230 Warrenton High School graduates cross the stage as part of the Class of 2023

By John Rohlf, Staff Writer
Posted 6/15/23

"I know firsthand just how lucky we are to be a part of this class.”

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230 Warrenton High School graduates cross the stage as part of the Class of 2023


More than 200 Warrenton High School graduates walked across the stage sooner than expected Saturday, after forecasted rain forced a change in start time to the 2023 commencement ceremony. 

Two-hundred thirty students graduated as part of the Warrenton High School Class of 2023. The commencement ceremony was held at 10 a.m. Saturday, nine hours before the originally scheduled 7 p.m. graduation. 

The Warren County R-III Board of Education voted two days prior to move up the time of the ceremony because of rain in the forecast. 

“In case you didn’t know, I was voted most likely to be late to graduation,” Warrenton High School Student Body President and student speaker Loren Howard said. “Which the time change did not help. I’m just as surprised as you are that they trusted me to be on time for this speech.”

Howard believes the Warrenton High School Class of 2023 had to endure the most change throughout the past four years. She noted the shifts in administration, teachers, coaches and advisors, as well as the evolving quarantine protocols and mask mandates in prior school years. 

“We couldn’t control everything that happened to us,” Howard said. “In fact, we could hardly control any of it. But what was most important was how we reacted and I think our class is one of the most involved classes this school has seen in a while … I hope the classes after us may unify to know one another as well as we do for their sake. Because I know firsthand just how lucky we are to be a part of this class.”

Warrenton High School alumnae Morgan Barton was chosen as this year’s commencement speaker. A 2010 Warrenton High School graduate, Barton is now a legislative clerk in the Missouri House of Representatives and lives in Jefferson City. 

PHOTO GALLERY: Warrenton High School graduation

Barton encouraged the graduates to get used to the idea they will get it wrong sometimes and to embrace that life is nothing but learning opportunities. She also encouraged the graduates to be open to new possibilities and not to focus on past regrets. 

“The future may be unpredictable and you might be surprised on the journey ahead of you,” Barton said. “That’s the beauty of growing up though. To meet all these versions of yourself that you could be and to cringe and laugh over the photos once you guys catch up with each other at the reunion 10 years later. Might as well have some fun with it, right? I really hope you do. You all have my great respect for this moment of celebration. I wish you all the best for whatever it is that comes next.”

Warrenton High School Principal Eric Alderson highlighted the accomplishments of the Class of 2023. They were offered over $1.4 million from colleges and universities in local scholarships. He also cited the class’ community involvement through community projects and fundraising efforts; as well as the class’ success in activities and athletics. 

“Life is what you choose to make of it,” Alderson said. “Don’t be defined by just one moment. For these past four years, you’ve had many moments. And know that there will be many more to come. Continue to make your moments, for this is what we call life. May you all strive for what your hearts desire and make all your plans succeed.”

warrenton, high school, graduation, ceremony, 2023