PHOTO STORY: Niles High graduates Class of 2022

Published 6:00 am Friday, June 3, 2022

NILES — A day 13 years in the making arrived for Niles High School seniors.

141 seniors took the field at Vikings Stadium for the 160th Niles High School commencement ceremony Thursday evening. Friends, family and community members gathered in the stands to see off the Class of 2022, a class that overcame much adversity.

“It has been a pleasure to watch you learn and grow,” said high school principal Michelle Asmus, who took over in January for a retiring Molly Brawley. “For some of you, that’s been 13 years and for others, it’s only been the last five months, but because I have had the honor to be your principal, you will always be mine. I promised to claim you, no matter what you do, the good choices you make and even the not so good choices because know this – once a Niles Viking, always a Niles Viking.”

Three seniors – Landynn Byrd, Madelyn Van Dyke and Stuart Lundberg – took to the podium as senior speakers addressing to give one last speech to their classmates, teachers and community.

“Class of 2022, never forget that you are special,” Byrd said. ““You bring something into this world that no one else does. Stand tall.”

“Class of 2022, if we can make it through COVID, computer schooling, only one prom and very little socialization, then we can make it through most everything,” Van Dyke said. “I’m proud to be a Niles Viking and I’m proud to be in the Class of 2022 with all of you because we are bold, we are strong and we are the future.”

Lundberg closed his speech by encouraging his classmates to follow their dreams.

“To quote a song from Zootopia, ‘birds don’t just fly, they fall down and get up and nobody learns without getting it wrong,” Lundberg said. “Now, go out there, Vikings Class of 2022. Dream big, go make your dreams come true.”