At the Farmington High School graduation on Friday, Superintendent Jay Haugen touted the mix of student choice and quality that seniors received in the district, before addressing students' future prospects directly.
"I know when you go out into this world, you are the future and that you are completely prepared to take your place in life," he said. "You are more prepared in many ways than any group of students anywhere ... you are going to take the world."
The ceremony was held at the high school stadium on a balmy and breezy evening. The ceremony lasted just over an hour and a half, with the stadium's seating filled and other attendees standing.
Zeb Zimmer was the student speaker, selected by faculty out of 44 "distinguished scholars," according to FHS Principal Dan Pickens. Zimmer's speech touched on the various aspects that made up a graduating class's identity: athletics, arts, robotics, farming and others.
With each, he finished with some refrain of "We aren't a class of scholars, are we?"
"The thing we have in common, the only category we fall fit into today is gradutes," Zimmer added. "This stage is everybody's great equalizer ... we are not a homogenous mixture of students, but instead 496 different stories and identities that momentarily converge here today."
High school social studies teacher Todd Karich was selected as the staff speaker by students. His speech touched on the concepts of love, how to live one's life and relationships in life.
"So you ask yourself, 'how am I to live?,'" he said. "I hope you put others ahead of yourself."
Throughout Karich's speech he repeatedly noted the contributions of war veterans and tied in notes from the philosophy class he teaches. On love, he noted its importance in life.
"If we're going to figure out how we're going to live, we must understand love," he said.