Graduates celebrate

CG-Belgium class of 2018 receives diplomas

THE 88 GRADUATES of the Cedar Grove-Belgium class of 2018 closed their ceremony with the annual bath of confetti, aerosol string and smoke. Nicole Jerabek wiped away some of the celebratory fragments from her face before walking out of the gym with her fellow grads to greet family and friends. See more coverage in the Ozaukee Press Graduation section on June 21. Photos by Mitch Maersch Buy photos at
Ozaukee Press Staff

Cedar Grove-Belgium alumnus Nate Hinze admitted he wasn’t sure what words of wisdom he could pass on to graduates at his alma mater’s ceremony on Sunday.

“I don’t even know what I’m doing yet, and I’m 30, so if I’m supposed to bestow my knowledge onto you,” Hinze said, “I don’t have much.”

Hinze, who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma as a junior in high school and lost part of his leg, went on to become a Paralympic gold medalist in wheelchair basketball. He said he figured out there were three reasons he was asked to speak.

The first is bad things happen to people. While they often ask “Why me?” Hinze suggested pondering “Why not? What doors are opening for me in this situation?”

The second was that he learned how to adapt to change.

“At some point in all your lives you’re going to have to adapt to circumstances that you can’t control,” he said.

“You always need to adapt to change. It won’t always be easy. It won’t always be fun.”

The third was the most difficult for Hinze to admit: he’s an inspiration. Then he looked up the definition and found it means “being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.”

“You hopefully see me as an inspiration. And if you don’t you can blame Jordan Villa for asking me to talk,” he said.

Hinze realized he wanted to be an inspiration, “and you all have the chance to be an inspiration.”

Valedictorian Stephen Lavey said “every day is an opportunity to go out and impact those around you” and told his classmates to find out who they can have an impact on.

Salutatorian Chris Mueller provided closing remarks.

Senior class officers Villa, Molly Dirkse, Nicole Jerabek and Jacob Ferber presented the class gift, a sound system for baseball games.

Beloved science teacher Tina Stauber announced names of the graduates as they walked across the stage to receive their diplomas.

The class flower was a purple carnation. Its colors were purple and silver. The class motto was a lyric from “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw: “Chase your dreams, but always know the road that’ll lead you home again.”

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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