With a bounce and their steps and plenty of credit given where credit was due, the Class of 2012 crossed the stage at Edgewood High School to accept their diplomas.
Both student keynote speaker Zachary Stryjewski and valedictorian Taylor Staton took time in their respective speeches to give sincere thanks to those who have helped them build a foundation to succeed.
Staton took a moment to recognize the school principal, Wayne Thibeault, a thank you that was interrupted by applause from the students. She went on to thank her teacher, Shane Jensen, for his inspiration.
"I can only hope that when I become a teacher, I can be half the teacher you are," she said.
She also gave heartfelt thanks to her parents, especially her mom, as well as her friends.
"I know I am standing here today because I have been blessed with a support system of truly amazing people," Staton said.
Stryjewski also showed his gratitude to family, friends and teachers.
"I would like to thank our faculty and administration for giving us the chance to succeed," he said.
Stryjewski said when he and his classmates started at Patterson Mill, there were no seniors to set an example, as the school was founded in 2007. Instead, they stepped up themselves on the field, in the classroom and behind the instrument.
"You have all helped this school achieve outstanding things, and in the process you have built a spirit that will live on," Stryjewski said.
Stryjewski went on to outline some of the school's accomplishments such as placing in the top one percent of schools in the nation and cheering more than any other school's fans at sporting events.
"In fact, halfway through the year, we were told that we were cheering too hard, we had to settle down," Stryjewski said with a laugh. "After that we just cheered harder."
Stryjewski concluded by talking about today's brutal world, where success is harder and harder to come by.
"Therefore I challenge you to define success for yourselves and then put your heart and your soul into whatever you do," Stryjewski said.