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FHS graduates walk the aisle

The Farmington High School Class of 2007 was lauded at commencement exercises on Friday night for its graduates receiving the highest ACT scores in school history, scoring in the top 10 statewide for their communication arts MAP score, obtaining seven district championships for athletics and receiving more than $2 million in scholarships.

The Farmington Civic Center was filled to capacity for the ceremony. Shouts and cheers filled the air as the graduates filed into the center to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” being played by the Farmington High School band.

The welcome to the families and friends gathered for the event was given by Student Council President Danielle DuMontier. She thanked the teachers and families who have given her class “a strong foundation to build upon”.

Jacob Goff, president of the senior class, issued his “Senior Challenge” for the class of 2008. He said he wished to rename this challenge the “Triple Dog Dare” … a challenge which cannot be ignored, as made popular in the movie “A Christmas Story”. He urged them to strive toward maturity, patience and perseverance.

“(When you) allow good of whole to take place over selfishness, you will begin to mature,” he said. “Great work is accomplished not by strength, but by perseverance.”

Later in the ceremony Goff would be honored for his perseverance as he was given his Associate of Arts Degree from Mineral Area College, obtaining this honor along with his high school diploma through taking dual credit courses along with online and on campus class at MAC. Goff’s efforts inspired the “Early College Pathways Program”, which will begin this next school year.

Danielle West presented the Junior Response on behalf of Junior Class President Parks Peterson, who was unable to attend. She read Peterson’s speech, which began with the Bible verse I Corinthians 6, starting with “When I was a child, I spoke as a child”.

“Patience is the only path to success,” read West from Peterson’s speech. “We vow to be patient through the rough times.”

The A Cappella Choir, under the direction of Sue Bauche, performed “Seasons of Life” from the Broadway show, “Rent”. The Choraliers men’s group sang “I Will Never Pass This Way Again”.

Kim Mackley, an employee at the high school, was selected by the students as the commencement speaker. She spoke of how close she feels to the students graduating and told them “you’ve got a lot ahead of you. The real world is here.”

“Every one of you can make the change,” she encouraged them of their transition from high school. She ended her speech with the same way she began the sporting events she would announce during the school year. “Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the Farmington Knights and Knightettes — the class of 2007.”

Recognition was given to the foreign exchange students, graduates entering the military and a four-year perfect attendance award given to Kristen Bird.

Eric Koppeis was named “Knight of the Year” by Principal Matt Ruble. The top ten students were also presented. Danielle Littrell was named Valedictorian and Sasha Murphy was Salutatorian. Rounding out the top ten were Shawn Slinkard, Danielle DuMontier, Amie Coleman, Collin Berry, Nick Horn, Erica Fitzgerald, Alex Weidenbenner, and Lacey Kelley.

In the Valedictorian address, Littrell told her classmates she realizes “none of the ‘drama’ of high school really matters”.

“I don’t remember any of that, but I remember what I have learned,” she said. She gave thanks to the faculty who have helped her in her studies and for the lessons they have taught her. She also gave praise to her grandparents and parents.

“I couldn’t be more grateful,” she told them, speaking of the love and support they have given her. She concluded her speech urging her classmates to “ … do your best to succeed.”

At the conclusion of the conferring of the degrees by Superintendent Dr. W.L. Sanders, the graduates sang the school song.

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