Merrill High School held its 131st commencement exercises Friday. The graduates in the Class of 2014 numbered 245. 
The class chose health and physical education teacher Scott Arneson as their keynote speaker, much to his surprise.
“I’m still trying to figure out why these guys asked me to speak,” he said. “I guess I get one last chance to educate this class of seniors. “
To that end, Arneson offered 10  “Arnieisms – The Short Truth.” He paused midway through his top-10 list to leave the podium and hug his daughter, Brooke, who was among the graduates.
At the conclusion of his address, he offered this summary: “Please use your manners; accept others for who they are; use your talents; set goals and write them down; it’s not work if you enjoy it; listen to grandma; tell your kids you love them and you’re proud of them; what’s said or sent matters; it’s OK to follow your conscience and your faith; right is still right and wrong is still wrong; and failures are part of the climb,” he said. “Good luck seniors, and write the story of your life.”
Jagger Scholz filled for Class Vice President Dalton Wilding, who missed graduation due to the state track meet. Scholz delivered Wilding’s speech with his own twist. 
“When I think of the class of 2014, one word comes to mind: integrity,” Scholz said. “We displayed integrity in the classroom, on the field and in the community.  Throughout the years this class has shown our academic prowess by scoring highly on the state standardized tests and also challenging ourselves with vigorous courses that offer college credits.”
Class President Morgan Wilde combined humor and inspiration in her address to the class. 
“It seems not so long ago that we were sitting in our kindergarten classrooms, not knowing what was going on so we sat back and picked our noses and ate whatever we found inside of them,” she said. “The past is gone, the present is now in this hot and muggy fieldhouse. But what of the future? Class of 2014, we decide from here on out where to go. The future is in our hands. Friends, family and faculty, these students you see sitting in front of you are an amazing group of people. There is no doubt in my mind that we will accomplish great things. Wherever we will go, we will make a mark and we will make a difference.”