MHS Valedictorians Impress The Vogts

This past weekend was filled with graduation festivities for me.

My brother, Troy, graduated from Salina Area Technical College with his welding certificates, and now he will be able to go out and start making more money than me, even though I got my bachelor’s degree a year ago this spring.

I’m happy for him and very proud. I could be jealous of him being able to start out making more than me, but I love what I do. Besides, if things get bad for me and he has found a job in this down economy, I can just sponge off of him, right?

In any event, prior to his 8 p.m. Sunday graduation, I covered the Moundridge High School graduation, and I was blown away.

First, I have never been to a graduation that had three valedictorians. Maybe this is kind of common and I’ve just led a sheltered life, but I thought that was pretty cool.

What made it even better, though, was how the trio delivered their speeches.

Rather than doing the boring three speeches one right after another, they teamed up and took the audience on a wonderful stroll down memory lane.

The three, Natasha Orpin, Natalie Stucky and Kaitlyn Vogts, used the alphabet as their road map and talked about different memories and occurrences they and their classmates had encountered throughout their school years. Each letter was the start of a new subject. For example, “A” stood for announcements.

The trio was funny and nostalgic, well-spoken and poised.

They each took turns talking about various events, and I loved it.

Those three girls did a fabulous job.

I have heard a lot of people speak at various functions, including graduations, but rarely have I seen a group captivate and audience like they did.

Maybe everyone was so in tune with what they were saying because of the inherent giddiness associated with high school graduation, and maybe the message they conveyed struck home because everyone in the audience knew just what they were talking about. Either way, I too was pulled in even though I know very few of the students that graduated.

It was a great send-off for them and their classmates, and they should be commended for the great work they did.

Of course, I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised they did such an incredible job. They were the valedictorians after all.

I was lucky enough to be invited to a graduation reception. Sure, I’ve gone to church with Kylyn Smith for some time, but since I still feel like the new guy in town, I truly appreciated the invited.

Oh, and if you need a good recipe for roll-ups, get in touch with Kim Smith. The snacks she served Sunday afternoon were delicious.

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About toddvogts 839 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of media at Sterling College in Kansas. Previously, he taught yearbook, newspaper, newsmagazine, and online journalism in various Kansas high schools, and he ran a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas. He continues to freelance as a professional journalist from time to time. Also, Vogts is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Journalism Education Association (JEA), and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), among others. He earned his Master Journalism Educator (MJE) certification from JEA in 2022. When he’s not teaching or writing, he runs his mobile disk jockey service and takes part in other entrepreneurial ventures. He can be reached at or via his website at

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