SHABBONA – On Sunday as he addressed the crowd during his commencement ceremony at Indian Creek High School, graduating senior Nolan Govig’s first words at the podium were of thanks to his mom.
Sunday was also Mother’s Day, and Govig wanted to honor his mother in his speech.
“It means a lot that she’s out there in the crowd, because I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am without her,” he said. “Even though we moved here from DeKalb when I was in the fifth grade, I know that my classmates and I will stay in touch. I’ve made lifelong friends. At Indian Creek, everyone gets to know you. You’re not just a number.”
Govig’s mom Lisa Govig said she cried and gave her son – the youngest of five children – a hug when she first saw him in his cap and gown.
“It’s just so bittersweet,” Lisa Govig said. “We’re proud of everything he and his classmates have accomplished. Now it’s time to move on to bigger and better things.”
Govig was one of the 59 seniors and one of the class’ three salutatorians who graduated Sunday from Indian Creek High School, 506 S. Shabbona Road in Shabbona.
The graduating class had three salutatorians, Joshua Anderson of Shabbona, Govig of Malta and Haley Petragallo of Malta, and a valedictorian, Alyssa McCormick of Scarboro.
McCormick said that graduating as valedictorian has been one of her biggest dreams since childhood. During her speech, McCormick said she hopes her classmates remember, “The little school in the little town in the middle of cornfields.”
“I wish all of my classmates the best and hope they have success in everything they do in the future,” McCormick said. “I know how important friendship and family are, and my mom was a real motivator to my success. It means a lot to be graduating on Mother’s Day.”
Rhonda McCormick, Alyssa’s mom, said that the day of graduation didn’t matter.
“Her graduation is so exciting, it doesn’t matter what day it is,” she said. “I’m just glad that the day is here because she’s worked so hard for it.”
Class Vice President Jacob Beauchem of Lee said that having his mother and stepfather, Chris and Dan Prestegaard, in the audience meant the most to him on his graduation day.
"My father passed away when I was 1 year old, and I'm the first in my family to go to a university," Beauchem said. "I loved my time at Indian Creek High School. It's shaped me into the person I am today, the person I will become."
High School Principal Sarah Montgomery said that she was excited yet sad to see the students graduate.
“They’re a great group of students with tight-knit relationships,” Montgomery said. “It’s wonderful that graduation is on Mother’s Day. I think the best Mother’s Day scenario is watching them graduate. We couldn’t be prouder of our students.”