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  • Fairbury News staff

Grads enter new chapter




PCHS graduates listen to Principal Brad Allen at Saturday's ceremony.

A little rainfall didn’t stop Prairie Central High School from holding its 2021 commencement outdoors on Saturday afternoon.


The cloudy skies and sprinkles at the start of the ceremony gave way to a bright, sunny sky as graduates walked across the outdoor stage to receive their diplomas on the PCHS football field. This was the first time the ceremony was held outdoors.


“It’s just one more thing that will make your class unique,” PC Superintendent Paula Crane told the graduates.


Principal Brad Allen told the seniors if it was their wedding day, the rain would be good luck. He acknowledged the guidance of district leaders and staff during such a difficult year.


“Today we are celebrating an amazing group of seniors,” Allen said.


Crane noted the large outdoor crowd filling the bleachers and part of the football field to watch the ceremony is a good reminder for how supportive the community is. She told the graduates the day is all about them and that the district is proud of their accomplishments.


“We are extremely proud of you.”


During his address to the graduating class, Board of Education president Mark Slagel told the students they stayed afloat during a tough year and rose above it all despite challenges.


“You are a remarkable group of young adults,” said Slagel. “Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from reaching your dreams.”


This year’s valedictorian is Marissa Lanz and the salutatorian, Ashlyn Kratochvil. Both addressed their classmates and the audience. Senior class president Katelind Winterland gave a response toward the end of the ceremony.


Guides included Irene Wilken and Nathan Plenert. Users were Laura Schaffer, Andrew Slagel, Garrett Platz, Derek Dotterer, Kara Fehr, Koryn Fehr and Katie Curl.


Seating on the football bleachers was reserved for those with tickets. Others from the community brought lawn chairs the blankets to watch the ceremony from the field.

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