lexi Proskovec, Principal Scott Jensen awarded five graduating seniors selected by faculty to receive distinct honors.

Proskovec received the honor for “Best Girl Citizen” and Mitchell Glause was awarded “Best Boy Citizen.”

The citizen awards aim to honor students who embody “scholarship, exemplary conduct and assumption of citizenship responsibility,” Jensen said.

The award for “Best All-Around Girl” went to Annie Cooper, and “Best All-Around Boy” went to Tate Moeller.

The awards for Best All-Around Boy and Girl emphasize “scholarship and participation in a variety of activities,” Jensen said.

The last award, the “Honor Key Award” emphasizes “scholarship, loyalty, leadership and achievement,” Jensen said, and was awarded to Jacob Friedrich.

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