Arlee celebrates graduation
ARLEE — Twenty-two Arlee Warriors and Scarlets crossed the stage at Sunday’s high school graduation, eagerly entering the next phase of their lives.
Family and friends packed the gymnasium for the afternoon ceremony, toting cameras and flowers for the graduates and wearing proud smiles. After the class of 2010 marched in to the band’s rendition of “Pomp and Circumstance,” the fledgling Arlee Drum Group, made up of students under the direction of Walden Tewawina, performed the Honor Song.
Superintendent John Jay Miller reminded the crowd of what a tightly knit group the Arlee students are and said the seniors will be greatly missed, but encouraged them to come back and visit, as other graduates sometimes do.
“Not one time have I had a graduate come back who had a bad experience at Arlee High,” Miller said.
Miller also noted that two longtime members of the Arlee School family are retiring this year: third-grade teacher Paul Grier and Title 1 paraprofessional Sharon Stevens.
“Thank you for your dedication in all of your (combined) 74 years of teaching,” Miller said. “We will miss you.”
Salutatorian Jennifer Keller and valedictorian April Burnett drew plenty of laughs from the crowd with stories of classmates’ escapades and humorous moments during their high school careers. Both encouraged their classmates to continue to be open to new learning experiences and to maintain the close friendships they formed over the years together.
“We spent 13 years acquiring our friendships, but they’ll last a lifetime,” Keller said. “Graduation is not the end. It is the beginning.”
The class of 2010 chose high school math teacher Jim Lindsey to give the commencement speech.
“I think it speaks very highly of this gentleman to have been selected by this class after just two short years (at Arlee Schools),” Miller said of Lindsey.
Amidst plenty of laugh-provoking one-liners, Lindsey gave the graduates some heartfelt advice as they prepare to strike out on their own.
“Life is too short to take it serious. Life is too serious to cut it short,” Lindsey said, encouraging the young people to take advantage of every opportunity but also to think carefully before acting. “Every decision that you make every day could affect the rest of your life. Before you do anything that you might regret, think of the very worst thing that could happen. Think before doing.