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BEHS class of 2017 remembered for energy and goal setting

By Loni Newby
Associate editor

“What stands out most to me about the graduating class is their energy. They’ve done some amazing things with service,” said Principal Gary Allen, who cited the fundraiser for the Christmas Box House as well as the canned food drive.
“There’s a real diverse mix of talent…academic, athletic and musically,” said Allen, “This group stands out as collectively just being a solid group of kids that represented our goals as they prepare to move on.”
Allen said that the scholarship awards night for the class of 2017 totaled just under $3 million. This is an increase of a half a million and a million dollars more than last year, earned through the collective efforts of academic, performance and athletic prowess; and a genuine sense of civic responsibility.
Some of the accolades received by members of this class include two overall state championships this year, with drama taking state for the first time ever, and girl’s track taking the state title last week.
Athletically there have been several region championships of which the graduating class has been a part. Girls’ basketball took the first region championship since 1981. The girls’ softball team took their 6th straight region title, while girl’s track took their fifth straight region 5 title before bringing home the state trophy. The boys baseball team finished as co-region champions this season. And Box Elder’s boys swim team took home the region 5 title in 2016.
Allen says that the school is often touted as excelling in performing arts, particularly because of the music and drama programs. Senior, Laura Dean was a school Sterling Scholar who went on to win the state title for vocal performance.
After consistently finishing second and slipping down a notch to third in state in 2016, the Bees finally took their first state drama competition title this year. Drama teacher, Melanie Day said, “These kids were the best examples of work hard, get feedback and keep working,” Day said they never settled for being good enough, they gave it their all. “First place in this event is a coveted award and we are thrilled and honored.”
Members of the Madrigals were able to participate in last year’s PBS broadcast of “Celebrate America” and perform at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.
“We continually have kids that qualify in the state competition, FBLA, FCCLA, FFA, we have students that qualify to compete in the national competitions,” said Allen, “these students have great goals and aspirations and I feel that many of them are very successful here.”
Wayne Burrell, FFA advisor said that the BEHS Horse Judging Team took state and will be heading to nationals in October, the team consists of Kassidy Mote, Kristina Wyatt, Emilee Nicholas and Abbi Frost.
“Every graduating class has a personality. Each group holds their own ways of doing things, their own values, and their own distinctive microculture.” Said Aaron Crawford, “As the National Honor Society adviser and a teacher, I think that the class of 2017 is most distinctive in their planning…They seem to be a class of planners, of people who come up with an ideal and work toward it.”
Crawford said that he was impressed with this group of students even as incoming sophomores the number of students who not only had a goal; they also had a plan for how to achieve that goal. He said, “I’ve never met so many hope-to-be doctors, lawyers, politicians, and nurses.”
“[The class of 2017] can honestly boast many students who have built the habits necessary for success, who know that hard work is the key difference between those who succeed and those who do not. So many of these students have spent their time in rigorous coursework, coming early and staying late in order to achieve their dreams,” said Crawford, noting that this is the first class to need a “zero hour,” an optional time before the school day begins to take extra courses. Crawford said that if they continue with the habits and skills they have learned here, they can accomplish much.
This is the first year that the high school has worked with some private donors, and anonymous donors who have contributed to some remodeling in the auditorium and the automotive program, this is the first time that there has been an influx in private alumni donations. Typically alumni tend to donate to colleges and universities, but Allen said that they are grateful for those who have been giving toward their school particularly in response to the passionate students which the donors want to see succeed.