Class of 2023 – They Made It Through!


The cap toss, the photos, the diploma, what many children look forward to from a young age. And what our Class of 2023 experienced at this year’s graduation as they walked into the next chapter of their life on the beautiful evening Thursday, June 8, 2023.

Opening the graduation Mrs. Woher welcomed and prepared the seniors for the moments to come. Distinguished Falcon Awards were awarded by Assistant Principal Erin Thompson. The Distinguished Falcon awards recipients are nominated and voted on by staff.  Thompson talked about each students’ accomplishments and future aspirations of these outstanding students. Recipients were Jack Houlahan and Melody Brizuela. 

This year’s Valedictorians were Madison Clouse, Jack Houlahan, Sadie Kienzle, Lexi Kienzle, Mckenzie Manley, and Salutatorian Nikki Benjamin. Down the line, each of these dedicated students shared a few words with their peers. The ones they have surrounded themselves around for the past 12 years. Lots of advice, memories, and heartfelt messages really left an imprint on students, staff, and parents. 

Foods teacher Mr. Peddler who gave this year’s commencement speech, for the second time since he began at Prairie High School. He ventured through childhood stories sharing his experiences growing up and how he ended up here and the lessons he learned along the way. One of his biggest messages was that you can do whatever you put your mind to regardless of what you think may be up against you. Such as A 504 plan which Peddlar specifically mentioned he had experienced with this himself, it allowed kids with 504 plans to look up to him as he gave them a sense of understanding and hope. 

Then the main event, seniors began standing row by row and moving towards the stage, where name by name Mrs. Zika announced students. In just a few seconds each senior turned into a graduate with the shake of a hand. 

Once diplomas were in the hands of the class of 2023, ASB president Taylin Mandaguit shared a few words, thanking Prairie for the time, experience, and memories she and her peers have been given. Jackson Upton, Senior class president followed, announcing to the class that they could now switch their tassels, a monumental moment in each of these student’s lives. 

Ending graduation with a teacher tunnel and graduates moving into the end zone they celebrated with the cap toss, sealing off the night on the count of three. With many tears shed, laughs shared, and many pictures taken. Families and friends flooded the field to meet their kids with bouquets of flowers and gifts to celebrate their dedication and success. 

The class of 2023 is now off to do incredible things and write the next chapter of their lives. Well, after the grad night party of course. Everyone is so proud of the Prairie High School class of 2023. Until they see each other again in 10 years their time at Prairie has concluded in a beautiful way.