At the May 20 Mark Twain High School commencement in Center, the 63 graduates heard an inspiring message from their retiring guidance counselor, Greg Gatson, along with two classmates.

At the May 20 Mark Twain High School commencement in Center, the 63 graduates heard an inspiring message from their retiring guidance counselor, Greg Gatson, along with two classmates.

Gatson read a letter he wrote to the Class of 2018, challenging them to be positive, professional and persistent. Regarding “positive,” Gatson quoted the Bible in Phillipians 4:8 ...”Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

To be professional, he said, “If you consistently show up, have a good attitude and work hard, you will be ahead of three-fourths of the work force.” Encouraging the grads to be persistent, Gatson advised to “set good goals, write them down and never give up,” adding “one of the most difficult things you will ever have to deal with is success.”

Class of 2018 Salutatorian Dallas McClain He said as he made the morning announcements and led in the Pledge of Allegiance each day, he enjoyed adding things, such as the joke of the day.

He then shared the jokes his classmates had provided him. He concluded by saying he hopes everyone will succeed, and “I hope all of you have your dreams come true.”

Class of 2018 Valedictorian Lynsie Boling began by acknowledging that her friends - from elementary through junior and senior high school - have had a great influence on her. She said she hopes as her classmates move on to the next chapter of their lives, that “these years will be remembered with affection.” She also quoted Galatians 6:9: “Let us not become weary in doing good.”

After graduation as she joined her family, Boling gave credit to her elementary teachers. She said to succeed takes a lot of hard work and dedication. She is grateful she was able to take a class helping in first grade, as she plans her future as an elementary school teacher.

When each graduate had received his or her diploma from Board of Education President Pete Hilgenbrinck, Class President Madison Liter led them in changing the tassels on their caps.

As they did this, confetti was shot over the group before they desended from the stage to join their families.

A bulletin board in the high school hallway shows which college each students has chosen, and who is entering the work force. Three plan to enter the military: Brando Failor, U.S. Army; Lizz (Alexandrea Elizabeth) Marshall and Michael Waldmeier, U.S. Air Force.

See photo gallery for more pictures of the Class of 2018.

Reach reporter Bev Darr at bev.darr@courierpost.com.