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Bonanza School celebrated the uniqueness of attending all 13 grades in one building at its 2017 graduation ceremony.

“Twelve years and nine months ago we arrived at a weird new world. … I’m talking about stepping into kindergarten for the first time,” said salutatorian Hope Lee. “At the time we didn’t know 13 years later we would still be sitting next to each other.”

Bonanza’s Class of 2017 was made up of 26 seniors and one exchange student. On Saturday, June 10, the school marked their achievements with the commencement ceremony.

Those 26 seniors have many plans for their future, including entering the fields of medicine, business and agriculture. One plans to become a firefighter, another an electrical lineman and another his family’s collision repair business. Two plan to study the culinary arts in hopes to open their own restaurants, and a few plan to head straight into the workforce. Two will enter the military to protect the United States.

“I believe that every graduate here today believes in themselves, believes in their ability to achieve success, and believes that they can accomplish their hopes and dreams,” said valedictorian Ryan Wells.

He commended the Bonanza teachers and staff, and family and parents for teaching the

graduates all they need to get their start in life. They taught students lessons in school, how to be respectful, how to persevere and how to be responsible.

“But most importantly, they taught us how to be better people. And we can’t all thank them enough for that,” Wells said. “Fellow graduates, we may not have all the same hopes, dreams, skills or abilities. But we all have the same chance to make a difference in this world and I believe we will.”

Bonanza’s commencement ceremony included personal touches for the small-town school, including a slideshow featuring every graduate, and the rose ceremony, when students gave roses to family and friends who helped them along the way to earning their high school diplomas.

“The future is bright for each of our graduates here today. I’m confident every graduate will have a positive impact on our world,” Wells said. “I am honored to part of Bonanza’s Class of 2017, and excited about the next steps we will all take.”

Samantha Tipler, public relations, Klamath County School District. Phone 541-851-8743; Email: tiplers@kcsd.k12.or.us