Hats off to ’22

Graduation highlighted by active student roles


Celebrating its first full year back in-person, the class of 2022 was able to throw their caps in the air together.

With a new limitless guest amount compared to the previous year, families and friends gathered at Park’s stadium to commemorate the achievements of the graduating class June 7. 

Surrounded by a community of people she has connected with throughout the years, senior Ada Turman said the moment felt very surreal. 

“I saw all my friends, we got in line to walk up, I sat down in my chair and I wasn’t processing it,” Turman said. “But we made it and I am very happy.”

After joining the high school staff this spring, assistant principal Derek Wennerberg said being able to help manage the ceremony was a memorable contribution. 

“It was a new experience being on the running side instead of just coming to graduation, but it was fun to see and support the students and help them graduate, and I just loved the environment,” Wennerberg said. 

Walking alongside the 358 graduating seniors, art teacher Martha Ortman said that failing is something all seniors had to learn over the course of their time at Park, and said she hopes they learn from these experiences onwards. 

“It was cool seeing that they actually applied themselves and have a future ahead of themselves,” Ortman said. “They know that they can use their education and get someplace with it, and realize even if they fail at something sometimes they can apply that to their learning experience and succeed in the future.”

This year, Park had student speakers and emcee’s, which Wennerberg said greatly contributed to the vibrant atmosphere. 

“It was spectacular. It was just great to see them up there having fun and being part of that,” Wennerberg said. 

This positive atmosphere contributed to the success of the evening, according to Ortman. 

“Kids were really happy to graduate — just overall the feeling was positive which was really cool,” Ortman said. 

For senior Sophie Davis, this moment was bittersweet — but she said she will look back on her time at Park with fond memories. 

“It feels really good,” Davis said. “(Best part) was being done singing the Hannah Montana song, (but i’ll miss) seeing all my friends everyday.”