North Summit graduates top class | ParkRecord.com

North Summit graduates top class

Frank Fisher, of the Record staff

Eighty two students seen by many as one of the strongest classes North Summit has produced, graduated Thursday night, in front of a full high school auditorium.

The class of 2007 included two Sterling Scholar winners, 12 finalists, 24 students awarded associates degrees, 20 members of the National Honor Society and a host of students achieving athletic excellence all from a community of only 1,475 inhabitants.

The boy’s basketball team took state in 2007, and the girl’s basketball team was in state finals.

"This school hasn’t seen a talented class for a long time if ever," said Denise Smith, mother of Candice Smith, a sterling Scholar, graduating with honors, an associates degree, and a member of the National Honor Society.

Rhonda Francis, who along with husband, Clay, came to watch their daughter, Danielle, graduate. The Francis family said Danielle "is excited, nervous and scared."

Rep. Mel Brown, an alumnus of North Summit High School, came to watch his grandson, Kyler Lund, and his stepson, Luke Kitchen graduate. Brown said neither seems interested in politics. Brown said there were 48 students in his graduating class.

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Valedictorian Amanda Crittenden thanked everyone present for what they have done for the graduates. "Every single one of you has contributed in some way to our being here tonight."

Speaker Rodger Crittenden, a technology teacher and coach, encouraged graduates to be prepared, allowing them to "be at the right place at the right time, greatly increasing their chances for success." After the graduation, he spoke about the class of 2007. "This is a pretty special class. It is full of achievers. Twenty-four of them have earned their associate’s degree that’s like having two years of college under their belts This is a great bunch of kids."

What does Crittenden plan to do in retirement? "Anything I want," he said.

Soon-to-be graduates Lora Hamilton and Suzy Sanchez related their feelings as they waited for the ceremonies to begin. What does Hamilton want to do after she graduates? "Party," she said, then after a pause, quietly said, "I’m sad."

"We’re sad we’re moving on," Sanchez said.

Principal Jerry Holmes presented the class of 2007.

‘Operation Graduation’ was to follow the ceremony and was scheduled to last to sun-up, beginning with a dance until midnight, karaoke, poker and food plenty of food. Danielle’s family volunteered to help chaperone until 3 a.m.

Likely a third of the town left the high school parking lot after commencement exercises.

"I am just happy to be here, Brown said.