Class of 2017 bids adieu to North Summit |

Class of 2017 bids adieu to North Summit

Students will miss their classmates but are eager for future

The students, clad in purple gowns, marched through the aisles and took their seats on the stage as the notes of “Pomp and Circumstance” filled the auditorium. By the time the evening was over, North Summit High School’s Class of 2017 had taken their first official step into the future that awaits.

North Summit’s commencement ceremony Monday evening was a celebration of 73 students who have given much to the school but are eager to explore the world. Valedictorian Savanna Snyder, for one, implored her classmates to embrace the opportunities that will come. She cautioned that there are challenges ahead, but urged them not to let that stop them — after all, they’d all overcome trials on their way to the graduation stage.

And when times gets hard, she said, they need only remember the people and the places that have shaped them so far.

“This little town has been a part of that,” she said. “Don’t forget that and don’t forget us.”

Some of the students, while excited for the future, were apprehensive about saying goodbye to the school.

Jaxon Cole explained it this way: “It’s a lot of anxiety and a lot of stress. I feel like I want to break down and cry, but at the same time I want to pump my fists in the air and scream and yell. I’m super excited and super sad at the same time.”

Daniela Rodriguez, too, said she was feeling mixed emotions. She’s eager to pursue her dream of becoming a dentist but worried about leaving her classmates behind. More than anything, she said, she’ll remember the bonds they made over the years. That’s what will define the class as the students go their separate ways.

“Since we come from such a small school, we’ve grown up with each other,” Rodriguez said. “We know everyone. And the older you get, you become friends with everyone. Sometimes we all say we hate it, but in reality we all love it because we’re all there for one another.”

Felix Carreno also said the people are what he’ll miss most about high school.

“My greatest high school experience was being with my friends and getting to know everyone,” he said. “If I had to go back to high school again, I’d be even more social and active with every single one of my classmates.”

In the moments before the commencement ceremony began, Tristan Woolstenhulme was feeling the same way. But he was also pondering the potential contained within his classmates. He said observers should keep an eye on the North Summit Class of 2017 because it’s capable of great things.

Time and again, he said, the students showed their promise during athletic competitions and in the classroom. Now, they’re going to show it in the real world.

“A lot of these kids in our grade are going to go on to do great things,” he said. “It will just be cool to watch and see what everybody accomplishes. It will be fun in 30 years to reminisce about all the good times we had. We’re making a future for ourselves.”

As the Class of 2017 departs, their impact on the school will remain. Cole said they are leaving behind a legacy of kindness. He said that, throughout the class’s four years at North Summit, everybody went out of their way to treat others with respect.

At football or basketball games, the seniors encouraged the freshmen to join the crowd. In class, they were always willing to provide guidance to underclassmen. Rodriguez said that, more than anything, is why she’s proud to be graduating as part of this class.

“We had it easy our freshman year, where the seniors were really nice to us and kind, so we didn’t want to be the seniors who were known as rude,” she said. “We wanted to have the freshmen and all the other grades have a good year like we did.”

To see more photos from North Summit High School’s graduation ceremony, visit

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