Perpich News

Perpich Arts High School Graduation 2023

May 26, 2023

The Perpich Arts High School Class of 2023 graduated on May 26 in a ceremony at Ted Mann Auditorium on the University of Minnesota campus. The ceremony was also livestreamed on Facebook. Perpich is proud to announce that 100% of the Class of 2023 graduated. Mae Burley (Music 2023) served as Student Speaker and Admissions Director, Anne Johnson, gave the faculty speech. The audience, both in-person and virtual, was treated to presentations by each art area.

During Burley’s speech, she passed along three lessons that she learned from her classmates, from Perpich, and from the overall community. “1) Asking for help can save lives. And there is a tranquil beauty to offering someone the opportunity to help. This can mean mental, emotional, spiritual, physical. In any way. 2) Being wholeheartedly and authentically and genuinely and honestly yourself can be awesome. And, it can be really. difficult. Growth is not linear. 3) Allow yourself to lean into happiness. It’s okay to feel giddy. It’s healthy to love hard, to cry until your eyes burn, to throw dance parties with yourself, to shout and scream and stomp in big blue puddles and take up space. Surrounding myself with people who celebrate my joy has helped me accept that I deserve it. As do you.”

Anne Johnson, Admissions Director (left) with graduates in the Class of 2023

Anne Johnson, Admissions Director, shared her favorite quote, often attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr., during her speech. “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.” She encouraged the audience to remember that it’s all about the small things. “You’ve already accomplished a lot, and some of you may go on to do remarkable, life-changing, history making things. Yet even then, most of your lives will be made up of lots and lots of small things. From my vantage point, I’ve seen lots of small but amazing changes in you, from when you were first considering Perpich to today as you graduate. I’ve seen you grow from uncertain to confident thinking artists. I’ve seen you grow into your own authentic selves, like peacocks strutting your beautiful feathers as more self-assured young humans.”

In her reflection, Rebecca Bullen, Assistant Principal, paid tribute to Conn McCartan, at his last graduation as principal before retiring in June. “He has taught me about being a leader, and having gone through a pandemic beside him, he has taught me about patience, flexibility, and the importance of pausing,” said Bullen. “He has presented me with opportunities to lead my passions and to show up as my authentic self. This is a characteristic he brings to all, students, staff, and families.”

Assistant Principal Rebecca Bullen and Principal Conn McCartan

During his closing remarks, Principal Conn McCartan reflected on what it means to matter. A member of the Class of 2023 shared a note with Conn which said, “The way this school orchestrated my class showed me what it’s like to matter. Perpich changed me. Thank You.” Conn shared a hope and a challenge with the graduates. “My hope is that in some way – through a relationship with a peer or a staff member, through a learning or a goal you achieved, through the creation of your art – that you ‘felt what it’s like to matter’ while you were here. I hope that your life beyond Perpich is one where this idea of mattering is something that you continue to experience. And – here is the challenge – I hope that the feeling of mattering is something so impactful that it causes you to work to create it for others in your life. Above the door to our school is this quote from our namesake, Governor Rudy Perpich: ‘Inspire people to believe in themselves and they will accomplish extraordinary things.’ I can’t imagine anything inspiring a person to believe in themselves more than having them ‘feel what it’s like to matter.’ I believe you carry many lessons, attributes, and memories from Perpich. My hope is that one of them is the importance of helping others feel like they matter. I can envision you creating an extraordinary world for all of us armed simply with that intention!”

Special thanks to the Graduation Committee for all their work to make this year’s ceremony a memorable one.

CLASS of 2023
Representing 33 different Minnesota communities

*Designates Honors Graduate with Final GPA of 3.6 or Higher

  • Klaire Anderson (Media Arts) – Lonsdale, MN*
  • Catrielle Barnett (Visual Arts) – Plymouth, MN*
  • Nora Barnette (Media Arts) – Columbia Heights, MN
  • Ava Barrett (Visual Arts) – St. Louis Park, MN
  • Garrett Baudhuin (Music) – St. Louis Park, MN
  • Samara Bergin (Visual Arts) – Moorhead, MN*
  • Fynnegan Boylan (Visual Arts) – Forest Lake, MN
  • Sydney Brandt (Literary Arts) – Brooklyn Park, MN
  • Riley Brown (Literary Arts) – Rochester, MN
  • Mae Burley (Music) – Elk River, MN*
  • Anna Bystrom Micek (Media Arts) – Minneapolis, MN*
  • Claireece Carlson Callender (Music) – Grand Marais, MN
  • Rosie Castano (Music) – Fridley, MN*
  • Fiona Cheever (Dance) – Cold Spring, MN
  • Cyrprian Christensen (Visual Arts) – St. Paul, MN
  • Marley Christian (Music) – Brooklyn Center, MN
  • Lee Christianson (Dance) – Halstad, MN*
  • Mac Collier (Theater) – Cottage Grove, MN
  • Sophia Cruz (Media Arts) – Plymouth, MN
  • Ana Curtiss (Literary Arts) – Plainview, MN
  • Wyatt Desmarais (Music) – North Mankato, MN
  • Lucas Fisher (Visual Arts) – Stillwater, MN
  • Bronwyn Fitzgerald-Wells (Dance) – Grand Marais, MN*
  • Rowan Freeman (Media Arts) – Minneapolis, MN*
  • Azalea Fustgaard (Music) – Minneapolis, MN
  • Addison George (Media Arts) – Grand Rapids, MN
  • Laurence Gingerich (Visual Arts) – Zumbrota, MN
  • Azy Gourhan (Musical Theater) – Faribault, MN
  • Flora Greenwald-Gaard (Media Arts) – Minneapolis, MN
  • Lauryn Greve (Visual Arts) – Mankato, MN
  • Jonah Gunderman (Music) – Minneapolis, MN
  • Joey Haack (Media Arts) – Brooklyn Park, MN
  • Greta Haberman (Visual Arts) – Cologne, MN
  • Mauce Harju (Media Arts) – Apple Valley, MN
  • Elise Hatlestad (Visual Arts) – St. Louis Park, MN
  • Stella Hennen (Music) – Cold Spring, MN*
  • Blake Herrick (Media Arts) – Proctor, MN
  • Liam Hoch (Visual Arts) – Plymouth, MN
  • Mikayla Holaday (Visual Arts) – St. Paul Park, MN
  • Nina Holding Eagle-Bushaw (Visual Arts) – Moorhead, MN
  • Brynn Howitz (Musical Theater) – Elk River, MN
  • Ellery Hughes (Visual Arts) – Minneapolis, MN*
  • Quinn Karger (Visual Arts) – Bemidji, MN
  • Jaden Kelly (Visual Arts) – Cottage Grove, MN
  • Otis King (Media Arts) – St. Paul, MN*
  • Jamie Knable (Music) – Cottage Grove, MN
  • Jamie Kraft (Dance) – St. Louis Park, MN
  • Greta Laberda (Visual Arts) – Brooklyn Center, MN
  • Christine Lane (Visual Arts) – Maple Grove, MN
  • Jasmine Lara (Visual Arts) – Champlin, MN
  • Meadow Lazarski (Theater) – Minneapolis, MN*
  • Pasakura Lee (Visual Arts) – St. Paul, MN*
  • Harper Leighton (Visual Arts) – Shorewood, MN
  • Avery Lichty (Musical Theater) – Rochester, MN*
  • Zinc Line (Visual Arts) – Buffalo, MN*
  • Veda Marks (Music) – Minneapolis, MN
  • Ava Marti (Visual Arts) – New Ulm, MN
  • Carly Martin (Visual Arts) – St. Michael, MN
  • Rin McMahon (Visual Arts) – Chanhassen, MN
  • Amelia Mickelson (Literary Arts) – St. Louis Park, MN
  • Link Miller (Visual Arts) – St. Louis Park, MN*
  • Li Moore (Literary Arts) – Roseville, MN
  • Jaleela Mounsamroauth (Visual Arts) – Brooklyn Park, MN
  • Erin O’Daniel (Visual Arts) – Minneapolis, MN*
  • Elizabeth Ogilvie (Visual Arts) – Excelsior, MN*
  • Jaden Anthony Oglesby (Music) – Sleepy Eye, MN
  • Maeken Ploof (Music) – Princeton, MN
  • Ana Plucar (Dance) – Plymouth, MN*
  • River Rasmussen (Visual Arts) – White Bear Lake, MN
  • Aiden Ritchey (Theater) – Grand Marais, MN*
  • Caroline Rogan (Visual Arts) – Minnetonka, MN*
  • Sebastian Rothe (Visual Arts) – Oronoco, MN
  • Virginia Rush-Reese (Visual Arts) – Robbinsdale, MN
  • AJ Sommers (Media Arts) – Annandale, MN
  • Estes Spreeman (Visual Arts) – Stillwater, MN
  • Rachel Steen (Musical Theater) – Morris, MN*
  • Arlo Studenski (Media Arts) – South Haven, MN
  • Mia Tamez (Literary Arts) – New Hope, MN*
  • Cole Thein (Music) – Minnetonka, MN*
  • Alyssa Thoennes (Visual Arts) – Parkers Prairie, MN*
  • Ali Treichler (Visual Arts) – Annandale, MN*
  • Ghoul Vucinovich (Visual Arts) – Lester Prairie, MN*
  • Bea Wallace (Visual Arts) – Woodbury, MN*
  • Reese Walts (Dance) – Minneapolis, MN*
  • Frankie Weaver (Media Arts) – St. Paul, MN
  • Annika Wick (Media Arts) – Hermantown, MN
  • Ava Wick (Media Arts) – Hermantown, MN
  • Nadia Yliniemi Hensel (Musical Theater) – Park Rapids, MN*