CHS graduates 41 in the Class of 2022
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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — Forty-one students crossed the stage Friday evening, May 20, as graduates of the Colfax High School Class of 2022.
Luke Blanchard, president of the Class of 2022, a member of the Colfax High School chapter of the National Honor Society and a Top 10 honors student, gave the welcome.
Colfax Board of Education members Jaclyn Ackerlund and Kenneth Neuburg presented the diplomas.
Kyle Irwin presented the slide show of the Class of 2022 “then and now” photographs and served as the reader for the diplomas.
Bryce Sikora, vice-president of the Class of 2022 and also a member of the National Honor Society, gave the farewell.
The class flower was the red Gerbera daisy, and the class colors were red and white.
John Dachel, Colfax High School principal, said that while the initial tally had been over $500,000 in scholarships awarded to the Class of 2022, by the night of graduation, the tally had increased to $760,000 in scholarships.
Nathan Hydukovich is valedictorian of the Class of 2022.
In his speech, Hydukovich said his mother had read to him when he was a little boy and that it had opened his eyes to the possibilities of this universe.
People often get caught up in their own reality, but the universe is estimated to be 13.7 billion years old, he said.
“We exist for a very small amount of time on a planet in an ever-expanding universe. When you leave this place, think about that. Think about the possibilities offered by this world … no person will ever see or do everything,” Hydukovich said.
The question is — in 50 years, “will you be happy with everything you have accomplished?” he asked.
Although it is impossible to answer the question now, “thinking about the future moves us forward,” Hydukovich said.
Self-confidence is important to achieve goals and “competition is what drives society. Manufacturing, Engineering. Medicine. All these fields are advancing because people believed they could be better than the person ahead of them. They work hard to prove it,” he said.
“Without self confidence, without believing that you are better, that you are smarter, that you are stronger or faster, you will not become those things. Nobody is going to make you believe in yourself. They can help you, but it’s only something you can achieve,” Hydukovich said.
On the other hand, people can also make you doubt yourself and may even tell you that you are going to fail, although in other instances, it may be more subtle, and people will just brush off your successes, he said.
“It is up to you and you alone to keep your confidence high,” Hydukovich said.
During the school year, fellow students would ask Hydukovich if “he would be mad if he wasn’t valedictorian” or if “he was going to go crazy or go wild” if he was not valedictorian.
“They would always ask me that. What would I do if I didn’t win?” Hydukovich said.
After a long pause, he concluded his speech — “I guess we’ll never know.”
Catherine Zons is salutatorian of the Class of 2022.
Zons began her speech by saying that she has always heard life seems to go faster as you get older and that you should “enjoy it while it lasts” and “don’t blink, or you’ll miss it.”
She wondered why she should worry about it now, because the future is far away.
“I didn’t really recognize the truth of it until I sat down to write this speech. And I realized — oh, shoot, I’m graduating. I remember years of watching graduation ceremonies, seeing seniors in gowns parading down the halls, and I thought about how long it would be until that was me,” she said.
Zons said she had thought about what it would be like to go to college or to be out on her own.
“But I never thought about what graduating from high school would feel like,” she said.
“It’s just weird that for all the time I spent thinking about what was to come, it didn’t occur to me to think about what I would be leaving behind to get there,” Zons said.
Zons asked her fellow graduates to look around and to think about the memories made in the gymnasium, their classes, the community and with each other.
“Never again will we be bonded by the shared experience of attending the same school. Of cheering at the same basketball games … in all likelihood, we won’t ever all be in the same room again,” Zons said.
“I have no doubt that we are going to go far. And what’s wonderful about this is — you will no longer be defined by your high school experiences. You won’t be characterized by the friends you made or the classes you took or the grades you received. No. Wherever you go now, you will be defined by the person you became here … what you do with that identity after you leave this school is entirely up to you. This is your jumping off point. It’s the rest of your life,” she said.
“And when you make that leap, don’t hesitate or look back regretfully. Just keep your eyes on where you are going and be confident that you’ll make a landing,” Zons said in conclusion.