Sherrard had 97 complete their studies Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter
Emily Nice and Alex Felt were a tag team giving the co-valedictorian speech at Sherrard High School's commencement Sunday, May 29, 2011.

The 97 Sherrard High School 2011 graduating seniors, plus faculty and guests were reminded of life's sometimes tenuous thread on Sunday, May 29, 2011. It was noted in the commencement program -- Dylan Hofmann, a student of the Class of 2011 was unable to make the commencement ceremony, due to a fatal accident during his senior year. Flowers on the  pedestal next to the diplomas were placed in memory of Hofmann.

Somehow the speeches given by the class co-valedictorians Alex Felt and Emily Nice, touched on the class' closeness, perhaps cemented by this tragedy. The pair stood together during their speech, reminiscing about their years together, friendships, tears and joys through the years.

Felt started off with a joke about the purple and orange robes his classmates wore, correcting himself and calling them purple and gold.

They came together to encourage their fellow classmates to remember their high school years and friendships and to thank their parents, teachers and friends.

A few graduates joined with the band and choir for one last engagement. The chorus sang "Proud" by Greg Gilpin, giving the message "What have you done today to make me feel proud?"

The band's performance of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" (arranged by James Ployhar) was outstanding.

Giving graduates a senior address was former Sherrard graduate (Class of 1987) Dan Steele. Steele is the track and field and cross country coach at University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Rapids. Introducing Steele was Jackie Kelly, high school assistant principal. She said Steele is also "an Olympian Bronze Medal winner" in bobsled.