Saturday was the culmination of four years of hard work for the nearly 300 students who walked out of Glacier High School as members of its 10th graduating class.
“I put in the work and this is pay day,” Jamison Seymour, an International Language Academy honor graduate, said before commencement began.
Seymour said he was excited to be graduating. He will begin the next step of his life’s journey in San Diego, Calif. in the U.S. Marine Corps Aviation at the end of July. He is planning on four years of active duty service, then four years in the reserves and hopes to become an officer and work in either air traffic control or mechanics.
Bailey Rhodes, a Magna Cum Laude student who was home-schooled before coming to Glacier High for her senior year, said she’d like to return to GHS one day as a history teacher.
“I think it’d be pretty cool to come back here and teach,” Rhodes said. “There’s a lot of mixed feelings right now. I’ve enjoyed my time here, but I’m glad to be moving on.”
Rhodes said she will attend Flathead Valley Community College for a year before moving to Whitworth University in Spokane or Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Jenna McCrorie, one of the Masters of Ceremony, along with Elijah Boyd, thanked outgoing Principal Callie Langohr for her support of the students.
“I remember when we were competing in the state speech and debate meet and Mrs. Langohr and her husband Mike were there to support us,” McCrorie said. “A heart-felt thank you to you for your dedication and commitment to us.”
Langohr was part of the team that worked to open Glacier High School in 2007. She will assume her new responsibiities as the assistant superintendent of Kalispell Public Schools July 1.
“A parent once remarked to me that the school never sleeps and I attributed that to our students, who seem to be in perpetual and continual involvement with the activities here,” Langohr said.
“This has been a class of students who have worked hard and slept little. I will remember them as a class of quiet resolve with the will to grind it out, of being disciplined and committed to the Pack,” Langohrs said before exiting the stage to a standing ovation.
Erica Braig, a Special Olympics volunteer, National Honor Society member and Magna Cum Laude graduate, was the student speaker.
“When we started here, we were told the importance of getting involved in school activities, athletics, clubs, music,” Braig said. “Nothing is achieved by staying in our comfort zone.”
Harrison Rennie, a Magna Cum Laude graduate in the Engineering Academy and a National Merit Scholarship finalist, spoke of what he hoped the 2018 class’s legacy would be.
“My hope is our example can be the building blocks for the classes that follow,” Rennie said. “It’s time to build a foundation where we reach out to those in the community that otherwise may fall through the cracks and make the world a better place.”
Annie Hill, a multiple state champion in cross country and track who will run at the University of Colorado, was the Gratitude speaker for the ceremony. She recalled the four lessons she believed were most important to her.
“You must first be able to walk before you can run,” Hill said. “I remember when I was 11, entering the Boogie to the Bank race. I started out fast, but as I slowed, my Dad caught up to me and as I ended up walking, he stayed by my side the entire way. I cried, I didn’t want to finish, but he kept me going. I have learned that we will fall, but we must get up. The courage to rise up is what counts.
“We must also remember to be grateful to everyone who has ever supported and believed in us — our families, our teachers, our teammates, our coaches. We don’t accomplish things alone.”
The 293 graduates each wore a stole of gratitude as a symbol of their deep appreciation for the support by family, friends, staff and the community. They gave those to a person to honor them for making a significant impact in their life.
Reporter Scott Shindledecker may be reached at 758-4441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.