Another academic year is coming to an end and area schools are preparing for commencement exercises.

Approximately 800 high school seniors in Leavenworth County will graduate, marking the ceremonial end to their secondary educations.

“This time of year is filled with excitement and celebration, not only for our graduates but also for their family members, friends and teachers,” said Leavenworth Superintendent Mike Roth in an email. “Earning a high school diploma is an important educational milestone, and one that is quickly followed by a lifetime full of learning and personal growth opportunities.”

Some students will continue their formal education at the college level, while others enter the workforce. Still others may choose to enter into the military.

“Regardless of the path our students select, technical college, junior college, four-year university, military service or direct entry to the workforce, we are extremely proud of the hard work and accomplishments of the class of 2017,” Roth said.

Pleasant Ridge Principal Andy Metsker said graduates now have the opportunity to determine the next chapter of their lives.

“A few years ago, one of our graduation speakers quoted Dr. Seuss in her commencement speech,” said Metsker in an email. “The quote was, ‘You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.’ That quote is a valuable reminder every year at this time.”

Metsker said the students have been given the tools to be successful, regardless of the path they choose.

“I know you will continue to make us proud,” he said.

Seniors at Basehor-Linwood High School will be the first group to walk the graduation stage during their commencement at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

“We hope we have provided for (the students) an adequate base to fuel their passion for lifelong learning,” said BLHS Principal Jarred Fuhrman.

The University of Saint Mary will hold its graduation at 1 p.m. May 13 at McGilley Field House on campus.

Then at 5:30 p.m. at McGilley Field House, Immaculata Catholic School seniors will go through commencement exercises.

It will be a poignant ceremony as Immaculata is slated to close at the end of the spring semester. Catholic education has been a part of the city of Leavenworth since 1858 when the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth opened a grade school. The first graduating class at Catholic High School in Leavenworth was in 1913. The cornerstone of Immaculata Catholic School was laid in 1923.

Seniors at Leavenworth High School and Lansing High School will graduate May 20 at their respective schools.

The Lansing ceremony will be at 11 a.m. in the gymnasium while the Leavenworth ceremony will be at 6:30 p.m. at Pioneer Stadium.

“My hope is that (students) will continue to love learning, look for opportunities to grow and find excellence in all that (they) do,” said Lansing Superintendent Darrel Stufflebeam in an email.

Seniors at Pleasant Ridge High School will graduate at 2 p.m. May 21.

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