Mariah Koster gathers classmates for a selfie before Kuemper graduation Sunday.
Mariah Koster gathers classmates for a selfie before Kuemper graduation Sunday.
May 12, 2014



Kuemper Catholic High School awarded diplomas to 83 graduates in the school's 60th annual commencement ceremonies Sunday afternoon.

Featured speakers were valedictorian Aly McDermott, daughter of Mike and Kristy McDermott, and salutatorian Karla Knobbe, daughter of Ken and Janice Knobbe.

McDermott told her fellow graduates that it's time for them to make hard and fast decisions about their future pursuits and not be afraid to make mistakes but learn from them.

"Graduates of the Class of 2014, now is our time to start living out our dreams," McDermott, who plans to attend the University of Iowa and study business, said.

Knobbe, too, said mistakes can be learning experiences, remarking, "and I hope our mistakes lead to our successes and that we all may make the world a little more interesting."

Knobbe, who will enter pre-pharmacy study at Drake University, said, "So I ask, what you aspire and hope for right now, make that happen in your life. Venture out into the world with the confidence to accomplish anything you have dreamed of. We today, have the choice of what we become tomorrow. You are the key to your success, and you are truly in control of your future."

Following are highlights of McDermott and Knobbe's speeches:



Aly McDermott, Valedictorian

When we were in kindergarten, our teachers would ask us what we wanted to be when we grew up. Our answers would be something along the lines of Superman, or Spider-Man, an astronaut, or maybe even a princess. As we grew older, they would ask us again. Our answers became a little bit more realistic such as a doctor, a nurse, a lawyer, a firefighter, a teacher, or maybe even president.

Now going into college, we don't get to guess anymore. Our teachers and parents expect a real answer.

But the truth is, who really knows? Now is not the time in our lives to make hard and fast decisions. Now is the time to make mistakes and learn from them. Take the wrong bus and get lost. Challenge yourself; Don't always try to take the easy way out.

J.K. Rowling once said, "It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default."

Try a new workout that isn't easy for you. Take classes that are going to challenge you. Don't be afraid to try something new. Make new friends, and join a new club. So that way when they ask us again, we won't have to guess what we want to be.

We'll know.

Graduates of the Class of 2014, now is our time to start living out our dreams.

Walt Disney once said, "All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them."

We are the future generation, and our time is now. The word commencement means to start or begin. So today, as we close this chapter in our lives we look forward to beginning a new one. All the memories we have made, and the lessons we have learned, we will use to guide us through our journey to wherever our dreams will take us. Congratulations, Class of 2014. We did it!



Karla Knobbe, Salutatorian

High School added a whole new meaning to the word stress. This is where we found our identity, formed amazing relationships and ultimately planned a future. These four years were just the start to the journey of the rest of our lives.

High school has given us the opportunity to make long-lasting friendships, some we may have for the rest of our life. It has instilled in us the skills to make an impression on society, while providing the foundation of our education for the years to come. When we leave here some of us may venture into the workforce, some to a college or university, and some will join to serve our country.

A quote from Friedrich Von Schiller goes, "Keep true to the dreams of your youth." So I ask, what you aspire and hope for right now, make that happen in your life. Venture out into the world with the confidence to accomplish anything you have dreamed of. We today, have the choice of what we become tomorrow. You are the key to your success, and you are truly in control of your future.

There is one thank you I have saved for the last of my speech to give, and that is a thank you to my Class of 2014. You have given me an amazing high school experience, one filled with laughter and fun all along the way. We have shared so many wonderful experiences together and have helped each other through the highs and lows of high school.

It's safe to say our class would not be the same without the very people sitting next to you. High school has truly made us become closer to one another, and through the four longest and shortest years of our lives, we have become a family.

I would just like to say good luck to the Class of 2014. As Neil Gaiman once said, "Now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious mistakes and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting from your being there."

Class of 2014, I would just like to say congratulations and I hope our mistakes lead to our successes, and that we may all make the world a little more interesting.