Thirteen years have come and gone, memories of triumphs, friendships and growing up, now as one door closed another has opened for seniors around Sanders County.
This past Sunday saw 110 high school seniors bid their farewell to teachers and staff that had helped shape them over the years.
Tears of joy came from students and family members during the ceremonies which saw each student called individually to receive their high school diploma.
An achievement that comes with great reward as some get set to head to college to become doctors or teachers, perhaps graphic designers while others get set to hit trade school or even enlist in a service of the defense force.
A new generation of Sanders County locals getting set to hit the big wide world to discover the magic and become the people they want to be.
“Whatever you do, never stop learning, exploring, growing and challenging yourself to be your best,” words of encouragement from Noxon Superintendent Thad Kaiser to all seniors in the county.
This only emulated that of Hot Springs graduating senior Stacy Gray. Gray having pushed herself through her four years, reflected the ups and downs during her Valedictorian speech having said, “You will experience so many ups and downs, you will fail over and over and over again and there will be times that you just want to throw your hands in the air and give up. But I promise you that as long as you keep pushing forward, as long as you never give up, you will come out on top.”
Words that can echo through any age, words that come from self inspiration and drive; something that seemed to carry through all ceremonies last Sunday.
As superintendent of Plains Schools Thom Chisholm said of the graduating class, “As a class, you have surpassed your academic goals as students of Plains High School. As individuals, you have excelled to be the best in your particular activities and fields of interest. We wish you well in all your future endeavors.”
A phrase boasting those positive words that can truly resonate with each and every graduating student as they step forth into their new phase of life.
As nostalgia sets in for families, teachers and perhaps even a majority of the graduating class here in Sanders County, it can all best be summed up by the words of Hot Springs Schools Superintendent Mike Perry.
“A diploma serves to open the doors of possibility to each of you. I know that you have the skills and abilities to be successful in your chosen endeavors and will always hope for the best in each of your lives,” he said.
Class of 2018, you are now set to conquer the world as you see fit, and inspire the thousands of people you are set to encounter.
“We are so much more than just students. We are our past, our present, and our future. We are the parents who raised us, the teachers who taught us, the community that sits here before us today, and the successes and failures that lie before us,” eloquently summed up by Elsie Brown on of Thompson Falls Valedictorians.
As they all get set at the starting gate of life, all should embrace the empowering words from Thompson Falls Schools Superintendent Jason Slater, “Follow you hearts, use your minds, and do great things.”