Colton High School graduated 48 seniors in the class of 2018 on Saturday, June 9

Before the commencement for the Colton High School Class of 2018 began on the evening of Saturday, June 9, the 48 soon-to-be graduates gathered in the CHS multipurpose room to put on their gowns and caps.

"This is a really special class," CHS Counselor Kelsey Coy said, "They have overcome a lot of challenges, risen to the challenges and succeeded. They will go on to do great things."

CHS Principal Tori Hazelton said, "This is an incredibly unique, dynamic and strong group of students."

And that was the theme for the night, just how special and true to their uniqueness the students of the CHS class of 2018 are.

PIONEER PHOTO: CINDY FAMA - Colton celebrated the class of 2018 on Saturday, June 9.

The class chose the motto, "It wasn't easy, but it was worth it." The class song was "Mr. Blue Sky" by Electir Light Orchestra.

Before the class entered, a well-produced class of 2018 video was shown to those gathered in the gymnasium. The video is the senior project of Grace James who has been accepted into Santa Barbara City College to study film production.

Student Body President Kaliahna Raasch welcomed everyone to the graduation ceremony of the class of 2018 and reminded the class how through tears and laughter they had become stronger together.

The three of the four valedictorians, Morgan Ackermann, Brooklyn Olsen, Maria Winczewskki (the fourth valedictorian, Hunter Enz, was not able to attend graduation ceremonies), touched on celebrating uniqueness and being respectful of individuals and yourself.

The class salutatorian, Austin Carlise, used a Colton anology for what is to come: "You have to go down some bumpy roads to get to the most beautiful destinations." He also told the story of last week's class trip to the zoo where he talked to a little boy who said something to Austin that he shared with the class: "Good luck on your adventures."

CHS math teacher, Karie Smucker, was chosen by the class of 2018 to be the commencement speaker. She began the speech with "Life is solving for x." She encouraged the students to find a motivator and stick to it. She also told them to stay true to who they are.

"It is alright to be stubborn and opinionated," she said, "but do so with logic and argue with respect."

Of the 48 student earning diplomas, eight earned honors diplomas. They are Morgan Ackermann, Austin Carllise, Hunter Enz, Honor Hansen, Grace James, Brooklyn Olsen, Katie Wills and Maria Wincezewski.

Alajandro Alvarez, exchange student from Spain, earned an honorary CHS diploma

At the end of graduation ceremony, District Superintendent Koreen Barreras-Brown certified the class of 2018, and mortarboards were thrown to the ceiling. The graduates, family, staff and friends gathered in the multipurpose room for photos and congratulations before the class got on the school bus, one last time to head out to a graduation party.

In the reception area newly graduated Maria Winczewski said, "We are going to try new experiences, take new opportunities and remember it is okay to fail as long as you never give up."

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