Hayden High School graduates look to the future
42 seniors cross the stage Sunday at school’s commencement
Scholarships awarded for academics, athletics and the military
Student Total amount
Wayne Dubs $500
Brooke Fisher $1,000
Ian Fralick $6,750
Mackenzi Frick $5,000
Benjamin Fulton $1,500
Brett Gabel $16,000
Samantha Huffar $4,500
Rachel Koehler $3,500
Jon Lee $71,186
Calla Manzanares $7,288
Ryan Mahaffie $1,000
Bryanna McFadden $19,650
Chris Miner $4,000
Tyra Monger $1,000
Ashleigh Muhme $3,900
Oscar Rodriguez $500
Dylan Sather $1,000
Murphy Smartt $4,900
Brittany Turner $4,000
Jacob Walker $14,000
Koleman Williams $4,000
Jarah Woodley $4,250
Source: Hayden High School
Hayden — Colorful, sticky string flew as fast Sunday as the black-and-orange caps students tossed in the air after being presented as the Hayden High School Class of 2010.
Not long after the graduating seniors started spraying each other, teachers got in on the fun. Art teacher Susan Koehler was especially enthusiastic, trying to cover as many students as she could in the stringy projectiles.
She explained that the day not only was special because her daughter Rachael was graduating with the senior class, but also because she’s known many of her daughter’s classmates since they were children.
“It’s really poignant,” Susan Koehler said, before pausing to wipe a tear from her eye. “I feel like they’re all my kids in a way, and I’ve watched them grow. I’m really proud of them.”
That emotion permeated the crowded high school gymnasium filled with about 1,000 family members, friends and teachers on hand to honor Hayden’s 42 graduates.
After being presented their diplomas, the graduates climbed the bleachers to give red and yellow roses as a thank you to family members and teachers.
With puffy, red eyes, senior Katie Parrott said she handed out 12 or 13 roses.
“I’m just going to miss everyone,” she said.
While Sunday’s ceremony marked the end of the graduates’ days in high school, speaker Amy Hansen reminded the Class of 2010 that “commencement” means beginning.
Hansen, an English teacher who started working at the school four years ago, called the ceremony an initiation into adulthood.
She encouraged the graduates to make good choices, but she said mistakes can be valuable, too. Hansen told a story about tripping over her chair and falling on her face four years ago on the first day of school — her first day as a teacher in Hayden. She said she felt like an idiot, but learned it’s one of the graduates’ favorite memories.
“The trick is to appreciate all of the experiences life has to offer, good and bad,” she said. “Laugh at yourself when you do things that are stupid, learn from your mistakes and don’t take life too seriously. Life is full of rich experiences and joyful moments if you choose to recognize them when they come around.”
Valedictorian Jon Lee, during his speech, noted the importance of graduating high school but said it was just the next step in their lives. He encouraged his classmates to look toward the future and not the past.
Counselor Nicole Dolence announced the post-graduate plans of all the seniors. Of the 42, 30 will attend college or trade schools. One will join the U.S. Army, three will work for a year before attending college and the rest plan to enter the work force.
Dolence said the class was awarded more than $170,000 in local and college scholarships for academics, athletics and military service.
While so much focus Sunday was placed on the graduates’ futures, Salutatorian Jacob Walker reminisced about his 12 years attending Hayden schools. He encouraged his classmates to recall the goals and dreams they had as children. Walker asked them to not place limits on their potential.
“The more we limit our limitations, the greater success and happiness we can have,” he said.
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