Lynn Graner
Lynn Graner
When Lanesboro Superintendent Jeff Boggs introduced the guest speaker at Sunday's annual awards banquet, he said she had promised him she wouldn't speak longer than an hour and a half. The audience at the Lanesboro High School event laughed, albeit nervously.

Lynn Graner, a 2003 graduate of the school and the daughter of Therese and Ken Graner, was anything but long-winded as she recalled her own days in high school and what she has learned since.

Graner's message to the graduating seniors stressed the importance of community. She said when she was in high school, she did not "realize the quality of a Lanesboro High School education." Since then, she has learned how extremely valuable it was and has also become thankful for the experience.

Graner has also found that it was unlike other people's high school days. She used as an example the annual senior class trip to Washington, D.C.: no contemporaries of hers have had that experience. She felt it was both personally fulfilling and even life-changing, but also it was a significant representative of the importance of community - it takes a special community to make an event like that happen.

Graner said, as a student, she was encouraged to be a part of sports and arts. What she learned from those activities was how to be part of a team, and since high school she has learned how important teamwork is: teams succeed together, and so it is important to know how to work together. Team members also help each other, another critical facet of being in the team. Again, she said this happened because of Lanesboro's and the school's sense of community.

She quoted a classmate who wrote the final words at the end of their high school yearbook in 2003: paraphrased, Matt Ruen said those seniors had one thing in common: they were all reflections of their home, family and community. She has taken this seriously and still feeling a part of the community, offered some advice to the seniors.

Graner said, first, the seniors would be wise to "embrace people who see things differently than you do," because this could bring a new perspective.

She also reminded them of what someone once said and which she has come to strongly believe, "Ten percent is what happens to you, 90 percent is how you react to it." She stressed that attitude is the most important thing in our lives.

Her last point was that while "graduation can be a sad thought," she advised the seniors to enjoy the whole process, including the idea that they would never again be together as a group in the same way. The strength of the community can endure, "Take a part of each other with you" wherever you go. But also embrace change, because "nothing lasts forever."

After graduation, Graner earned a B.A. in criminal justice and a minor in English at St. Cloud State in 2006. She added an M.A. in 2008. She currently works for Wells Fargo in Minneapolis.