The Newman Grove FFA chapter held its annual banquet and labor auction on Friday, May 4th. The banquet started with opening ceremonies conducted by the 2017-2018 officer team. After opening ceremonies the officers, FFA members, family, and special guests had a potluck meal and pork loin sandwiches (donated by Farmers Coop of Lindsay). The meal was followed by awards and special recognitions for the year. Junior high students that were awarded the Discovery Degree included Addison Donelson, Kevin Haase, Lucas Krueger, David Miller, Autumn Patzel, and Mara Ranslem. High school members earning their Greenhand Degree included Dylan Dohmen, Blair Korth, Cole Priester, and Khaidence Schlee. Khaidence Schlee was awarded the Star Greenhand Award for her outstanding performance as a freshman member. Members earning their Chapter Degree included Mariah Dubas, Evelyn Estrada, McKenna Haase, Leighann Miller, Abigail Pohlen, Andrea Stock, Kayla Sueper, and Preston Sueper. The Start Chapter Farmer Award was awarded to McKenna Haase for her outstanding SAE and chapter involvement. The Outstanding FFA Member and Dekalb Accomplishment award was given to Abbie Pieke. The Top Fundraising Salesman award was given to Leah Lindhorst. Senior FFA members that retired their FFA jackets included Dylan Bagley, Evelyn Estrada-Gonzalez, Bryton Fowlkes, Levi Krueger, Leah Lindhorst, Cody Nelson, Payton Nelson, Abbie Pieke, Connor Rankin, Caden Ranslem, Andrea Stock, Rebecca Stone, and Kayla Sueper. The 2017-2018 officer team retired their position and the 2018-2019 officer team was announced. Those serving as officers this year will be Student Advisor/Student Council Rep. – Abby Pohlen, Historian – Mariah Dubas, Parliamentarian – Preston Sueper, Sentinel – Leighann Miller, Reporter – Cheyenne Cleland, Treasurer – Sarah Johnson, Secretary – Tyson Haddix, Vice President – McKenna Haase, and President – Brady Sokol. After closing ceremonies, the annual labor auction was held with Mark Stock as the auctioneer. The Newman Grove FFA chapter is extremely appreciative of those that supported the chapter by purchasing individuals at the labor auction to help raise money for leadership workshops and conventions throughout the year!
Saturday May 12, 2018 marked the 120th Commencement Ceremony of Newman Grove Public Schools. Fifteen young women and men made up the graduating class of 2018. The total number of students who have graduated from Newman Grove has now reached 3,581.
The students were led in procession by the Junior Class Honor Escorts Sarah Johnson and Tyson Haddix. "Pomp and Circumstance", the traditional graduation processional, was played by Mrs. Tami Texley, music instructor at Newman Grove. The class colors were blue and white, the class flower the sunflower, and the class motto "Follow your dreams but always know the road that leads you home!” by Tim McGraw.
Superintendent Mikal Shalikow provided a welcome address. Abbie Pieke, the class President, provided a comical summation of each of her classmates and a review of their class history. Caden Ranslem gave the Salutatorian address. He thanked each of the staff members, parents, and classmates for all they have done for them and how it made them who they are.
Mr. Matt Rudloff, the school's Guidance Counselor, presented scholarship awards, and recognized individual students for their achievements. Students who maintained an "A" average throughout high school were Evelyn Estrada-Gonzalez, Cody Nelson, Payton Nelson and Caden Ranslem. National Honor Society Members were Dylan Bagley, Evelyn Estrada-Gonzalez, Levi Krueger, Cody Nelson, Payton Nelson, Caden Ranslem and Rebecca Stone. The Valedictorian of the class Evelyn Estrada-Gonzalez and the Salutatorian, Caden Ranslem were given awards. A total of 83 scholarships, with a value of $191,696 were presented to 14 students.
Evelyn Estrada-Gonzalez gave the Valedictorian address. She explained how she would like her classmates to ask themselves five questions and how those questions can help them be smart, kind, and hard working individuals.
The Senior slide show was presented. This year’s show was prepared by Abbie Pieke and Rebecca Stone. The members of the class then made special presentations of flowers while the song "Five More Minutes" by Scotty McCreery was played.
Principal Darrell Barnes then presented the class to the President of the Board of Education, Mr. John Krueger. After the students received their diplomas, they recessed from the gym to music by Green Day - "Good Riddance”.