They’ve got the power of a diploma

Just as Josette Donelson was handed her Marshalltown High School diploma, the power went out in the Roundhouse.

“I thought I did something wrong,” Donelson said.

It was a storm, not Donelson, that resulted in the power outage and wait of 13 minutes for the lights to fire back up during a memorable Class of 2013 graduation ceremony Sunday.

MHS Principal Aiddy Phomvisay said the power outage, and a previous near evacuation due a storm siren, didn’t diminish the accomplishments of the class.

“This is not going to mar it for these students,” Phomvisay said during the outage.

The delay did not affect the rest of the ceremony as the hundreds of more students out of 323 graduates got their diplomas without incident.

During his presentation, Phomvisay talked about a class that accomplished many things in the academic and extracurricular realm. He said they will be remembered most for how they thought of others.

“The MHS Class of 2013 exemplified the very best of MHS in the service to others,” Phomvisay said.

Four students were honored for maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average throughout high school and they included Ben Anzis, Joseph Metzger, Connor Ruddick and Maddison Wignall.

Graduating students presenting speeches included Janet Fonseca, Emma Runquist, Rachel Faircloth and Wignall and Metzger.

Runquist talked about how lucky they were to go to a high school with as much rich diversity as MHS.

“Our school has empowered us to recognize the inherent dignity in every person to work together, because together we can reach our goals,” Runquist said.

Faircloth said this event was the beginning of the rest of their lives and she made sure to thank the MHS teachers who got them to this point.

“MHS is filled with teachers who challenged us, not only in the classroom, but as individuals,” Faircloth said.

Cheyenne Friest and Grace Franck sang a duet at the ceremony.

The 138th MHS commencement ceremony began at 2:30 p.m. At 3:21 p.m., a storm siren went off and Phomvisay first said to evacuate the top rows. It was determined the siren was a test before any evacuation occurred.

At 3:41 p.m., the power went out and it took until 3:54 p.m. for the lights to start back up and the ceremony to continue.

Phomvisay used the down time to put in a plug for donations for the upcoming Roundhouse renovation.

“We’ll have LED lights and a back-up generator that will pop on automatically,” Phomvisay said to a loud cheer.