Salutatorian Maddison Saarem broke with tradition during Carson High School’s commencement ceremony Saturday when she began her address with a dance party.
“Now that we got some of that craziness out of our system,” she told her fellow graduates, “I think we can agree we’ve all had some pretty fun times. All these memories will stay in our hearts and comfort us when we need it most.”
Principal Ron Beck said the class of 2013, which received a combined $1.5 million in scholarships, was known not only for its academic achievement, but accomplishments in drama, music and athletics.
What set the class apart most, he said, was the support students showed one another.
“This group of students definitely has its own unique type of personality,” he said. “They have truly made CHS better for their efforts. For that, Carson High School salutes you and thanks you.”
Before the ceremony, Beck warned graduates to check their seats before sitting down to avoid burning the backs of their legs as temperatures were expected to climb into the 90s during the graduation, which began at 10 a.m. It was even hotter, he said, on the artificial turf of the football field.
“It’s going to be about 105 degrees off the carpet up there,” he cautioned. “We’re going to go quick.”
In another break with tradition, student speaker Makayla Ragnone addressed her classmates in the gymnasium before the processional.
“I promise all of you graduates today if you put your minds to it, you can accomplish anything and everything,” she said.
Student body president Emmy Heller has attended all 12 years of school with many of the students in her graduating class. But she’s not feeling too sentimental about leaving them behind when she heads out for Brigham Young University on Aug. 20.
“I’m excited for everything to start,” she said. “I’m excited for myself as well as everybody else. I know everyone is off to do great things.”
Sophie Holmes wore her future on her hat.
The red and gold paw on the top of her graduation cap symbolized the U.S. Marines and the University of New Mexico.
“I’m just so happy to go on to new adventures,” she said.
But not everyone was as eager to move on.
“It’s scary, kind of,” said Luke Maher.
“We have to grow up,” added friend Jose Victor.
“It’s just fun being a kid,” Maher finished.
But the class of 2013 is moving on — as evidenced by the transformation of the “C” to “13” on C Hill — and senior class president Jaime King urged her fellow graduates to revel in it.
“Take a moment to soak up everything and really relish in this moment,” she said. “I ask that you just take it all in.”
“I promise all of you graduates today if you put your minds to it, you can accomplish anything and everything.”
— Makayla Ragnone
Carson High School student speaker