South Summit High School seniors bear the breeze |

South Summit High School seniors bear the breeze

Cole Fullmer, The Park Record
South Summit High School Principal Steve Camp presents the graduating class of 2013, his first as leader of the school, to those in attendance at the graduation ceremony Thursday, May 23. South Summit had a total of 96 graduates, two of which were junior graduates, 12 high honors and eight who earned their associate of science degrees. Christopher Reeves/The Park Record

Thursday evening, members of the South Summit High School graduating Class of 2013 held onto their hats during a windy but sunny ceremony in Wildcat Stadium.

Of the 96 graduates, 12 received high honors and eight earned associates degrees through the school’s EdNet program which offers college-level classes via interactive video conferencing.

Residents from Kamas Valley packed the stadium bleachers as first-year principal Steve Camp addressed the crowd.

For the first time as the leader of the school, Camp had the honor of saying, "School Board, Superintendent Barry Walker, educators, parents and friends, I present to you the class of 2013, from South Summit High School, as having met the high school graduation requirements of the state of Utah, South Summit School District and South Summit High School."

"I am very proud of all the students that are graduating, not only because they were my first class, but because of all the hard work they put in to earn the honor," Camp said. "In today’s world we are looking for instant gratification, but this is four years of hard work and I am proud of them."

Camp also spoke of ways students could earn gratitude during the next chapter of their lives. Treating others kindly, the golden rule most of us learned in kindergarten, will earn the feeling, he added.

"You’ll always be better off treating others with respect and dignity; it is a reflection each desires the most. You can’t help but feel better respecting others. Gratitude will always renew your perspective on life, if you allow it to," Camp said during his speech to graduates.

"Happiness is not a virtue, it’s earned," Camp added.

Without a valedictorian to take the podium for the farewell speech Thursday night, senior class president Quinn Hicken addressed the graduating class.

"As most of the senior class knows, I get nervous talking in front of crowds," Hicken said while addressing the crowd. "I hear telling a joke helps "

After the pause intended by Hicken, the group of 12 high honors students sitting behind the speaker wearing gold cords with their caps and gowns, must also know the class presidents sense of humor – their laughter started off a roar throughout the crowd to ease the student’s stage fright.

Other students wearing select cords varying in color from silver (general honors), maroon (visual arts), blue (social studies), green (science), pink (performing arts), orange (math), red (language arts), lavender foreign language) were worn by an abundance of the graduates.

According to school counselor Becky Dees, eight students also received associates degrees issued through the Utah Valley University along with high school diplomas this year.

Students who sought the extra work load were required to complete UVU degree requirements along with their regular high school courses to earn the degree. Usually adding an additional five to nine credits to an already abundant workload, added Dees.

"It’s really great seeing these students not only get excited for college, but take the extra steps during high school to get ready," Dees said.

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