Falls City High Class of 2013 – ‘The future for us is bright’

Members of the Falls City High School graduating Class of 2013 enter Prichard Auditorium to “Fanfare and Processional,” not to mention right into the viewfinders of countless cameras operated by family and friends Sunday afternoon. Photo by Jason Schock.


A large Falls City High School Class of 2013 was simultaneously saluted and  ceremoniously ushered, as some put it, into “the real world” Sunday afternoon at the graduation ceremony held at Prichard Auditorium.


David von Behren embraces District 56 BOE member Kathy Bartek at graduation Sunday. “My wish is for us to change the world by living life with a positive attitude,” he said. “Kathy not only has a positive attitude, but she perseveres through challenges and shows love and kindness to others.” Photo by Jason Schock.

An estimated 1,100 Falls City High friends and family filled the auditorium to celebrate the many accomplishments of a class of 72 graduates – 20 of them honor students.

Courtney Chapple. Photo by Jason Schock.

The FCHS commencement exercise, as it has since 2011, again featured the Cum Laude system and didn’t consist of either Salutatorian or Valedictorian Addresses. Rather, three Summa Cum Laude (with highest distinction) honorees – Courtney Rachelle Chapple, David Michael von Behren and Elizabeth Mary Eickhoff – gave presentations in front of their peers.

Also graduating with highest academic distinction, as Summa Cum Laude, were: Cord Alan Huettner, Bethany Jo Lampe, Claire Elizabeth Poppe and Amie Danielle Wiltse.

Graduating with high academic distinction, as Magna Cum Laude, were: Tressa Elizabeth Chandler, Ashley Kristine Crawford, Brittney Alexis DeWald, Kristen Grace Kean, Wade Alan Maddox, Wade Evan Noll and Wade William Witt.

Graduating with academic distinction, as Cum Laude: Joseph Benjamin Brightwell-Kelley, Dakota Michael Butrick, Desiree Marie Herling, Bobbie Lynn Popejoy, Nicole Rae Romine and Brandt Daniel Vice.

The remainder of the FCHS Class of 2013: Dylan Ackerman, Tiannie Dawn Alexander, Tyler Michael Ansel, Hailey Renee Baxter, Vincent Clarence Bennett, Jesse Daniel Butrick, Mitchell Quin Campbell, Derek William Cook, Brittanie Jo Dixon, Haley Nicole Ferris, David Michael Frederick, Daniel Ray Frenzel, Brittany Renee Fritz, Brady Wain Gerdes, Courtney Marie Hamilton;

Gina Marie Hamilton, Michael Edward Hamilton, Clayton James Hardenberger, Paul Michael Harmon, Kelsey Jo Hayes, Haley Louise Henderson, Kirsten Aleyna Herling, Shannan Beth Honea, Kaitlin Marie Karst, Clayton Malcolm Keller, Dakota Zane Ron Kerkow, Cody Lee Kopf, Joseph Michael Koso, Natasha Nicole Kroeze;

Tanner Paige Lippold, Katelin Jean Lunsford, Tabitha Lacey Nickell, Rasmus Oskari Jeremias Nurminen, Jubal Chance Ogden, Dakota Michael Pentecost, Joshua Wayne Perman, Ashley Jo Popejoy, Jessica Kay Richey, Skylar Jayde Richey, Austin Michael Schaible, Mary Ann Simpson, Mariah Michelle Stamper, Colton James Strauch;

Dallas Cameron Waggoner, Tyler Dawn Waggoner, Jennifer Marie Wendtlandt, Codie Wayne Witt, David Alex Richard Wittwer, Nathan Carl Youde and Talia Zimmerman.

As a whole, the class was offered a staggering $1.78 million in scholarships.

Elizabeth Eickhoff. Photo by Jason Schock.

School Supt. Tim Heckenlively gave the welcome, noting that he was there on many of the graduates’ first day of school, as he was principal at North School back in 2000.

“For many of you, I had the opportunity to serve as your elementary principal, and watch you develop into the fine young men and women who will graduate today, and complete a major milestone in your lives,” Heckenlively said.

He applauded the students’ efforts throughout the past 13 years, from “Gold Slips and Accelerated Reader Awards,” to “athletic records” and “superior ratings.” Heckenlively also pointed out that this graduating group piloted the use of iPad technology at FC High and they were there to celebrate the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Blue Ribbon School Award.

“The importance of these experiences and the earning of your high school diploma cannot be underestimated,” he said, “and your efforts thus far will pay big dividends. In this day and age, there is a much greater correlation between education and employability.”

As a whole, the class was offered a staggering $1.78 million in scholarships.

After the concert band performed a medley from “The Lion King,” which included a sensational piano/vocal solo by von Behren, the three speakers took the stage.

Chapple, bound for Northwest Missouri State University with the help of several scholarship offers, told her classmates that high school, not learning, has come to an end.

“We will never stop learning…I’m talking about the life lessons that come with growing up and becoming an adult,” she said.

“Congratulations, Class, on all we’ve done so far because it’s really a momentous achievement. But also congratulations on each of your impending futures and all the new knowledge you will gain. Because this is where it all starts,” Chapple concluded.

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