‘Go forth and serve’: North honors its Class of 2023

Carla Clark | For The Republic Students visit and take selfies during the 2023 Columbus North High School commencement ceremony in Columbus, Ind., Saturday, May 27, 2023.

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Many graduation speakers choose to reference famous writers, philosophers or historic figures during their remarks.

However, Columbus North Class President and Salutatorian Flynn Keele choose to quote a different source as he encouraged his peers to persevere amid hardship.

“In one of my favorite films, the cinematic masterpiece that is ‘Kung Fu Panda,’ Master Shifu explains this best: ‘If you only do what you can do, you will never be more than what you are,’” said Keele.

North held its 2023 graduation ceremony in the Memorial Gym Saturday afternoon.

As he addressed the crowded gym, Keele spoke of the failures and victories he experienced over the past four years and counseled his classmates to keep putting themselves out there.

“Have fun, work hard, and find comfort in the uncomfortable,” he said.

Principal David Clark also spoke to the importance of perseverance amid hard times.

“Graduates, although you may have been through challenges the last few years that many would consider difficult, you are better because of it,” he said. “You have developed strong habits of mind, and you have learned to live the Bull Dog way. Use both as you transition to a world that not only awaits you but a world that needs you.”

Clark noted that at least seven graduates have decided to do this by serving in the armed forces and took a moment to recognize each one, before also recognizing veterans in the audience.

“Class of 2023, you came here with goals and aspirations,” he said. “And today you leave, standing a little taller, reaching a little further, and being a little better. You have entered Columbus North to learn. And having done so, our charge to you now is go forth and serve.”

For the complete story and more photos, see Monday’s Republic.