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Hayden graduates leave ‘legacy throughout the world’

Hayden High School students react to a photo slideshow during Sunday’s graduation ceremony.
Matt Stensland

HAYDEN — Confetti bombs, Silly String, advice and a few tears helped send off the 2018 Hayden High School graduating class on Sunday.

The school graduated 30 seniors this year, who earned more than $46,000 worth of scholarships. Seven of the students also received welding certifications from the school’s Babson Carpenter Career & Technical Education Center.

Student Karyn Forbes gave the salutatorian address by taking jabs at and recalling memories about each of her classmates.

“We can officially say we made it through, and it was nothing like (the movie) ‘High School Musical,’” she said.

While the ceremony was all about the graduating seniors, the event came just days after the school district learned it had received a $38.9 million grant for a new $61 million building that will house all of the district’s schools.

“I’m proud of it,” graduate Gabby Lewis said after the ceremony.

Sunday’s graduation will likely be one of the last to be held in the existing building.

“This building has so many great memories in it,” Lewis said.

The new school facilities were not mentioned during the graduation ceremonies, but it has still been the talk of the town.

“It’s been on everybody’s mind,” school board president Brian Hoza said. “Everyone in town is talking about it. It has heightened the tone of conversation in the entire community. It’s huge.”

Before the graduates passed out flowers to their family members in the crowd, those in the gym heard from valedictorian Geneva Kunshier, as well as English teacher Kendra DeMicco, who was chosen by the students as their guest speaker.

For a final classroom assignment, DeMicco on Wednesday told the students to reflect on the graduation experience and come up with one word to describe it.

The responses she received included the words ready, thrilled, excited, nervous and indecisive.

“And, one of you is straight up terrified,” DeMicco said. “I won’t tell you who it is.”

DeMicco told the students how they helped inspire her to found the Leaders 4 Peace humanitarian group, which works with young leaders in conflict regions around the world and encourages them to build peace through friendship, reconciliation and service.

“Your impact will leave a legacy throughout the world, and you did it from here in Hayden, Colorado,” DeMicco said to the students.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.


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