Buchanan High School graduates 98 in 2017 class Friday

Published 8:51 am Monday, June 5, 2017

The sun was shining brightly on the 2017 Buchanan High School graduates Friday evening. Soft tufts of cottonwood seeds danced around the 98 graduates gathered in Memorial Field who were waiting to receive their diplomas.

The stands were packed with family and friends of the graduates, who erupted in a roar of applause as the graduates marched in procession, two-by-two, toward their seats.

Principal Stacey DeMaio addressed the class of 2017 with words of encouragement and hope for the future.

“It’s not enough to say that you deserve a chance at success,” DeMaio said. “What will make you a success is your willingness to accept responsibility, learn from your mistakes, apply that knowledge to future endeavors and prove your self-worth. Then, and only then, will you be truly successful.

“Class of 2017, after today we will greet you not as a student in our school, but as a citizen of the world,” she said. “Take what you have learned and apply it to your future endeavors as you begin the journey to your personal success. Remember to follow your heart, but take your brain with you.”

Dylan Catalano, the 2017 class president and Mr. Blossomtime First Runner-up, took the podium to reminisce with his fellow classmates. Catalano waxed nostalgic about his memories from elementary school through graduation.

“When I look out into this crowd today, I see many of the same faces that I saw weekday mornings at 6 a.m. while we studied for test after test in anatomy class,” he said. “We wanted so badly to be the students who could say they excelled in one of the hardest classes that high school has to offer. And today, the fellow members of my class who took anatomy with me can say that, because we accepted the challenge and worked to achieve our goals.”

Shyann Foster spoke to her fellow graduates next, encouraging them to remember their roots.

“Where did the time go?” she asked. “It seems like only yesterday that we were clueless freshmen fighting with the locks on our lockers, and looking generally clueless to all the upperclassmen. I’m sure that was comical.

“How do we measure the time we spent in high school?” she asked.

Alexandra Tobler, one of the 2017 salutatorians, closed out the student speeches.

“We knew [high school] would be challenging, but we would survive,” she said. “We knew it would be somewhere we loved, and yet dreaded. The day we walked through those doors for the first time, not one of us could have predicted what would happen.”

Tobler offered a special thanks to the teachers and staff at the school who have stuck with the students through thick and thin.

“It takes a special kind of person to work with high schoolers,” she said. “We know how difficult we can be. Believe us. We put up with each other for 12 years. Just know that when we gave you a hard time, it was often because we were having one too. We are so grateful for the level of patience you have shown us.”

The top 10 students for 2017 are:

Chad Adkerson

Lauren Capron

Michelle Dykstra, valedictorian

Jacob Graham

Donovan McPherson, salutatorian

Taylor Reed

Justin Ruth, salutatorian

Taylor Sobolewski

Alexandra Tobler, salutatorian

Christopher Wentworth, salutatorian