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PHS celebrates the Class of 2020

Posted July 26, 2020

Plymouth High School celebrated the Class of 2020 with virtual Commencement Exercises on Sunday July 26.

The virtual ceremony featured a graduation video, with traditional components such as commencement addresses, an Alumni Hall of Fame induction announcement, and the reading of the names of those graduates who wished to participate.

The processional, with paired photos of graduates in their caps and gowns, was accompanied by archive audio of the PHS Band playing “Pomp and Circumstance.”

Grace Mooney, Student Council president, led the Pledge of Allegiance and announced the newest inductee into the PHS Alumni Hall of Fame: Chuck Schumacher, of the Class of 1969.

PHS Principal Jennifer Rauscher explained the school’s cum laude system and the different color stoles worn by students: orange for cum laude, silver for magna cum laude, and gold for summa cum laude, the highest recognition.

Dr. Rauscher introduced Class Exemplar Dallas Kreisa, chosen by a panel of adults to represent the Class of 2020 based on her stellar academic work, extensive extracurricular involvement, and leadership skills.

Dallas noted that while everyone in the Class of 2020 has had his or her own unique experiences, there is one experience they all have had together: “This spring caused changes for everyone and has taught us the biggest lesson of your high school careers: never to take a moment or opportunity for granted.”

She encouraged her classmates to run for that office, go out for that club or sport, join that organization, or take that class. “We never know what opportunities are waiting for us if we just put ourselves out there and try new things,” she said.

Dallas said she wanted to participate in the FFA Dairy Judging team, but was reluctant to put herself forward. Her mother encouraged her to get out of her comfort zone. “Looking back, the connections, skills and memories I made have been 100 percent worth it,” she said.

She urged her classmates to continue to live in the moment as they move on to school, work, training. “Don’t take your relationships for granted. Show others how much they are appreciated. Do everything like it could be your last. Learn from these experiences and show your heart. Don’t leave any regrets and, most of all, don’t take a moment for granted.”



The Senior Choir chose “See You Again” by Charlie Puth as the Senior Song.

Superintendent Carrie Dassow congratulated the graduates and thanked the families, teachers, staff, and community for their support of the students.

“I know this journey has been much different than you anticipated,” she said. “You have had many challenges to overcome. But I encourage you to hold onto your dreams and the things that you are passionate about.”

Whatever path graduates take forward, Dr. Dassow hopes the Plymouth School District has provided them with the knowledge, skills, confidence and courage to achieve their dreams and make the world a great place for all. “Because you have taken advantage of the excellent education the Plymouth community has provided you, your dreams will be achieved and your next journey will be one with many opportunities in which you are now ready to embark upon.”

The seniors chose Dan Lamb, social studies teacher and Student Council advisor, as their speaker. He noted that, like the graduates, he likes to plan things out.

“But this year has taught us that life throws us curveballs – world crises or outside developments, things that we have no control over,” he said. “They can foil our plans.”

He had three messages for the graduates:

  • Expect curveballs in life. He gave examples from history as well as his own life where things that didn’t go as expected. “This certainly won’t be the last outside shock that the world throws at you,” he said, pointing out that is why he emphasizes in his Personal Finance classes the need to have an emergency fund. “Life is a lot less stressful when you have $5,000 just collecting dust in your savings account,” he said. “You won’t earn much interest, but you’ll sleep a lot better at night.” 
  • Sometimes curveballs can turn into footnotes. He shared the story of his second-grade girlfriend and how he was devastated when she moved away – but now can’t even remember her last name. “A lot of crisis situations deteriorate into footnotes over time,” he said.
  • Sometimes good things happen as a result of curveballs. Offsite education has led him to develop many new technology skills, he said. Another good thing: His neighbor began selling homemade eggrolls when she was laid off due to the coronavirus. “That was the best thing that ever happened,” he said. “The best thing that ever happened.”

“So, in conclusion, 40 years from now you can do what I just did,” he said. “You can reminisce about all of your life’s curveballs. Some will be real curveballs, some will be footnotes, and some crises will have a silver lining. Covid-19 will be on your list in one of those three categories.”

After sharing the poem “Vocation Blessing” by Sister Ita Ford, Dr. Rauscher read the names of graduates, as slides with their senior portrait and future plans were displayed.

Kaitlynn Fischer, 2020 Class President, directed graduates to shift their tassels and gave the closing remarks. “Even though this school year started off strange with the construction at the high school, and ended unusually with online learning, I would like to remind everyone that just because the beginning of 2020 didn’t go according to plan, this doesn’t mean that we can’t make something amazing out of the end of 2020.”

The recessional featured photos of PHS bands with an audio recording of the school song.

Learn more:
• See a photo gallery of PHS grads in their graduation regalia.
• Read a profile about class exemplar Dallas Kreisa.
• Read about the $1.1 million in scholarships earned by the Class of 2020.
• Meet the 2020 Plymouth High School Academic Scholars.
• See a list of PHS graduates who will be serving in the military.
• Many PHS athletes will continue their sports careers in college.

Graduates earning Cum Laude status

Summa Cum Laude

Gold stoles

Jacob Ashworth
Kyle Kraus
Logan Manthey
Alexandar Oty
Grace Wynveen

Magna Cum Laude

Silver stoles

Sarah Birenbaum
Elise Bleck
Anna Brink
Kathryn Brinkman
Carolyn Britt
Connor Bruckner
Dylan Ernst
Katelynn Fisher
Ashlyn Fleck
Katelyn Heun
Chase Jasinski
Ethan Joseph
Sarah Klas
Carisa Kleinhans
Isaac Kraus
Dallas Kreisa
Grace Mooney
Alec Nicholson
Cammi Nicolaus
Jessica Norton
Jennifer Novotny
John Nugent
Benjamin Olsen
Cami Schroeder
Anna Seifert
Kalani Smith

Cum Laude

Orange stoles

Jana Ahlstrand
Jordyn Anderson
Nora Argall
Magdalene Berg
Kyle Bermke
Cole Booth
Courtney Casper
Madeline Haucke
Rosalia Johnson
Joshua Kesler
Ethan Lilyquist
Azure Maki
Isabella Mccabe
Alexis Meyer
Kinsey Ninnemann
Ava Schilder
Andrew Steinhardt
Claire Strehlow
Zachary Zeeveld

Plymouth High School Class of 2020

Jana Marie Ahlstrand
Benjamin Gordon Ahlswede
Jordyn Valerie Anderson
Banessa Garcia Angulo
Kennedy June Arbuckle
Nora Josephine Argall
Jacob Scott Ashworth
Tate William Back
Travis Matthew Barber
Magdalene Hazel Berg
Kyle Albert Bermke
Lauren Elizabeth Billmann
Sarah Mary Birenbaum
Elise Mae Bleck
James Freedom Boland
Kathryn Ruth Bonde
Cole Christopher Booth
Anna Rose Brink
Kathryn Mavis Brinkman
Aude Elise Brinkmann-Hornbogen
Carolyn Ruby Britt
Connor Scott Bruckner
Madison Rebekah Brunner
Brice Michael Burgard
Brett David Burkard
Teresa Leone Carbaugh
Courtney Nicole Casper
Blanca  Cervera-Barrado
Skyelar Chase Clark
Joshua Michael Christian Coley
Ethan David Curtiss
Bennet William Dale
Jared Michael Denzin
Cody James Dessloch
Angela Rose Eigenberger
Ethan Paul Eigenberger
Dylan Curtis Ernst
Zoe Marie Ertel
Kaitlynn Joy Fisher
Ashlyn Lee Fleck
Lauren Rae Flood
Ethan Eric Fontany
Lina Johanne Fossen
Alexandra Caroline Fosser
Ryan Andrew Frederickson
Carlee Ann Frick
Jerry Josef Georg
Alexandria Marie Gereau
Julia Rose Gocha
Luke Carson Goeser
Isaac Manuel Gonzales
Treyden Mitchell Gonzalez
Cooper John Gosse
Elizabeth Ann Gubitose
Samuel John Hafemann
Franzein Allen Ahadulla Halipa
Madeline Helen Haucke
Mason William Hellmer
Katelyn Mae Heun
Merel Fije Johanna Hollants
Alexis Lenora Holloway
DeShawn Jermaine Holloway
Jacob Hunter Honeck
Calen Robert Hughes
Riley James Huibregtse
Logan Davis Jaeger
Chase Lane Jasinski
Halen Geoffrey Johnson
Jadan Jenee Johnson
Lukas Alexander Johnson
Rosalia Caroline Johnson
Cheyanne Nicole Jones
Ethan Atienza Joseph
Reese James Justinger
Alesha Ann Kaat-Fohr
Gracie Mae Kasuboski
Arian Sebastian Keller
Jack Lee Keller
Lauren Elizabeth Kent
Joshua Mark Kesler
Sarah Jo Klas
Carisa Emily Kleinhans
Anthony Cyrus Knight
Isaac John Kohlman
Isaac Edward Kraus
Kali Rose Krause
Kyle Palmer Kraus
Dakota Ann Krebsbach
Dallas Cathleen Kreisa
Brianna Rose Krueger
Elizabeth Joan Krueger
Ian Herman Krueger
Jackson Daniel Krueger
Michael Alan Krusiec
Dalton Robert Jay LaPorte
Clayton James Lautenschlaeger
Carter Allen Lawrence
Logan Douglas Lee
Liam Alexander Loehr
Emma  Leone
Maxwell Earl Leynse
Ethan Jon Lilyquist
Maxwell John Ludington
Ashleigh Elizabeth Mahloch
Azure Danielle Maki
Logan Timothy Manthey
Caleb Eugene Marquardt
Dillon Alexander Marquardt
Katlyn Rose Marthenze
Isabella Kate McCabe
Luke Emmanuel McKinch
Reilly Peter McMullen
Isaiah Michael Mendenhall
Joseph Adam Mertes
Alexis Diana Meyer
Sandra Jo Meyer
Chance Oliver Miller
Jack Murphy Miller
Grace Elizabeth Mooney
Levi Anthony Mugan
Brianna Jo-Lee Mullins
Clayton Warren Neese
Mark Andrew Nehring
Mitchell James Nelson
Levi David Nemitz
Tanner Joseph Nett
Joseph William Nichols
Alec James Nicholson
Cammi Patia Nicolaus
Kinsey Carola Ninnemann
Payten Alexis Nischke
Haven Grace Norton
Jessica Anne Norton
Jennifer Faith Novotny
John Henry Nugent
Layton Patrick O'Neil
Luis Alfredo Olivares
Benjamin James Olsen
Alexander James Oty
Harley Daniel Pape
Kristy Leelynn Pelletier
Kiley Rae Petrie
Luca Maximilian Pfeffer
Morgan Marie Phipps
Brady Todd Pratt
Christina Marion Pringle
Emily Rose Przybilla
Aiden Edward Reilly
Maezie Violet Reilly
Roger Alfred Reilly
Vitoria Hudak Revytskyy
Elizabeth Christine Marie Riley
Tori Ann Robinson
Tristan Blaine Rourk
Amanda Jane Sager
Eli James Sanborn
Seth William Schaub
Ava Breann Schilder
Cami Anne Schroeder
Noah Robert Scudella
Anna Elizabeth Seifert
Jasmine Jo Seifert
Alexa Lyn Sheridan
Samuel Robert Shutter
Lauren Jessica Siemers
Kiara Brooke Smeltzer
Kalani Jean Leialoha Smith
Samantha Marie Solfest
Stephanie Marie Solfest
Andrew Chad Steinhardt
Lukas Robert Sternard
Natalie Kay Stewart
Claire Kathleen Strehlow
Celia  Tellenbach
Nicholas Lawrence Thomas
Jonathan Kenneth Rylee Thome
Matthew Aaron Timm
Gabrielle Nicole Tock
Isaiah Peter Torrison
Andrew James Van Norwick
Trenton Robert VanderSande
Nikolas Ramone Vega
Sarah Marie VonDerVellen
Ashley Donna Walcott
Austin Stuart Walker
Darrell  Walton
Jacey Kay Watson
Kevin Christopher Weisensel
Annamarie Bryce Welnetz
Carter Maxwell Wichert
Brian Donald Willis
Joel MacKinley Williams
Brynn Marie Wiltzius
Preston Alden Winter
Grace Marie Wynveen
Zachary Michael Zeeveld
Michael Anthony Zipperer Jr.