Grads from two schools walk

Commencements held for Soroco, South Routt County Alternative

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— Two hardworking groups of South Routt seniors will receive diplomas Saturday.

Twenty-five students from Soroco High School will graduate, and two students from the South Routt County Alternative School will graduate.

If you go

What: Soroco School District Commencement Ceremony

Where: Soroco High School gymnasium

When: 9:30 a.m. baccalaureate, 11 a.m. commencement Saturday

"We saw it fitting to try to include all the students from South Routt who have worked hard to graduate," Soroco High School Principal James Chamberlin said Thursday.

Combining the two graduations is not the only new element of Saturday's agenda, he said.

The Soroco seniors voted to move the graduation up to 11 a.m. instead of having it at 2 p.m., which is when the graduation has been held in the past. The 9:30 a.m. baccalaureate is an optional event for the graduates and is open to the public, Chamberlin said.

"They decided to do it earlier because it gives everyone a little more time to celebrate afterward and have their barbecues. Hopefully, the gym will be a little cooler, too," he said.

Departing teacher and coach Gary Heide will deliver the commencement address.

"It should be a very emotional and passionate speech," Chamberlin said.

Valedictorian Cassandra Crawford and salutatorian Kyla Schmidt also will address the graduating class.

The seniors have prepared a special slideshow to present during commencement, which may make the commencement run a few minutes longer than usual.

Chamberlin said seeing the Class of 2006 leave Soroco High School is exciting and sad.

"They were only sixth-graders when I came here seven years ago. It's been neat to watch them grow and mature," he said.

South Routt Alternative School Director Donna Weinman said she is eager to present the diplomas to the graduating students and tell the community what the two students plan to do after they graduate.

"They have worked really hard to earn their diplomas. They've worked just as much as the Soroco kids have," she said.

Without the opportunity to attend an alternative school, the students may never have graduated, Weinman said.

"It's a milestone for them. Had it not been for this program, they probably wouldn't have graduated," she said. "They would have been high school dropouts. This wasn't a given for them."

--To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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