It’s off to college for PCHS grads | ParkRecord.com

It’s off to college for PCHS grads

Megan Yeiter , The Park Record

Park City High School seniors gathered in their red and white cap and gowns on Friday to celebrate the end of their high school careers. There are 361 students in the graduating class. School board members, faculty, family and community members congregated at Dozer Football field, including former Park City High School principal Hilary Hays, addressed the graduates saying she will also be moving on with the Class of 2012. She served six years as PCHS principal.

"Strength and personality seem to come naturally for the Class of 2012. Although young, these students shine with a bright intensity and purpose," Hays said. "Members of the class of 2012 will always be original and always be themselves. The Class of 2012 and I will move forward together and face the hardest thing of all: remaining true to ourselves."

Park City High School student body president Isaiah Folau recognized Hays’ dedication to the school over the last several years.

"I would like to recognize our principal Hilary Hays. Undoubtedly, much of the current success and past success of this high school and its alumni can be attributed to your doings and for that we are grateful," Folau said. "Ms. Hays, on behalf of the current student body and those before us, thank you."

Park City High School Valedictorian Laura Kelly took her turn at the podium and reflected on the school year. She said senior year wasn’t easy for many students because of the added pressure of figuring out the future. She said once those plans are set, senioritis kicks in. Kelly plans to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall to major in Economics.

"I can’t say that we are the smartest class there ever was, and I won’t promise that someday we will all become wildly successful, but I do know that we can take on anything that comes our way," Kelly said. "That’s the kind of skill you leave Park City High with. Sure, we learned a lot in class and were given opportunities that many other students didn’t get, but it is our capability to persevere, to make it through to the bitter end that defines us."

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Park City High School Salutatorian Skylar Goldman also plans to attend MIT in the fall. Goldman earned the Presidential Scholar Award and will travel to Washington, D.C., next week to meet the other Presidential Scholars and attend an event at the White House. The PCHS Student Council awarded Goldman a $2,500 scholarship to take with her on the trip.

"Being a part of the Class of 2012 is special. I for one can’t wait to see what everyone becomes individually and collectively," she said. Goldman and Kelly were also honored as Outstanding Girl Graduates this year. This is an annual award given by the Women’s Athenaeum Club. The club celebrated their 70th Anniversary this year.

Goldman is a Merit Scholar, along with three of her classmates, Brett Davidson, Alex Bullis and Caleb Case, who was the first Park City High School student to score a perfect score on the ACT.

According to Park City School Board President Moe Hickey, who accepted the graduates upon receiving their diplomas, the class represented the school district in a very positive way.

"It was really a great graduation and it was a pleasure to see all those kids graduating," he said. Everything the District stands for was represented by those kids."

Former teacher and Park City School Board member David Chaplin also participated in graduation this year by presenting diplomas to his niece and nephew, PCHS seniors, Wesley and Rhea Cone.

PCHS counselor Dara Smith said each year, the senior class takes an end-of-the-year survey, which helps the faculty collect data and compile it into a fact sheet for when students apply for college the next year. She said 334 students filled out the survey of the 361 graduates. Of those students, about 88 percent plan to attend college in the fall.

Most of the students will be attending four-year colleges or universities such as Claremont McKenna College, Yale College and Vanderbilt University along with several in-state schools such as the University of Utah, Utah State University and Brigham Young University.

About 20 percent of this year’s graduating class participated in the National Honors Society according to Smith, adding that about 59 percent of the class had part-time jobs during their high school careers. About 161 students participated in sports for at least two years during high school.