Evart seniors bid farewell to high school careers

EVART — A cry of cheers and applause rose up at Evart High School as district officials announced the newest graduating class of seniors.

Just over 50 students walked across the stage to receive their diplomas during Sunday's commencement ceremonies in the school's gymnasium, which was filled with proud family members and friends. Evart Public Schools Superintendent Howard Hyde congratulated the group on its accomplishments and wished the students well as they end their high school careers.

"We wish you the best of luck in the future," he said.

Valedictorian Nathan Renne and salutatorian Rachel Rounds gave individual speeches to their peers and audience members, giving words of inspiration and memories before thanking those who have made a difference in their lives and throughout the four years within the building's walls.

"I'm standing here today as the 2014 Evart High School valedictorian because I had a plan," Renne said. "I studied and worked hard to make my dream come true. (To my classmates,) I challenge you to have a plan — even if it fails. Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed."

Rounds said she wants the friends she made through her studies and extracurricular activities stick together following high school and hopes her fellow graduates remember the blessings that helped each of them get to where they are today.

Guest speaker Ian Northon, a 1996 alum of EHS, told the graduates stories of his times as a student, shared what he learned from his experiences and offered words of advice as the students travel down their own paths.

"Follow the right kind of passions and control them," he said. "Plan ahead and think about what you want to do, and remember that relationships matter."

Following the ceremony, the graduating class gave one last hurrah and tossed their caps in the air in celebration. Family members rushed to give congratulatory hugs while graduates shook hands, gave high fives and shed bittersweet tears.

Lesa Bowen took a few moments to take photographs of her stepson, Derek, with his father Donald and fellow graduate, Robert Young.

"He graduated third in his class," she said. "We're very proud."