GHS announces top graduates

by marlys good

Hunter Grant, Sarah Bockman, Michaela Denniston and Dane Gifford share valedictory honors for the Greybull High School Class of 2013. Luke Zeller is the salutatorian.

For Hunter, Sarah and Michaela, being valedictorian is the realization of a goal set when they entered high school.

“I always tried my hardest to do well; I definitely wanted to be valedictorian since I was a freshman,” Sarah said. Her sentiment was echoed by Hunter, who added that her next goal is, “To do well in school after this.” Michaela always strived for straight A’s. “I always wanted to do my best; I knew how important it was.”

Michaela, the daughter of Collette Meyer of Greybull and Jerry Denniston of Basin, plans to attend Arizona State University located in downtown Phoenix, where she will major in health sciences, pre-professional. “My final goal is to be a physician’s assistant,” she shared.

In June she will attend the National FBLA conference in Anaheim, Calif., and fly directly from California to Arizona to live with her sister (in Paradise, a suburb of Phoenix) and get a job.

“I will definitely miss the friends I made here and my family since I’m moving away, and the teachers who have really helped me a lot throughout my entire schooling. I am definitely ready to go to a bigger city; I won’t miss the small-town environment. I am ready to get out there and explore.”

Hunter, who attended school in Greybull as a third grader before moving back to Georgia, returned to Greybull the second semester of the eighth grade. She has lots of good memories of Georgia, notably living closer to “things,” like malls and movies, plus “it was warm all the time,” she laughed.

But in Greybull she realizes “I was allowed to do more than I would have in Georgia because you know who everyone is and my parents know everybody. I have liked being in all the different activities; everyone supports each other. I have learned a lot and I have a lot of good friends, a lot of good memories.”

Sarah said she will always remember “all the fun times with friends, whether on trips, activities, or things that go on in school – dances, homecoming, prom. There isn’t much I won’t miss, unless it’s the work.”

Both young women plan to attend the University of Wyoming. Hunter is looking to pursue a degree in business while Sarah plans on pursuing a pharmacy degree.

Hunter is the daughter of Jeff and Karen Grant; Sarah is the daughter of Steve and Margaret Bockman.

Dane Gifford, son of David and Tracy Gifford of Greybull, moved from California to Greybull when he was in the third grade. An outstanding scholar, Dane plans to attend the University and pursue a major in music education. Degree in hand, he plans a career as a high school music teacher.

That was not his first career choice. At one time “I wanted to be a lawyer,” he shared.

The shift began in the sixth grade when he took up band under the baton of Darcie Weydeveld. He went on to become proficient on the flute, saxophone and oboe. “I really got into it in my sophomore year,” he said. “It’s just fun to play.”

His best memory of high school? “I guess it would be the fourth quarter band concert of my freshman year. I just liked the songs we played, especially ‘Out of Nowhere.’” Marc Graham was the band instructor. It was during his sophomore year that his desire to be a lawyer veered to a career in music.

He’ll miss the music, his history classes, and “some of my friends. Most of them are going to Northwest College.”

His advice to younger students is, “Try to choose a variety of classes; that way you’ll have an idea of what you like when you go to college.”

Luke Zeller, son of Todd and Sarah Zeller said, “It hasn’t quite hit me yet that I am going to be graduating. I imagine it (graduation) will be pretty emotional, something along the lines of the last state wrestling tournament.”

He’ll miss being involved in sports, (football and wrestling) and other clubs and all the trips taken as an athlete/member. He’ll miss all the fun he’s had participating in both sports and clubs, but he has stored up dozens of good memories. Luke said he’ll also “miss just being able to see my friends every day, the friends I’ve known since kindergarten.

His involvement in activities also led to his “scariest” high school experience. “It was a Student Council trip this year when we went to Cheyenne to the state convention. I had to get up and speak in front of about 600 students. It was just about a minute of talking and I was done; it was all over. I’ve given different presentations, Science Fair, History DAY, FBLA. It was not like I was a stranger to it, but it was by far the largest audience I have spoken to.”

His route to class salutatorian started at the end of his freshman year. “At the end of the year I realized I still had a 4.0, so I figured I’d just try to keep getting a high GPA.” He didn’t take the easy way. “This year I really took hard classes, three different college courses the first semester, and two now. Nominally that doesn’t show.” His GPA slipped to 3.9, but I learned more because of it.” He is not going to miss “all the hard work,” he laughed.

He would advise incoming freshmen to “get involved. Definitely. Do as many of the things as you can because in a few years, you won’t be able to and you’ll look back and wish that you had.”