Unity, strength, and success — those are all the things that Sun Prairie High School senior Abhinav Janamanchi saw when he looked out over the more than 653 classmates that graduated last Friday, June 14.
Janamanchi came from India and settled into the United States with his family when he was four—more than 8,000 miles by plane—but just when he thought he wouldn’t find another place that felt like home, he ended up in Sun Prairie.
“In Sun Prairie, I met the most incredible people I have ever known in a time when I needed them most,” he said at the SPHS Class of 2019 graduation ceremony on June 14 at the Alliant Energy Center’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Madison.
Janamanchi highlighted the Class of 2019 successes — 32 conference titles and nine state championships, national bowling tournaments, dance and cheer competitions, performances at Carnegie Hall, fundraisers and other achievements. He also joked how they all survived freak April snowstorms, mold days and every single Mad City Mitsubishi radio announcement every morning — together.
“From every success and every failure we endured together, we each also grew individually. Sun Prairie Strong wasn’t just our motto last summer. It’s our motto always and forever,” Janamanchi said.
Seniors cheered their accomplishments through the two-hour-plus Class of 2019 commencement ceremony — laughing, crying, waving to family and friends.
Erin Milleville, who gave the welcome speech told seniors to continue “crafting” who they are.
“The creation of who we are as people has only just begun,” Milleville said. “And it is thanks to those who saw the places we could go, the people we could become, and the change we promise to bring, that we are possible.”
As the seniors came up on stage to accept their diplomas—some did flips, splits and smiled widely—celebrating their accomplishments. With a diploma and white rose in their hands, they hugged, waved, and high-fived their fellow classmates on the way back to their seats.
Class speaker Jaharee Weah told his fellow seniors to give their best effort, have a positive attitude, exceed expectations and accomplish whatever the world has in store for them.
“As we walk through this life, meet new people, burn bridges, and build relationships if we never forget to keep a hopeful and confident attitude, nothing will be able to stop us,” Weah said.
In the farewell speech, Halah Idrissi told her fellow classmates that whether high school sucked or was awesome, the future should be the focus.
“The truth be told, whether or not you had a successful time in high school doesn’t really matter,” she said. “Graduation is its end, but it’s also the start of something greater.”
Graduation, she said, is the time to make choices on what to do in life. And whatever decision is made, she encouraged her classmates to “make success a reality and do the hard work necessary to make their own path through life.”
“I wish you all luck and wisdom because today is our graduation and the beginning of our lives,” Idrissi said.
Check the Cable TV Listings in this issue of The Star for air dates and times, or go online to ksun.tv, to watch the Sun Prairie High School Class of 2019 Graduation Ceremony on-demand.