While walking was the order of the day on Thursday evening, Douglas High school’s graduating class of 2022 was urged to enjoy the moment.
“I urge you to sit, to ponder, to feel the sun in your face and enjoy the company at your side,” said class speaker Ruby Jacobsen. “The future will always come later, but the present is only now.”
Douglas High School teacher Brad Newlon described the class of 2022 as the “endurance class” during the graduation commencement Thursday.
Class speaker Sydney Hastings said for her, her high school career felt like Taylor Swift’s song “22.”
“’We’re happy, free, confused and lonely in the best way, it’s miserable and magical,’’’ senior year and especially today feel that way for me,” said Hastings. “I’m nervous to see what’s coming, but I’m excited to be here.”
In Hastings’s speech she expressed how she and her classmates went through a lot, and though it sounds impressive from the outside looking in, it was difficult for them to endure.
“We really have been through a lot, over the last four years,” she said. “And I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to get tired of hearing how resilient we are for making it through high school during a pandemic because while we did in fact accomplish that impressive feat, it didn’t feel like much of an impressive feat while we went through it.”
The class of 2022 faced many challenges throughout their high school career, from the coronavirus and online learning, global warming and increasing gas prices, but they didn’t let it hold them down.
“We experienced our senior year differently, to say the least,” said class speaker Carissa Bilderback, the first student to graduate summa cum laude in Douglas High history.
It was the first year the school changed to a class ranking sytem.
Of the more than 300 graduates, 33 students graduated cum laude meaning that they had between a 4-4.499 GPA.
Twenty-three students graduated with magna cum laude status meaning they graduated with a 4.499-4.499 GPA.
Students wore different colored tassels and stood up to be recognized.
Before the class speakers and the graduation, Douglas High School Principal Mike Rechs recognized and rewarded staff and teachers.
Computer science teacher Daniel Hyden was honored as the teacher of the year.
“He is one of the most caring human beings on planet Earth,” said Rechs.
Administrative secretary Karan Seelbinder recieved support staff of the year due to her incredible “drive to get the job done” said Rechs.
“She truly lives and breathes the Douglas Tigers spirit,” he said.
Students took a moment during the ceremony to recognize three classmates who died.
Kimber Palma, Haydn Miguel, and James Rowen were honored and remembered during the ceremony with their families in attendance.
Palmer and her great grandmother were killed in the last Centerville collision in 2017. Miguel died in a July 3, 2021, fall in Alpine County. Rowen died in November 2021.
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