Howe High School got a jump on many of the area schools with a June 1st graduation ceremony. Held in the Bulldogs gymnasium, it was a standing-room-only affair.

Eighty-one graduates were announced from the Class of 2013. Flanked by a corps of Honor Guards, the graduates filed through the middle of the gym one at a time to say a formal goodbye to their school, their teachers and many of their friends. Howe’s administration did an admirable job of keeping the event focused on the graduates with a program devoid of administration speeches but heavy on student praise.

Honors graduate Tanner Hawkins got the ceremony started with invocation. Salutatorian Hannah Debner followed that up with a heartfelt speech aimed at her classmates, friends, family and faculty. Valedictorian Kristen Ross followed Debner’s words up with her own, and both she and Debner showed a glimpse of how they earned their respective class honors.

HHS counselor Teresa Reynolds called out scholarship winners from the class, an impressively long list of students. HHS Principal Michael Smiley certified the graduates. Superintendent Kevin Wilson and school board members handed out the cherished documents to the graduates, and Smiley and Olga Rodriguez led the traditional turning of the tassels. Jason Rodriguez gave the benediction and led the Class of 2013 in the traditional tossing of the caps to wild applause.