Humboldt grads celebrate success

HUMBOLDT – For the 93 members of the Humboldt High School graduating class, Sunday was about reflecting on the knowledge they’d gained as well as looking forward to the future.

Even the announcement from Principal Lori Westhoff that a tornado watch had been issued for the county didn’t bring down the excitement for any of the graduates.

Despite the watch, no adverse weather came to Humboldt during the ceremony.

Senior Class President Brianna Carda said everybody in the lives of the graduates played a role in Sunday’s events.

“We’d like to thank our families, especially our parents, for supporting us and giving us the opportunity to succeed,” she said. “We also want to thank the community that supports our school system.”

Carda then presented the mantle to incoming Senior Class President Jacob Miller.

“Today is the representation of all the hard work, accomplishments and even failures at Humboldt High,” Miller said. “Together the class of 2013 overcame any and all obstacles that came their way. It’s my hope that the class of 2014 will follow upon their example.”

Following Miller’s speech, Westhoff announced the recipients of 12 different academic awards, as well as the presentation of Miranda Pederson as valedictorian and Garrett Nelson as salutatorian.

Senior Don Smith, who was selected by the student body to speak to the graduates, talked about what everybody in the class of 2013 learned over all their years in the Humboldt school district.

“We’ve come a long way from playing tag, and many of us still have those scars,” he said. “We’ve come a long way from those awkward middle school dances.”

“We’ve come a long way on our journey,” he added. “And we still have a long way to go.”

Smith said just because the class is graduating doesn’t mean they won’t see each other again.

“Most of Humboldt County is not going anywhere,” he said. “We’re just going on an extended vacation. We’ve left our mark and it won’t be our final goodbye.”

He added that everybody’s families deserve thanks.

“They guided us through all the trying years and put up with all of our nonsese with little or no thanks,” Smith said. “Well, at least for me.”

Sarah Rasmussen, who was selected by school staff as the second speaker, said everybody in the class can make a difference in the world.

“I’d like to present you with one visual,” she said. “This gym is 100 feet long. Now imagine a timeline that represents all of human life.”

She said the average life span of a human, 77.97 years, only takes up a small percentage of that space. Despite that, the graduates can make an impact in a way that the likes of William Shakespeare and Abraham Lincoln have.

“We have the ability to do the same,” Rasmussen said. “We will prove that our generation is able to make history.”