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  • Fairbury News staff

PC holds 2023 commencement

(Valedictorian Twyla Meiss addresses the Class of 2023 Friday night in Fairbury)

Messages of thanks, remembrance and hope were shared during the 2023 Prairie Central High School graduation ceremony Friday evening on the PCHS football field in Fairbury.

Principal Wade Czerwonka welcomed everyone to the annual commencement and thanked all of those who made the night possible, such as the school board, superintendent and staff.

Superintendent Paula Crane told graduates their years at Prairie Central have prepared them well for what they are about to come upon.

“Today, you celebrate a milestone that brings you to a crossroads,” said Crane.

Czerwonka then presented various recognitions. Landen Hoffman was acknowledged for his military service. He is in the Armed Forces, actively serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Illinois State Scholars include Sofia Cavazos, Tyler Farrell, Drew Fehr, Grant Fogarty, Alexandria Hari, Lauren Hoselton, Molleigh Leman, Twyla Meiss, Ben Rhoda and Brenna Wells.

Salutatorian Ben Rhoda recalled developing strong friendships and gaining an education beyond the classroom. Rhoda, like other speakers during the evening, remembered the memories of classmates Drew Fehr and Dylan Bazzell.

“We will always hold their memories in our hearts,” Rhoda said.

The remaining top ten students were then recognized, including Grant Fogarty, Drew Fehr, Lauren Hoselton, Kylie Zimmerman, Katie Haas, Haley O’Brien, Carla Kilgus, Alexandria Hari, Tyler Hartman and Twyla Meiss.

Valedictorian Twyla Meiss explained how losing two special members of the class reminds us all how precious life really is.

“Every moment is an opportunity to lend a hand,” noted Meiss.

She emphasized the importance of the “little things” and valuing the moments we have.

“To all of my classmates, I just want to say thank you.”

Senior class president Mariya Sisco provided the official farewell address, congratulating her fellow classmates. She feels graduation is a time to celebrate memories and look to the future.

“We made it,” Sisco said. “This is a big step in all of our lives.”

Sisco had a special tribute to her two late classmates, Dylan and Drew.

“Thank you for making high school fun.”

Sisco said the memories will always be remembered and the two boys will forever have a special place in all of our hearts.

“You’ll forever be known as a Hawk,” she concluded.

The PCHS band, under the direction of Brendan Vincent, provided the processional and recessional. The National Anthem was played at the start of the night and the PC school song was performed at the end.

Bleachers on the football field were filled to capacity and onlookers were seen standing near the fence on both sides of the bleachers.

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