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From Rosemount to real world

Rosemount's graduating class of 2018 throws their caps in the air at the conclusion of Saturday's commencement at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. Joe Brown / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 6
Brea DeBettignies moves her tassle over after receiving her high school diploma during Rosemount's commencement ceremony at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. Joe Brown / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 6
The 559 graduates of Rosemount High School look on as Principal John Wollersheim speaks during Saturday's commencement ceremony at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. Joe Brown / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 6
A Minnesota All-State Band recipient, Makai Fang drums along to a performance by the Rosemount concert choir during Saturday's commencement ceremony at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. Joe Brown / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 6
Rosemount High School senior Tyus Edmond addresses his graduting peers as the student speaker during Saturday's commencement ceremony Saturday at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. Joe Brown / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 6
Rosemount High School social studies teacher and former state representative Kurt Bills addresses the graduating class of 2018 during Saturday's commencement ceremony at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. Joe Brown / RiverTown Multimedia6 / 6

MINNEAPOLIS — Find the best version of you.

Those were the key phrase faculty speaker Kurt Bills imparted on the 590 students in Rosemount High School's graduating class of 2018 on Saturday during the school's commencement ceremony at Mariucci Arena on the University of Minnesota campus.

"Overwhelmingly, we need you to make a difference in the world," said Bills, a social studies teacher at the high school and a former state representative. "You will be more capable of doing this if you find the best version of you, and you do that by examining the code you live by."

While having Saturday's commencement at the home of the University of Minnesota men's hockey team due to construction at RHS made for an unfamiliar setting, student speaker Tyus Edmond talked about the versions of themselves each senior had cultivated in the school's halls.

"Many of us have expressed the eagerness to graduate, probably since the first day of senior year," Edmond said at the dais. "Although it's exciting to receive our diploma and enter adulthood, I know we also share some concerns about leaving a place so common to us."

Edmond added later, "When we leave, it will be hard to say goodbye. However, the greatest thing about high school is that when it ends, friendships and experiences don't have to. Because no matter how far some of us may end up, we are here today, side by side, celebrating one another as we receive our diploma."

Bills gave the departing students advice — through the scope of an economics lesson — for their next phase in life. Edmond, jokingly referred to as the "Undisputed South Suburban Conference Rock, Paper, Scissors champion," had the chance to reflect on the good times with his classmates.

On the stage, Principal John Wollersheim got to shake the hands of the graduating class for the final time as he is set to leave Rosemount to become the assistant principal for Bethlehem Academy in Faribault.

"Mr. Wollersheim provided the leadership we students needed to be successful," Edmond said. "Mr. Wollersheim, it was an honor having you as our principal and we wish you a wonderful retirement. So today, we thank you."

In a night that reflected on the past 18 years, Bills closed out his address by telling the Rosemount graduates to embrace what comes next.

"We have no way of knowing what lies ahead, but that's what makes the journey even more exciting," Bills said. "That's what makes life worth living."

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