As free as a Bulldog

Saturday ceremonies to send off senior class

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Saturday morning will mark the last required trip to Moffat County High School for the graduating class of 2006.

The 10 a.m. commencement ceremonies in the high school gymnasium will be for the students, by the students.

Senior Kaylin Lamberton will be giving the keynote commencement address, winning the honor through a speech contest organized by counselor Paula Duzik.

"There was a tryout selection process to decide which students would speak," Duzik said. "The interested students each wrote up a speech, we chose who would be the best for the different speeches and now they're working with the speech teachers to get them ready."

After an invocation address by senior Paige Terry and welcome speech by senior Jo Jo La, Duzik will announce the students who received scholarships for the 2006-07 academic year, $82,000 of which she said were awarded locally.

MCHS Principal Jane Krogman will then recognize the honor students in the top 10 percent of the class, nine of whom tied for the honor of valedictorian with a perfect grade point average of 4.0, and the students who will be going on to serve in the military.

Lamberton will present her speech after the recognition of retiring faculty, presentation of the class of 2006 gift.

Teachers Jim Loughran and Roger Spears' announcement of outstanding seniors.

Superintendent Peter Berg--mann will announce the graduating class, then board of education President Joann Baxter and high school Assistant Principal Thom Schnellinger will present the class with its diplomas, announced by Duzik.

Before moving their tassels and tossing their caps, students Adriane Zachary and Michelle Hardin will deliver a final farewell address and the benediction, respectively.

The MCHS seniors will exit the gym for the last time to the recessional song of their selection, Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird."

The ceremony's non-classic-rock ballad accompaniment -- the prelude, processionals and national anthem -- will be performed by the ninth- through 11th-grade band while the MCHS combined student choir will perform Stephen Schwartz's song, "For Good."

The gymnasium seating is first-come, first-served and secretary Anna Nitschke urges all amateur musicians to leave the cow bells and air horns at home for the named diploma recipients. No formal reception or parties organized by the school district follow the ceremony.

"I'm elated, excited for the kids, there are about 160 (graduates)," Duzik said. "It's one of the biggest events of the spring. People will start coming as early as 8 (a.m.) to get seats."

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