PLYMOUTH Together as a class for the final time.
That was the feeling Friday evening at Plymouth High School as 76 students made up the graduating class of 2008.
Valedictorian Brittany Rietschlin quoted a famous filmmaker in her commencement address.
"Woody Allen once said that 80 percent of success in life is just showing up," she said. "As I look back on the past 12 years, I can see where this can be true. What I have learned is that just doing the simple things can go a long way toward success. Often being in the right place at the right time can help get the job done. You can do anything that you want, as long as you're willing to do the work that's necessary to make it happen."
Rietschlin's speech coincided perfectly with the 2008 class motto: "If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it."
"Getting what you want out of life isn't easy," Rietschlin continued. "It's a matter of figuring out where you want to go, how to get there and then executing your plan that makes it simple. Figuring out everything may not be easy. Finding out what your dreams are might take a long time and a lot of hard thought for most of us, but once you do figure out everything, all you have to do is follow your dreams and make some necessary adjustments along the way."
The class of 2008 colors were red and black, while the class flower was fire and ice rose.
Class officers were: Ben Garrett, president; T.C. Burkett, vice president; Mandy Burrer, secretary; and Rietschlin, treasurer.
Class adviser was Janelle Grube, who was also a guest speaker at Friday's commencement.
Salutatorian was Courtney Bisel, while Brandon Ritchie, Burrer and Burkett rounded out the top-five students, respectively.
Rietschlin stressed the point that things don't always go as planned in life.
"Usually in order to get what you want, you need to do a lot of work, but that doesn't mean that it is impossible," she said. "It may not be pleasant when you have to get dirty to finish the job, but being willing to do that really makes a difference. Especially, in the long run, where all the small things start to add up over time.
"Doing the little work every day will pay off later on down the road," she added. "Now, I'm not saying that your life should be miserable and that you need to commit yourself to any form of indentured service, but worthwhile goals are difficult to obtain."
Rietschlin shared a poem written by her brother his junior year. The poem talked about endings and new beginnings, similar to what the class of 2008 is now experiencing.
Rietschlin then concluded.
"I would like to thank my parents for always supporting me and pushing me with everything I did, the rest of my family for always being there, my friends for all the good things that I will never forget, our teachers for always putting up with us and making learning exciting and my fellow classmates who have made high school a journey that will always be remembered. Good luck to all of you."