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Butterfield-Odin graduates class of 2020 at Voss Park

Sean Ellertson
Jennifer Perez beams as she shows off her hard-earned diploma.

On Saturday afternoon, the Butterfield-Odin Public School graduated its 22-member class of 2020 with a graduation ceremony at Voss Park.

Family and guardians of senior students formed a half-circle with their vehicles around the stage, crafted out of a trailer.

Principal Tyson Walker welcomed guests with a short speech.

"Your daily choices have gotten you here today, and every one of you has taken a different path to get here," said Walker. "The path has brought challenges both big and small, and your families and school adults have been here to assist you along the way."

"Saints, I challenge all of you graduates to encounter opportunities to work and learn as you continue your new journey of college or career readiness."

Following his speech, Superintendent Steve Thomas shared words with the crowd. School counselor Tammi Samuelson presented scholarships and awards. 

Susan Fast was named as the valedictorian of the class of 2020. Vanessa Rodriguez earned the salutatorian award. 

"The reality is, we're no longer working towards a diploma," said Rodriguez. "Which means, now that one goal has been met, that we all need to decide on a new one."

Following the ceremony, the students and their families were given one final sendoff with a parade through the streets of Butterfield. 

Each graduate will get a thumb drive of the ceremony, complete with photos taken by teachers and staff, as well as shots from a drone. 

The event was also live-streamed on Facebook and broadcasted on the radio through 90.1 FM.


American Legion Post No. 33- $500: Stephanie Kotten

Butterfield Community Club and Auxiliary- $250: Seth Pierson, Elisabeth Pankratz

Butterfield Foods- $1,000 per year of study: Elisabeth Pankratz

Education Minnesota, Butterfield-Odin- $250: Susan Fast, Kassandra Hagan

Irene Wenner Memorial Scholarship- $750: Vanessa Rodriguez, Susan Fast, Elisabeth Pankratz, Stephanie Kotten

Laurie Johnson Scholarship- $200: Kassandra Hagan

Mayo Clinic Health System- $1,000: Stephanie Kotten, Jennifer Perez

Miller Brothers Scholarship- $500: Austin Bolte, Susan fast, Kassandra Hagan, Stephanie Kotten, Juan Morales, Elisabeth Pankratz, Jennifer Perez, Seth Pierson, Kayla Torres, Gia Zender

St. James Area Foundation- $500: Stephanie Kotten

VFW Post 9607- $250: Juan Morales, Vanessa Rodriguez

Wendy Anderson Memorial Scholarship- $1,000: Susan Fast

KNUJ Honor Grad: Susan Fast, Seth Pierson

KEYC Best of Class: Susan Fast, Vanessa Rodriguez

Ag. Co. Scholarship- $2,000 each semester: Austin Bolte

Minnesota Workforce Scholarship- $2,500: Austin Bolte

South Central College full-tuition scholarship, two years, up to $12,000: Vanessa Rodriguez

South Central College- $2,500: Kassandra Hagan, Stephanie Kotten, Jennifer Perez

South Central College- $500: Kayla Torres

Iowa Lakes Community College Presidential Scholarship- $3,000: Elisabeth Pankratz

Iowa Lakes Community College Dual Credit Scholarship- $500: Elisabeth Pankratz