ANDERSON — High school provides many memories, both good and bad. Some graduates will recall games they went to or time spent with friends, but for some like Blake Callahan, graduation is the one that will stick out most.
Because, he said, it’s one to be proud of.
Callahan is one of Anderson High School’s 362 graduates in the 2013 class.
Proud parents packed Anderson University’s Kardatzke Wellness Center on Sunday afternoon to watch their students march across the stage donned in red caps and gowns to accept their diplomas.
Callahan said he’s relieved to graduate, but that “friends, family, everything about it” made his senior year remarkable. Now he’ll be off to the military to “see the world” and, with plans to go into law enforcement, get valuable experience.
“It was a learning year, a growing up year for me,” Camille Neal said of her senior year, adding there was plenty of school work and college preparation to do.
The thing she’ll remember most about Anderson High School is the school pride. But the biggest lessons she’ll take away is to avoid procrastination and take learning seriously, she added.
“It’s like, I’m at a loss for words,” Neal said about graduating. “It’s crazy. I can’t explain how I feel.”
But, she knows she’s excited for the future and to start classes at Ivy Tech Community College in the fall.
Erin Newberry has plans to attend school for nursing, and said she learned much from the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC).
“I learned a lot of different things to help me in the future,” she said.
Her last year of high school was her first at Anderson High. Newberry transferred from the Anderson Preparatory Academy and said she felt she could express herself more at Anderson High, adding it was an enjoyable experience.
“I feel really accomplished,” she said. “I’m the first in my family to graduate.”
And she plans to push her younger siblings to do the same.
Juan Gutierrez also felt a sense of accomplishment. After the years of work he put into high school, he said, he’s “looking forward to the future.”
Gutierrez plans to study engineering and said his high school experience was “overall awesome.”
He played on the soccer team and will always remember defeating Pendleton Heights for a sectional title.
The greatest thing Gutierrez learned from high school, he said, is to push “yourself to do what you really want to do” and reach for goals.
“I feel excited primarily for the future, for everything ahead of me and my friends,” class president Stone Robbins said.
He’ll be attending Ball State University in the fall and then plans to go onto law school.
His high school experience was a hectic one. But with his class involved in the consolidation of Highland and Anderson high schools, Robbins wasn’t alone.
Neal was already at Anderson High but said the consolidation took adjusting with the addition of more students. The Highland/Anderson “beef” didn’t continue for much longer, though, she added.
Robbins, who came from Highland, said it was hard at first, but that he “met people I could never lose at this point.”
He’ll always remember the Friday night football and basketball games, the school spirit and the “relationships built.”
According to Anderson Community Schools Superintendent Felix Chow, Anderson High School’s 2013 class had a graduation rate of 82.7 percent.
Graduate Stephen Carl gave the commencement address while Principal Lucinda McCord, retiring this year, presented the Class of 2013.
Anderson High School's 2013 graduating class 362 graduates An 82.7 percent graduation rate Valedictorian: Matthew Harter Salutatorian: Destiny Andrews