Photos courtesy of Janel Johnson Photography
2019 graduates say goodbye to Hettinger Public School
Dressed in long black gowns and square caps, the graduating class of 2019 accepted their high school diplomas last weekend.
At the graduation ceremony, Valedictorian Kyle Burwick, Salutatorian Brynn Honeyman, and Ben Werre spoke to their classmates about high school memories, ambitions, and their future.
Principal Darin Seamands said that it was a great experience to watch the class grow from 1st graders all the way to graduation.
“This is neat for me because I’m getting into the classes that I had when they were 1st graders,” he said, “I’ve seen them grow over the years and their personalities develop and they never lost that class unity.”
Through all the years, Seamands said that the class’s ability to look after each other really set them apart. Throughout the years, the class of 2019 continually reached for high goals, and was always determined to succeed.
“That’s one thing with this class is that they are very persistent and goal orientated. No one reaches all of their goals, but it’s about what you do when you don’t reach them. This is a group that has continually, if they have fallen short, regrouped and supported each other.”
Whether it was basketball, baseball, or wrestling, one defining characteristic of the class of 2019 was their incredible athletic success. Seamands said that the class of 2019 led the Night Hawks to new heights.
“Athletically, obviously this group has kids that have been apart of amazing teams. They have been leaders in team efforts and we have achieved more in the last couple of years than we have in the last decade or two in some instances.
The class of 2019 was not only equipped with brawns, but also brains. Over half the class graduated with either honors or high honors.
“Not just in athletics but academically, this class has been a very high achieving class,” said Seamands. “There are many kids who held themselves accountable to high standards throughout high school and are going to do great things, whether they choose to go to college or straight into their career.”
Seamands also mentioned the class’s great humor. In the last day of school before getting their diplomas, the graduating class carried out their senior prank. With the help of a retiring librarian, the seniors decided to fill a stairwell full of balloons and plastic wrap the walls.
Even after cleaning up plastic wrap and balloons, Principal Seamands said that he hopes to see more students come back to Hettinger. Ultimately, when younger generations return to Hettinger, it leads to new thriving businesses and a stronger community.
“They are very community minded kids. There are many in the class that have made comments, ‘I want to come back, I want to come back.’ That’s not something I’ve heard in a long time,” said Seamands. “We need these kids to come back, stay, and be active in the community.”
Seamands continued, saying that he is excited to see the class go out into the world and achieve their ambitions.
“Based on each individual student’s goals at this time, they are ready to go,” said Seamands. “Whether it is school to work, technical school, the military, or a four year university, Hettinger Public School does a great job preparing the students for all their choices.”