It took nearly two hours for the 207 seniors at the Wood River High School to graduate Wednesday evening. It took senior speaker Dan Heed about five minutes to sum up their 12 years of education together, and maybe 10 minutes for fellow senior speaker Tyler Jackson to disassemble what had come before.
The Class of 2006 is the largest class of students to ever to go through the Blaine County School District. With each passing year, more teachers were moved up a grade or hired to accommodate the next grade's growth. And two new schools—the middle school and the high school—were built to accommodate the growth at those grade levels.
High school principal Graham Hume called the Class of 2006 one of the kindest, most talented classes he'd ever known in his 30 years in education. "You are all fantastic people," he said.
The genial student body president Heed ribbed Hume a bit when he took the stage. "I want to thank a lot of people, including Hume, for putting up with our crap, and he should thank me for putting up with all of his." After the laughter died down, Heed continued:
"What I'll say you'll all forget in three months along with the rest of your high school education.
"In first grade I learned to tie my shoelaces...in sixth grade I found out there were people I didn't know...in eighth grade they said we were ready for high school. They lied. High school taught me how to swear grammatically, and in 12th grade I learned girls are evil manipulative heart breakers, boys are evil jerks and the whole world is pretty much a mess."
The speech was given in high good humor and received much the same way.
Jackson added his own sense of jocularity by announcing, "I don't know what you elected me to do. I'm not important. I am probably the biggest meathead you'll ever see." After that dubious beginning, he proceeded to hysterically roast many of his fellow graduates.
Diplomas were handed out, odd outfits were visible (or not) under gowns, the band played and families cheered. Hume ended the program by paraphrasing Bill Gate's rules for life.
"Life is not fair; The world won't care about your self-esteem; You will not make $60,000 out of high school; If you think your teachers were tough, wait till you get a boss; Flipping burgers is not beneath you; If you mess up it's not your parent's fault; Life isn't, divided into semesters; TV isn't real; Be nice to nerds, you'll probably end up working for them."
Later, the grads headed to the senior bash where the Class of 2006 ended the way they started—together, dancing around with their shoes untied and trusting a hypnotist to tell them what the future would bring.