MHS Class of 2015 went out with a bang or a bolt: Thunderstorm interrupts graduation ceremony

MILFORD – The Milford High School Class of 2015 will never forget their graduation day – like Dorothy won’t forget the day she was whisked to the magical Land of Oz, their experiences were similar.

The 100th Milford Senior High School Commencement Ceremony was held outside Thursday evening, May 28, at the Bernard E. Briggs Stadium.

School District Officials said they were concerned about the possibility of rain and severe weather forecasted for the area right around Thursday evening’s graduation ceremony and planned to move through the Centennial-Commencement ceremony quickly.

Their determination was seen when thunder clapped during the middle of School District Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Kohel’s speech, to which she paused and said, “That’s that; congratulations Class of 2015,” and sat down.

The rain didn’t start until Class Valedictorian Morgan Christi Perry’s address got underway. Ms. Perry used the strength and determination it took to become the head of her class and powered through her speech, even has the rain picked up and many spectators in the stand left to seek cover.

Prior to the rain soaking the ceremony, members of the class of 2015 heard many of familiar statements all graduates hear.

School Board President Marvin Schelhouse the district’s commitment to excellence and expressed his pride in the class of 2015.

“Believe in yourself and have the willingness to succeed. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake we all make many in our lifetime,” Mr. Schelhouse continued.

But the theme of Ms. Perry’s valedictory address ended up being the true theme of the ceremony.

She told her fellow student’s, “Don’t be afraid.”

She was talking about the change she and her fellow classmates were about to experience and the challenges they would face throughout their lives.

Her class and the administrators followed her advice literally even has the rain picked up by staying in their seats.

Milford High School Principal Dr. David Carter led his student’s through the fear of soaking rain.

“I am going to see you graduate,” he said when Ms. Perry finished her speech.

The Class of 2015 and the many people left in the stands responded with cheers and applause.

The first row of seniors stood and started to receive their diplomas when a heart-warming-clothes-drenching show of unity turned into a concern for everyone’s safety. Barely 10 students received their diplomas when a very large clap of thunder was almost immediately followed by a bolt of lightning.

The senior class was then herded into the Carey-Simpson Athletic Building next to the athletic fields.

Many spectators went to find shelter in their vehicles, under awnings, eaves, anywhere they could find.

When the rain picked up to a level that it hurt when it hit the skin many decided to head to their vehicles and leave.

As of press time no injuries have been reported.

The class of more than 230 students will be remembered for more than just being the 100th class to graduate from Milford, or as the first eighth grade class to attend the Milford Central Academy, or for having their ceremony interrupted by Mother Nature, but also for having 28 students make the Superintendent’s Honor Roll; 26 members of become a part of the National Honor Society; and 26 students make it to the Spanish Honor Society.

Senior Class President Kayla Brennan said to her fellow classmates Thursday evening before the sky opened up, “It is evident guys, we truly made history.”

Managing Editor Logan B. Anderson can be reached at Follow @LoganBAnderson on Twitter.

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