Dancing in the dark Bayfield's class of 2014 lights up graduation
After the senior slide show at Bayfield High School graduation on Sunday, the class of 2014 had a trick up their sleeves.
Their big graduation gown sleeves.
The near-graduates whipped out purple and gold glowsticks, then performed a choreographed dance in the darkened gymnasium. The purple and gold colors created waving ribbons of light as grads zigzagged around the gym floor.
The crowd roared its approval throughout, then applauded the performance at its culmination.
"That was awesome!" Superintendent Troy Zabel said as he accepted Principal Scott Story's presentation of the class, adding that the performance was now "my favorite thing at graduation."
Before the big dance, the class and audience members in a packed BHS gymnasium heard from Valedictorian Eva-Lou Edwards and Salutatorian Effie Nistler.
Edwards said she had watched some old home movies recently, and it struck her how much her family videos were also her class videos, stretching back to elementary school music performances. She said just seeing her classmates from years of movies made her realize how special it is growing up in a small town such as Bayfield.
Nistler discussed her classmates' odds of success. People have a one in 250 million chance of being struck on the head by a coconut, or a one in 300 million chance of being attacked by a shark, Nistler said.
"The odds are in our favor!" she told her classmates, referring to the class motto, "May the odds be ever in your favor," from the Hunger Games books and movies.
The commencement address was by Dianne Milner, a teacher at BHS, who advised the class to live life like - a snowglobe.
If you don't shake a snowglobe periodically, like your life, it can get a little boring.
If it's shaking all the time, it's just too much chaos, she admitted.
You can hold your snowglobe up in life, and sometimes, it will just sag down.
Milner said when her daughter Maddie died after a skiing collision, she felt completely defeated. But she read a quote that a loss doesn't define you, but your response to it does. She couldn't let her surviving two daughters lose their family, as well, so she had to keep moving forward.
"Life does get better, but you have to be proactive," she said. "If you want cool stuff in your lives, you have to work for it."
She urged the class to explore the world.
"It's a really big deal to watch you kids graduate," she said. "We love you and we will miss you."
After the glow-in-the-dark performance, graduates lined up, crossed the stage as their names were called, and received their diplomas.
Immediately after exiting the stage, new graduate Wyatt Williams pulled off his mortarboard and handed it to a relative, who handed him a cowboy hat, complete with purple tassel already hanging from it.
At the end of the ceremony, the graduates tossed their mortarboards into the air as a cannon sprayed confetti up and over the class.
It was a glowing conclusion to the 2014 commencement.