The annual wave of graduations has once again swept across higher education and, this weekend, into the halls of Hi-Line high schools. On Saturday, to cover the most ground, we sent a reporter south to Box Elder High School and a photographer west to North Star High School. On Sunday, it was the photographer’s turn to head south to Big Sandy High School as our reporter headed over to Chinook High School.
And we still have Rocky Boy High School’s graduation on Thursday evening and Havre High School’s next Sunday afternoon.
Box Elder High School
Box Elder’s graduating class of 2012, all 14 of them, gathered behind the podium in the school gym while hundreds of family and friends filled the rest of the room to celebrate the milestone in a Hollywood black and gold theme, with inflatable Oscar statues on columns.
Following a prayer for the students from Pearl Whitford, the salutatorian Harold Whitford Jr. had trouble holding back tears while recalling his experience and thanking his supporters.
Valedictorian Antonio Morsette went in a more humorous direction, reading his speech from a scroll that unfurled past his feet and beginning by thanking Harry Potter and the Avengers for saving the world and allowing the graduation to take place.
Box Elder High School Principal Darrin Hannum preceded the distribution of diplomas with announcing the students’ scholarships, taking particular note of the fact that three students had earned more than $66,000 in Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs Pathways scholarship funds, a federally funded state program to “provide academically prepared students from low and low- middle-income families access to postsecondary education. ”
Chinook High School
Chinook’s graduating class, twice as large as Box Elder’s with 28 students, took their seats in the middle of the gym floor as family and friends filled the surrounding bleachers.
The students in Chinook did pretty well in scholarships as well, earning a total of $176,987 toward their next pursuits.
Two special scholarship presentations interrupted the dispensing of diplomas Sunday.
The first was for the Blewett Wrestling Scholarship, a fund set up by Great Falls trial lawyer Alexander Blewett, to reward students wrestlers who excel on the mat and in the classroom. Blewett’s son Drew presented this year’s award to four-time champion and “easily one of the top five wrestlers to come out of Montana” Benjamin Stroh. Stroh also earned an academic scholarship to the University of Wyoming.
The second presentation was for a U. S. Air Force ROTC scholarship for four-year Honor Letter recipient Christopher Weber, which could amount to “more than $100,000, ” according to the lieutenant colonel presenting the award, depending on the school and program Weber chooses. The scholarship would also lead to a commission as a second lieutenant in the Air Force.
Keep an eye out later this week and next week for more Hi-Line graduations.
visit www.youtube.com/havredailynews for graduation videos.