GRADUATION SERIES: Fesler & Stottlemyre

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Class of 2018. To keep the limelight on the busy graduation season,  we are highlighting some speeches that were delivered on the graduation and other stages.These words show wisdom beyond years, hope beyond cynicism, faith past understanding … and some laughs too. The words will echo Mother Teresa, Barry Gunn and Tim McGraw. They are words tapped out on phones, pounded on laptops or written with a pencil on a yellow pad (nah!). They are words written in a coffee shop or late at night, maybe through some tears or edited by a teacher. Words to remember. The readers won’t regret it because the words are for all of us – young and old, grads or not, looking ahead or looking back. Enjoy.

Graduates, if you go far, come back and see us. If you stay home, lead us. Be our neighbor and keep us updated with some new hashtags or whatever is fresh. Luther needs you. The world needs you. 

Graduates Kaitlyn Fesler and Johnna Stottlemyre gave a joint valedictory address.

Graduates: Fesler & Stottlemyre


Kaitlyn Fesler
  • GPA 4.14
  • Valedictorian
  • Southwestern Oklahoma State University for nursing; scholarships include: full-tuition, room and board.
  • Completed 27 college credit hours
  • Three-time basketball academic state champion
  • Basketball team captain
  • Daughter of Rodney & Amber
  • Nurse Technician at Mercy Hospital
  • Member, National Honor Society and Oklahoma Honor Society
  • Member,  Luther First Baptist Church


Johnna Stottlemyre

  • GPA – 4.02
  • Valedictorian
  • FFA Vice President
  • Academic state champion, basketball
  • Daughter of Jennifer & John, sister Hailey
  • Conners State College, full-tuition scholarship
  • Signed on the Conners Livestock Judging Team
  • Oklahoma Youth Expo, scholarships totaling $15,000
  • For nine years, Johnna had the opportunity to travel extensively showing livestock
    • Highlights: Tulsa State Fair Grand Champion (two times), Arizona National, OYE Doe Show and various Showmanship trophies
  • THANK YOU! Mrs. Holly Drake, mentor and teacher; parents Jennifer & John and sister Hailey!


The Speech

Kaitlyn Fesler & Johnna Stottlemyre—Graduation Speech

Class of 2018, here we are. The moment we have anxiously been waiting for, and our parents have been dreading. Four years ago, most of us walked into a new building as nervous freshman. On the first day of high school, we were eager—we flooded the halls with laughter and excitement to start our new journey. We didn’t know much about high school, but we soon learned that the nice thing about living in a small town is that when you don’t know what you’re doing, someone else surely does.

Now here we are, seniors, about to walk across the stage just one last time and yet again start a new journey. Graduation is not the end, it is just a milestone along the way.

Tonight means different things to each of us. To some, it comes as a relief; to others, it is accompanied with a feeling of remembrance as we look back on good times with the friends we’ve made. Most of us are looking into the future with anticipation… but whether we go to college, enter a branch of the armed forces, or begin a new career, we ought to never forget where we came from.

Now, as we all continue on with our lives, let us overcome each obstacle with confidence, knowing that we have achieved great heights and are equipped with the strength to tackle our futures.

When we first sat down to write this speech, tons of thoughts and memories flowed through our minds. Are we going to reminisce? Will this speech be good enough? The truth is, there is no right way to sum up the past four years of high school. There have been highs and lows, but we all made it. There is no easy way to say goodbye to this small town, all of our friends, or the memories we have made along the way.

However, as we say goodbye to Luther High School, we need to thank everyone who has helped us along the way:

Family and friends, it means the world to us to have you here today. Thank you for the endless encouragement that has helped us make it this far. It is because of you that we sit here today and look forward to what lies before us.

Teachers and faculty, thank you for being our support system and influencing who we are today. We would like you to know how grateful we are that you never gave up on us, even when we caused so much chaos.

Finally, to all of the graduates by our side—I hope that as we end this chapter of our lives, we are also ready to start a new one. I wish you all the best. Good luck and congratulations, Class of 2018!


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