District 203 seniors get their final sendoff, as they celebrate graduation

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On Sunday, May 21, seniors from Naperville School District 203 walked the stage at the district’s graduation ceremonies. Commencements were held at both Naperville North and Naperville Central high schools, at the school stadiums.

Heartfelt sendoff to the graduates

The traditional rite of passage was met with a heartfelt sendoff from school officials.

“So as I enter the doors at North tomorrow, the changes in the landscape without you here will be profound. Yet I know you are going on to bigger and better things, making all of us stand a little taller and prouder as Huskies,” said Stephanie Posey, principal of Naperville North High School.

1,200 D203 seniors mark graduation

More than 1,200 District 203 seniors took part in the commencement, wrapping up their high school careers.

“We cannot predict the next lines of our story. We cannot skip to the end of the next chapter. But we can remember all of our quests, including the one here at NCHS. Wherever our next lines are set, we walk on the learning curve, expand our journey, and start new quests,” said Emmery Clements, who delivered the opening reflection at Naperville Central.

Commencement speaker at Naperville North, Joanna Cho, reflected on how quickly this moment had come.

“We’ve grown up so fast. I feel like my life flashed before my eyes when I put on my cap and gown because there are millions of memories rooted in this moment, countless stems of highs, lows, disappointments and successes. Of course, there is no growth without rainy days, from the pandemic to losses to stress and to struggles that nobody else will ever know. But we are here, and we have made it through each and every season, blooming with every experience,” said Cho.

Finding their future

As family and friends looked on, students shared one last ceremony together, with an eye toward the future.

“After high school, we might be lost for a little bit. Instead of being cooped up in the same building with the same people, we’re in charge of making our futures our own. And that’s the scary part. We don’t know what culture we’ll find ourselves in. But finding a culture, finding a place where you belong, is something we’ve been doing for the past four years,” said Imann Niazi, who gave the honor speech at Naperville Central.

With an enthusiastic cheer, and ceremonial tossing of the hats, the graduates closed the event, ready to take their next steps forward.

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