The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

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Ruby Garza is a senior at Owatonna High School and this is her third year on the Magnet staff. The reason Garza decided to continue being in Magnet was because she has enjoyed her experience in the class...

Ramla Yussuf is a junior this year at OHS. This is her first year in magnet. In school, Yussuf is involved in Student Council, SHOC, Key Club, DECA and Link Crew. Outside of school she likes reading, watching...

Ikhlas Haji is a junior at OHS this year. This is her first year in Magnet. Haji joined Magnet to get an idea of what might interest her in the future. She also joined to improve her writing and communication...

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Joe Zeman is a junior at OHS. This is his first year on the Magnet staff. Zeman is involved in soccer, tennis, concert choir and DECA. For work, he is a referee for both Park & Rec soccer and the Owatonna...

Andres Contreras is a senior at OHS this year. This is his second year in Magnet, this year he will take the role of editor and writer. Contreras is involved in Younglife and Wyldlife outside of school....

Jack Mottl is a junior at Owatonna High School. This will be his first year in Magnet. Mottl is involved in soccer and basketball. When Mottl is not in school you can find him hanging out with friends,...

Three to speak at new stadium

Jose+Rosas%2C+Ava+Kleeberger+and+Nora+Johnson+will+speak+at+OHS+Commencement.
Angel Barajas
Jose Rosas, Ava Kleeberger and Nora Johnson will speak at OHS Commencement.

On May 2, OHS six seniors tried for the opportunity to be commencement speaker.  Students are critiqued on their speech content and delivery by a panel of staff and students.  This year’s speakers are Nora Johnson, Ava Kleeberger and Jose Rosas.

Principal Mr. Kory Kath is very excited for the graduating Class of 2024 because he has been here since for their whole high school career. Principal Kath said, “Normally we only go with two, but this year was a bit different when they were all top-notch and all had very unique ideas of them, and none of those repeated themself.”

Nora Johnson shines a light for the class affected by COVID-19. (Angel Barajas)

 

Johnson was also elected as a commencement speaker for the 2024 class. Johnson used to be involved in volleyball and pole vaulting but then decided to focus more on speech, theater and marching band. These activities, clubs and sports really helped Johnson figure out that she deeply wanted to speak for her class. Johnson said, “Speech really helped me with my public speaking and it improved me, even just writing speeches in general was good.” She was also involved in marching band which helped Johnson with her confidence and her ability to stay calm, even when nerves hit in front of an audience. All those little things helped Johnson to be able to stand in front of hundreds of people to give a well-written speech. 

Johnson’s theme for the speech is about what the senior Class of 2024 went through during their school careers. She will speak about how COVID-19 limited their experiences and the effects of the transition between old and new OHS buildings. Johnson tried to make her speech lighthearted to bring joy to the graduating class of 2024.

Johnson is super excited to get such a big opportunity to speak for the graduating class. Johnson said, “I think it’s a huge honor, I am really glad that I got picked along with Jose and Ava. I think we are all going to do a really great job. Representing the class is a wonderful thing.”

Johnson decided to take on this challenge because she is a good speaker and she really does think it is an important honor to speak on behalf of the class. Also just knowing if she would be a commencement speaker or not really didn’t matter to her because her goal was to sign up and  have the opportunity to say she tried. 

Ava Kleeberger will give an uplifting speech to class. (Angel Barajas)

Kleeberger is one of the three commencement speakers for the graduating class. Kleeberger is involved in many activities and clubs. Kleeberger is the captain of the marching band color guard and speech team. She is also vice president of the drama club. Kleeberger enjoys being a part of theater, concert choir and band. Out of those activities, Kleeberger believes speech and theater were the most impactful. Kleeberger said, “I think doing speech definitely gave me a boost of confidence for situations that involve public speaking and theater.”

Kleeberger’s theme is about change, acceptance and bravery in the future, whether that is college, a new job or moving out. Kleeberger picked this theme based on personal experiences. Kleeberger said, “I think for a long time, like my first few years of high school, I was just completely frazzled with everything from COVID, new classes and activities. I was just overwhelmed.” Kleeberger feels like many might feel that same way since her entire class was with her throughout the rollercoaster ride of 2023 – 2024. Kleeberger wrote this speech as a reminder to never give up and overcome obstacles.

The reason Kleeberger decided to apply for the opportunity of being a commencement speaker was because her friend had spoke last year. Seeing her friend last year encouraged her to sign up and give it a go. Kleeberger’s main reason above everything was to get an experience that can never be replaced. Kleeberger is looking at it as a personal reflection of her feelings throughout her high school career. 

Kleeberger is ready to hit the ground running and have helpers with her speech like Mrs. Anderson and Mrs. Wagner when it comes to editing, but also working with the other two Commencement speakers, Jose and Nora to make an overall impactful speech to pass on the message. 

Jose Rosas will recap the Class of 2024’s high school career. (Angel Barajas)

Rosas is anothe rog the three commencement speaker for the 2024 class. Rosas is involved in many clubs around the school: DECA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Link Crew, Thriving Minds, Exchange Club, SHOC, OHS Magnet and soccer. These outlets that have pushed him towards big opportunities like specking at commencement. Rosas said, “I felt like there was something that I could tell our class, so I thought it could be something really helpful for them in their journey in life.” Rosas thought it would be impactful to be one of the voices for the graduating class as well as help the underclassmen understand what to expect from thier senior year. 

When it came time to decide a theme, Rosas was very undecided between two ideas: the future or the power of self-motivation. Through deep consideration, Rosas decided to go with the theme of remembrance, complemented by self-motivation. The speech is about remembering all the great times seniors have had at OHS and use those times to push forward towards lifelong dreams. 

Rosas picked this idea of his speech because his mindset throughout high school was exactly that. Rosas had many instances where he had roadblocks come his way. But, without those trials of hardship, Rosas would never have been able to overcome his challenges in life. All contributing to the person Rosas is today. By putting forth determination to achieve Rosas’s personal goals, he was granted the opportunity to be a commencement speaker. Rosas is super excited to be able to speak on behalf of the Class of 2024 and can not wait for the day to come.

Johnson, Kleeberger and Rosas will give their speeches at the Class of 2024’s commencement ceremony. The ceremony will take place on June 7, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. on the Federated Field.


Originally published in the January Print Edition

About the Contributor
Angel Barajas
Angel Barajas, Editor
Angel Barajas is a junior at OHS this year. This is his second year in Magnet. Barajas joined Magnet to be able to get out the news of what is happening around the OHS, and because his first year in Magnet was fantastic and super fun. Outside of school, Barajas is involved in football. His hobbies include working out, running, playing video games, and hanging out with family and friends. Barajas plans to graduate from high school and go to college for medical school due to him having his nursing assistant certification already. Barajas is looking forward to a wonderful year in Magnet and getting the best out of it.