On Wednesday, June 9, the 68th graduating class of Minnetonka High School celebrated its commencement at US Bank Stadium.
The program opened with “Pomp and Circumstance” as played by the MHS band and orchestra, followed by a greeting from student emcees Anna Tammearu and Calista Smith. The band and orchestra then played the national anthem.
Superintendent Dr. Dennis Peterson welcomed graduates and their families, applauding the Class of 2021 graduates for their flexibility and tenacity throughout the challenges of this year and congratulating them on the outstanding academic achievements and extracurricular accomplishments they achieved despite the obstacles the year presented. “We have had many important events and recognitions throughout this year, but this program tonight is our most important event,” Dr. Peterson shared in his address. “Graduates, this program today is your victory, this is your achievement. Tonight, we celebrate each of you.”
The audience enjoyed live musical performances of the song “Home” by Phillip Phillips—presented by seniors Andrea Lopezmalo, Emilie Wizbowski, Owen Murphy, Gabe Smerillo, Annalise Johnson, Owen Finch and Ian Stine—and an a cappella rendition of “Yesterday” by the Beatles sung by Eli Hooker Reese, Jason Kizilos, Truman Klein and Gabe Smerillo.
The Class of 2021 then heard remarks from student speaker Peyton Crest and student-chosen faculty speaker Cheryl Duncan. Both Crest and Duncan commended the Class of 2021 for its resilience and encouraged the graduates to continue to learn, grow and work toward the greater good.
The symphony orchestra, wind ensemble and concert choir then joined together to perform a rendition of “I Dreamed A World” by Andre J. Thomas, featuring the words of Langston Hughes.
Before MHS Principal Jeff Erickson formally recommended the class for graduation, he shared parting words with students and families and encouraged students to continue to prioritize relationships and to practice gratitude and generosity throughout their lives.
“We need your passion, kindness, humor, spirit, care for others and respect to make our community strong,” Erickson shared. “I am grateful for every moment we’ve had together, and I could not be more proud of you.”
Congratulations, Class of 2021! Event photos from the graduation ceremony are available here; more will be added in the coming days. A recorded livestream of the full commencement program is available here.