Eighty-five classmates at Bayfield High School celebrated one last day together Sunday at their commencement ceremony at the school’s main gym, before they seek their own paths into adulthood.
“I’m so happy I came to this school. It’s a great school. I had a great time,” said Mike Trucott, greeting friend and fellow graduate Preston Stubbs outside the gym after the ceremony. Trucott plans to study nursing at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.
Valedictorian Rachel Bauer told students after completing school days filled with regimentation, they now face “boundless freedom and potential.”
“Strive each day for your future, but enjoy the moment,” she told fellow graduates.
The 85 graduates, sometimes cheering or hooting or rising to their feet in celebration for a friend ahead of them, went alphabetically in three waves to have their names read and their diplomas individually presented to them.
English teacher Tara Henderson, who delivered the commencement address, asked students to live lives with passion.
“Use your strength to live passionately, create a lasting impression,” she said.
She added a quote from Mark Twain, “Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry.”
Living with strength and passion, she said, “Will allow you to accomplish so many things.”
Bayfield School Superintendent Kevin Aten thanked parents for their efforts, noting it is not an easy job.
“Your efforts to reach this day are laudable,” he said.
Proud parents Tim and Chris Heydinger greeted their daughter, Tessa, as graduates went into the gym stands early in the ceremony to share a few private moments with their families.
Tim Heydinger said Tessa graduated with honors and is headed to Colorado State University, where she will major in business sports management.