Lincoln-Way Central graduates Class of 2017
Friday, June 2, 2017

On Thursday, June 1, 2017, senior Knights filed across the stage to collect their diplomas and shake hands with school board members, Superintendent Dr. R. Scott Tingley, and Principal Dr. Steven Provis.

Shortly before the ceremony, the 2017 Senior Class Presidents Sebastian Esparza and Jason White presented the class gift to the Board of Education. The students chose to construct a fountain within the courtyard of Lincoln-Way Central. The fountain was chosen because the seniors “wanted to present something that Knights will enjoy on a daily basis,” as many students eat and spend time within the courtyard during their lunch hour.

The Class of 2017 was then led to the stadium by Esparza and White. Principal Provis opened the ceremony by welcoming the families and friends of the Class of 2017. The National Anthem was sung by seniors Sierra Cady, Mac D’Amico, Elena Karnezis, and Vince Weiss. Provis then introduced the Senior Class Officers: Bailey Faber, Lexie Lukareski, Kelsey Kroning, Jamie Schneider, Lane Kapsalis, Laura Bolek, Sebastian Esparza, and Jason White.

Provis gave praise to family and friends the graduates. He said, “Tonight we honor our graduating seniors, but I would also like to thank the parents, grandparents, family, and friends of our graduates. Thank you for raising such a wonderful group of young men and young women. I have enjoyed working with your sons and daughters this year and have had the honor of watching them grow into mature, confident young adults.”

Class President Jason White addressed his fellow graduates by discussing his transition from Lincoln-Way East to Lincoln-Way Central, saying that he was thankful for his Lincoln-Way experience. “…Both schools have amazing people,” he said. “I know that I have made relationships with teachers that will last a lifetime. Lincoln-Way East will always hold a special place in my heart, but Lincoln-Way Central feels like home.”

White was followed by Class President Sebastian Esparza, who left his classmates with motivating words for the future. “We are the revolutionaries, we are prepared to challenge, to stimulate, to continue growing into our infinite capacities,” he said. “Do not let my words fall on deaf ears, stand with me and walk confidently into the unknown. As the poet Sir Dylan Thomas put it, ‘Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.’”

Board of Education Vice President Joseph Kosteck then took to the podium to recognize the graduating class and discuss the importance of finding a sense of purpose. Kosteck, a Lincoln-Way alumnus, graduated on the same day, June 1, twenty-seven years ago. “You might be expecting a typical commencement address where some old guy on the board talks about aiming high, reaching for the stars, and the future being yours…” he joked. “…Instead I’d like to take these next few minutes to speak to you about purpose.” He went on to provide a list of items and advice compiled from retired Lincoln-Way staff and alumni ranging from the class of 1962 through the class of 2007.

Kosteck ended his speech by admiring the dedication of the Class of 2017, telling the graduates that they “flourished in a challenging situation.” He said, “Congratulations on a job well done. You make me proud to be an alum and a part of the Lincoln-Way family. Now get out there and continue to find your purpose. We’re all counting on you.”

Before students filed across stage to receive their diplomas, Superintendent Dr. R. Scott Tingley took a moment to praise the graduates in attendance. “Congratulations on your accomplishments,” he said. “Congratulations on the growth that has taken place over the last four years.”

After the Lincoln-Way Alma Mater was sung, the Knights celebrated by tossing their graduation caps into the air to the cheers and applause of faculty, families, and friends.