Just minutes after receiving her diploma, Kimberly Walker could not stop the tears from flowing down her red cheeks as her "posse" sang to her.
"Joy to the world ... all the boys and girls," her girlfriends sang.
She said it would be hard to leave the school, teachers and friends with which she has spent the past four years.
"I will miss the teachers, especially," Walker said. "You can't find nearly the amount of dignity and respect for college professors as you can with high school teachers. They made me who I am today. And I will miss my posse. Who else will sing 'Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog' to me?"
She wasn't the only one crying at the Hayden High School graduation Thursday night. After an emotional slide show of each graduate's photo, parents, teachers and graduates alike got a little teary-eyed.
Troy Kochenower said he also would miss the friends he had made, but he was looking forward to having a good time after the ceremony and taking a trip with friends to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Most of the graduates forgot about their sadness, if just momentarily, when they carried out the tradition of spraying their teachers and each other with silly string.
Allison Hall said she had to spray her volleyball coach, Kipp Rillos, while Kochenower went after wrestling coach Leif Jacobsen.
The formal ceremony began with Principal Nick Schafer introducing the graduates and praising them for their dedication. Guidance counselor Kathy Crowhurst then announced that 31 scholarships would be presented with more than $142,000.
Salutatorian Bridget Manley brought back memories for the Class of 2003 when she recalled a field trip to Dinosaur National Monument when "a certain someone" vomited out the window of the school bus. Manley also talked about all the great friendships that were made.
Guest speaker, 1988 Olympic downhill skier Carline Lalive, gave the graduates an analogy of life as the sea.
"High school is similar to a boat in a harbor," Lalive said. "You are safe and secure, but you are about to venture into the open sea."
She said waves of unexpected troubles were bound to crash in to the graduates lives, but the goal is to never give up.
She cited Thomas Edison creating a thousand inventions that never worked.
"If he gave up, we would be in the dark, literally," Lalive said.
Valedictorian Kimberly Faucett said perseverance was most important in life, quoting the class motto: "If you are going to fall, fall reaching."
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