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Celebrating the Lakota Class of 2024

Celebrating the Lakota Class of 2024

As the school year drew to a close, Lakota’s Class of 2024 embraced the cherished traditions that have woven themselves into the fabric of the Lakota experience. From the solemnity of the Military Commitment Ceremony to the exuberance of the Parade of Graduates, and from the recognition of academic achievements to the camaraderie of senior picnics, every event marked a milestone in the journey of Lakota's graduates.

Last week, Lakota’s three high schools held their respective graduation ceremonies. On May 13, Lakota Central High School kicked off the festivities at Center Pointe Church, while Lakota West and Lakota East followed suit at Xavier's Cintas Center on May 15 and May 17, respectively.

Family and friends gathered to share this important milestone with Lakota’s 1,337 graduates. Students took the stage for much of the ceremonies, leading the Pledge of Allegiance, singing the "Star Spangled Banner," performing special songs, and sharing memories and words of encouragement with their classmates. Gratitude was a common theme, with shout-outs to parents, guardians, and other family members -- as well as educators -- for their support and guidance throughout the years.

Interim Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli spoke at the ceremonies, congratulating the graduates and reminding them that the ceremonies not only celebrate academic achievement, but also the resilience, determination and the spirit that has shaped their high school experience.

Lakota Central Principal Kate Joseph celebrated her 105 graduates with these words, “After four years of hard work and dedication, it is time to reward your commitment towards education. You join a small unique group as Lakota graduates who took a risk, to reimagine what education can and should look like and you are walking away as an important model for others. You have already faced hard challenges and created a new path, your own path and you can do that again.”

As West Principal Ben Brown presented his 605 seniors for graduation, he shared several important messages including how important it is to establish the core values that will shape your future & the decisions that you make. He reminded the Class of 2024 that they will always be part of the Firebird Family.

At Lakota East, East Principal Rob provided a history of the senior class and imparted some lasting words of wisdom: “Keep striving to find your passion, and never let challenging circumstances deter you. Because when doing something you are passionate about, even though it might be hard, you’re not working for a living.”

Lakota Board of Education President Julie Shaffer accepted the candidates for graduation on behalf of the Board of Education. “Today represents one milestone following 13 years of hard work and dedication in school. We are confident you will find great success in your future, reaching many more milestones along the way.”

The evening then turned toward celebrating each graduate as they came up on stage to receive their diploma.
The graduation ceremonies concluded with the symbolic turning of the tassel, signifying the transition from students to Lakota's newest alumni.

Photo albums of the graduation ceremonies for Lakota Central, Lakota East and Lakota West can be viewed on Lakota’s Facebook page. 

Statistics about the Lakota Class of 2024

•    Graduates: 1,337 (105 Central, 627 East, 605 West)
•    Graduation rate: 99+% (of East/West senior class); 91.3% (of Central senior class)
•    Pursuing 2/4 year higher education: 86.2% (East/West); 33% (Central) *
•    Entering trade school/apprenticeship: 4% (East/West); 21% (Central) *
•    Military commitments: 19
•    Honors diplomas: 20.1%

* Note that higher education and trade school statistics are based on those graduates filling out their senior survey