Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

13 graduate from Banner County High School as class of 2015


John Verser

Vicki Grubbs, left, hugs her daughter Christina during Saturday's graduation ceremony in the Banner County Gym.

"This place will always be home," said Dalton Jordan, valedictorian for the Banner County High School class of 2015.

Jordan was one of three speakers at Saturday's commencement that said farewell to the class of 2015.

The ceremony opened with a photo slideshow with music before the 13 members of the class walked into the gym and onto the stage. After an invocation from class member Christina Grubbs, school superintendent Lana Sides took the audience on a trip down memory lane.

"It seems like just yesterday, these students were getting off the bus with their adorable little backpacks and were playing on the playground and making lifelong friends. Their only worries were what was for lunch that day and how long until recess. Every experience was something new and fun," she said. "Little did they know how much was to come. However, yesterday is now in the past. Today they stand proudly in front of their friends and family. Today it is appropriate to stand back, take a breath and recognize how far they have come. From their last homecoming to prom and awards night, they have accumulated exceptional memories this year that will remain with them for a lifetime."

Sides said that members of the class have learned many lessons over the years and can take that knowledge with them wherever they go.

"All they have to do is open their eyes and hearts, maintain a positive outlook and receive opportunities when they present themselves," she said. "Embrace your yesterdays, enjoy today, and best of luck on your tomorrows."

Salutatorian Michael McKown III told his classmates and those assembled that at some point every member of the class will look back and remember all they have done together.

"As a class, we have done so much together that it's hard to believe that we're all going to be on our separate ways," he said. "I wish each and every one of you good luck, especially you, Roby (Fonseca), because you're going to need it."

McKown thanked parents, teachers and others, and said, "Without all your support, I don't think we would be here today."

The salutatorian also reminded his classmates that they will always be there for one another.

"Whatever happens in our life, just know that we are just a phone call away or a text," McKown said. "We leave here today not just as friends, but as family, and family is always there for each other no matter what."

Jordan said the day was finally there that marked the end of that chapter of their lives.

"This day is both happy and sad," he said. "Today, we leave this school for the last time and go build a life of our own. Today is the day we leave behind great friends and set out for new courses."

Jordan has been a member of the class since kindergarten, as have most of those in the class, and said that has allowed the classmates to grow close.

"The majority of us have spent all day together," he said. "This class has grown since that first day. We have made many friends, and as few enemies, as happens in life."

Jordan thanked parents, siblings, grandparents, teachers and others for helping the class to grow.

"I would not like to have grown up with anyone different. I love these family and friends," he said.

Members of the class handed out flowers to family, loved ones and friends as tears, smiles and hugs dotted the room for a few minutes. Guidance counselor Jennie Parks then presented scholarships to many students. In total, members of the class of 2015 have earned $81,370 in scholarships as of last week.

Principal Heath Johnson presented diplomas to each of the 13 members of the class a short time before the exited the stage and the gym as graduates.


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