by: Kaitlin Daly and Phillip Manning
If it seemed a little quiet in town on Wednesday night, it’s probably because hundreds of people were at Su-Valley to see off the graduating class of 2014. KTNA’s Kaitlin Daly was there, and has this report.
On Wednesday, Su-Valley High School said goodbye to twenty-five graduating seniors. As with most graduations, there were emotional moments and a general air of celebration. Su-Valley Principal Jason Mabry says this class distinguished itself through its leadership.
“Most importantly, it’s their willingness to work hard to be strong in the athletic realm, in the academic realm. They lead by example. I just think it’s an exceptional group.”
Math teacher Brenda Hogan was the faculty advisor for this year’s graduating class. She has watched the seniors grow from children into young men and women. She also believes that the class of 2014 is special.
“I think that we’ll miss them a lot next year. However, I see, in the lower grades, a lot of strong leadership as well. So, I look forward to watching them grow and seeing what they can become by the time they’re seniors as well.”
The numbers support the exceptional nature of the class of 2014. At the beginning of the year, half-a-dozen students were tied for valedictorian, and the students collectively earned a large sum of scholarship money for a class of twenty-five, says Joy Miller, school counselor.
“Combined, they earned right at $800,000 in scholarship money. That’s pretty substantial. Most classes can’t get to that total. They did that because of their hard work, their dedication, and the good grades they had earned throughout all of high school. Plus, this class was very involved in extracurriculars and sports. When you put all of that together, they were the total package.”
While many of this year’s graduates may return to the Upper Valley, nearly all of them have expressed intent to go to college. That means leaving behind the town that many of them grew up in. Valedictorian Ayla Loper says she is excited for the new opportunities, but will miss home.
“I love this school. It can be small and challenging at some times, but I absolutely loved growing up in this small school and this small community. I think it’s really supportive, and I’m definitely going to miss it.”
Ayla is not alone in that sentiment, and the consensus among the faculty at Su-Valley is that the class of 2014 will be missed in return.