• Roger Sims, Journal Staff

Prairie View seniors graduate in wind-swept commencement

One of five valedictorians, Kinley Baker, center, addresses the crowd as Jessica Petric, from left, Principal Joseph Hornback, Hallie Snyder and Miranda Williams stand behind her. Petric, Snyder and Williams along with Caitlyn Ingram were named valedictorians as well. (Photos by Roger Sims, Linn County Journal)

A strong northerly wind on Sunday sent mortar-board caps flying even before the Prairie View High School Class of 2022 had been officially certified. Sashes and cords signifying honors earned were hard to keep in place, and the five valedictorians and two salutatorians on the stage fought to keep their carefully groomed hair under control.

Despite that, however, the sun was out and the temperature was mild as family, friends and well-wishers filled the bleachers of the school’s football stadium to see 82 seniors receive their diplomas.

Walking single file into the stadium to the sounds of the underclassmen in the band playing “Pomp and Circumstance,” the seniors followed a group of the school’s teachers who took their seats behind the graduating seniors.

Following some opening remarks by Superintendent Rex Bollinger and Principal Joseph Hornback, seniors Braxton Stainbrook and Kyle Waterman were given the senior Citizenship Award.

The five valedictorians – Kinley Baker, Caitlin Ingram, Jessica Petric, Hallie Snyder and Miranda Williams – were introduced along with salutatorians Jenna Herrstrom and Julia Paisley. Following speeches by those young women, the task of passing out diplomas was begun by staff members including assistant principal Mark Hough and school board members Brad Heide and Russell Pope.

This time without the help of the wind, the newly minted Prairie View graduates let their mortar-board caps fly.

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