Kyle Barrett and Brittany Turner lead the Hayden High School Class of 2010 out of the school’s gymnasium Sunday after the graduation ceremony.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Kyle Barrett and Brittany Turner lead the Hayden High School Class of 2010 out of the school’s gymnasium Sunday after the graduation ceremony.

Hayden High School graduates look to the future

42 seniors cross the stage Sunday at school’s commencement

Class scholarships

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

— 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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