Twenty seven students from Sacred Heart High School and 139 students from East Grand Forks Senior High became alumni of their high schools Friday night

Sacred Heart sent its graduates out to “go make a difference,” with a prayer in the chapel and a speech from valedictorian, Gabriel Suda.

The Sacred Heart High School Class of 2019 gather with clergy, teachers and family for prayer before the commencement ceremony Friday in East Grand Forks. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
The Sacred Heart High School Class of 2019 gather with clergy, teachers and family for prayer before the commencement ceremony Friday in East Grand Forks. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks HeraldEric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Suda thanked all the parents, teachers and other students in the auditorium. He also thanked God for making the journey with the class of 2019.

“Thank you Jesus, you helped us write this chapter which is at its end,” Suda said.

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Ian Evavold walks in during the processional at Sacred Heart High School's commencement ceremonies Friday in East Grand Forks. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
Ian Evavold walks in during the processional at Sacred Heart High School's commencement ceremonies Friday in East Grand Forks. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Two graduating seniors spoke at the East Grand Forks Senior High graduation, Kaitlyn Knutson and Savannah Vasek.

Both spoke about growing up with their classmates and learning together.

Jill Thompson, a science teacher at East Grand Forks Senior High, makes some final adjustments to Luke Vonesh and his graduating classmates before the start of commencement Friday. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
Jill Thompson, a science teacher at East Grand Forks Senior High, makes some final adjustments to Luke Vonesh and his graduating classmates before the start of commencement Friday. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks HeraldEric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Vasek, who will be heading to the University of Minnesota to study clinical psychology in the fall, told her classmates she knows they will do great things.

“Growing up with you all, I have learned that as a whole, we are different from other classes,” Vasek said. “Think of all the times we have been there for each other, think of all the times we took time out of our day to help a classmate. Among us, we have some brilliant, creative and open minds and using those minds we will make an impact in the world.”

The East Grand Forks Senior High Concert Choir performs "Remember Me" during commencement Friday. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
The East Grand Forks Senior High Concert Choir performs "Remember Me" during commencement Friday. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

East Grand Forks High School Principal Brian Loer gave the class of 2019 four pieces of advice as they move on to the next phases of their lives.

“Be nice,” Loer said. “Be nice to your parents, be nice to your boss, be nice to your coworkers. No one likes mean people.”

His second piece of advice was to take risks.

“Don’t be afraid to fail,” Loer said.

Jake Hjelle and Sydney Holub smile as they march in to the arena Friday. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
Jake Hjelle and Sydney Holub smile as they march in to the arena Friday. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Loer also advised the class of 2019 to be grateful.

“No matter what you’re dealt in life, be grateful,” he said.

Loer’s final piece of advice was to remember that “no job is beneath you.”

“Before I was principal, I was the janitor. I scrubbed toilets and floors,” Loer said. “Take that with you. That advice will take you far in life. Congratulations, Class of 2019.”