For South Summit High School graduates, the future is now
June 3, 2015
The caps flew into the air, their white and green colors blending into the clouds above and the mountains beyond.
Like that, the South Summit High School graduating class of 2015 had taken its first step into its unknown future. South Summit held its commencement ceremony May 28, meaning that for 117 graduates, high school is now in the rear-view mirror.
For Jensen Myers, that means going to nursing school at Utah Valley University. She said graduating is bittersweet, but she is excited to see what the next chapter of life has in store.
"I’m not necessarily looking forward to getting out of here, but I’m looking forward to getting more life experiences," she said. "It’s going to be growing up and starting a new adventure in our lives. It’s weird moving on, and kind of scary, but we’ve had a great lead into that. I’m going to miss it. I’m going to miss the adventures and the growth I had."
Jason Griffin agreed, saying he was ready to rid himself of the limits high school can sometimes impose.
"I’m looking forward to doing new things that I couldn’t in high school because I was more restricted," said Griffin, who plans to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints before attending Brigham Young University. "There are more opportunities out there."
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A shared theme among the graduates was the knowledge they’ll miss their friends and the teachers who helped prepare them for what’s next. But Myers said the reality they may never see those people again hasn’t yet set in.
"The support from friend and teachers and the community has been so great and I know that will be different in college," she said. "But that’s a new experience. Missing people is part of moving on."
Another common thread was the variety of the graduates’ ambitions. Some are headed to college, while others will go on missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Others still will forge different paths. One graduate who has always known what he wanted to do after high school is Logan Powers. He said he will leave for San Diego in July for basic training in the Marine Corps.
Powers said his grandfather fought in the Korean War and that inspired him to follow in his footsteps.
"It’s been my childhood dream," he said. "Throughout my life I’ve tried to mentally prepare myself for it. I’m nervous and excited. I have all the emotions, pretty much."
Courtney Hawkins said graduating was a something she’s always wanted. She will attend the University of Montana and study psychology but doesn’t expect it to "feel real" until she reports to school in the fall.
"It’s really surreal, actually," she said. "I probably haven’t even processed that it’s over. I still probably think that I’m coming back next year. So it’s definitely a different feeling."
Does that mean part of her wishes she had another year at South Summit? Like that of many of the graduates when asked this, her answer was brief and not unexpected.
"Oh no," she said with a laugh before lining up to walk during the ceremony. "I’ll miss it but I’m glad I’m done."
South Summit High School graduation statistics
Information courtesy of South Summit High School
- Number of grads: 117
- Graduation rate: 97.5 percent
- Gender breakdown: Female, 47 percent; Male, 53 percent
- Ethnicity breakdown: Caucasian, 95 percent; Hispanic, 4.3 percent; African-American, 0.7 percent
- Post-grad plans (students could choose multiple options): college, 69 percent; workforce, 14 percent; LDS mission, 20 percent; military, 5 percent
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