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Photos by Brad Shaffer/

Elisabeth Gaston | Reporter

CARBONDALE—Eighty-eight Santa Fe Trail High School seniors were recognized at commencement exercises May 11 at the high school.

Students were accompanied by the SFT band to the familiar strains of “Pomp and Circumstance.” After the welcome by student council president Lauren Erickson, SFT choraliers sang “Some Night” by Fun, arranged by Andy Beck.

Salutatorian Kayla Courtwright recalled some of the unfortunate events the class of 2013 have endured, the passing of their fifth-grade teacher, Ms. Marquart, the loss of Ethan Shirley in eighth grade, and the resignation of Ms. Towle, who is fighting cancer.

“We watched each other grow and mature and helped each other out when times got hard,” Courtwright said. “We wouldn’t be here today without our fellow classmates and we will take that knowledge with us as we start our journeys.”

Courtwright then introduced valedictorian Jessica Arwine. Arwine described the feelings endured during each year of high school. “We are a pretty great class, so we should just trust ourselves no matter how crazy an idea may seem to other people,” Arwine said. “Figure out what makes you happy and stick with that.”

Arwine closed with a quote from a Carrie Underwood song, “I will see you again, this is not where it ends, I will carry you with me.”
SFTHS Assistant Principal Patrick Graham presented the class and USD 434 Board of Education President Randy Boudeman recognized the class.

Senior sponsor Connie Lindell announced the graduates with SFTHS Principal David Swaim assisting.

USD 434 Board of Education members Randy Boudeman, Zac Anshutz, Dana Mentzer and Shandy Vollrath, along with former board members Heather Swisher and Brad Shaffer, presented diplomas.

Swaim accepted the class and they walked out to a recessional of “Raiders March” by the SFT band.

Senior class sponsors were Lindell and Diana Hullings. Junior ushers were Chase Logan, Jessica Abendroth, Trevor Rosine and Erin Brady.

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