It is one of the smallest graduating classes Cheyenne Wells has had, just 10, but on Saturday there were plenty of people present at the 2023 Graduation ceremony to wish this particularly talented group of students the best as they step out into a new chapter of their lives.
Graduation is always a bittersweet time for parents, the staff, and even communities as they experience pride in raising a child who is ready to be able to successfully step out into a new reality that requires more responsibility be put on the child—the new adult. At the same time, the memories of that child growing up through the school system and experiencing all the highs and lows childhood affords makes for a sentimental journey down memory lane when life was a lot easier for our children.
Graduation is also a time to shine for the students who have worked tremendously hard and who are anxious to get out on their own—away from the rules, regulations, and schedules afforded by parents, the school, and their community. It’s a time for your young exuberance towards what’s possible to be in full gear.
Students yearning for what lies ahead, parents dreading the thought of their child being on their own, teachers hoping their work has instilled upon the child what they will need to succeed, the community wishing and hoping for the best for them. The adults know that the first 5 years after graduation play a major part in what path their young graduates will ultimately take.
The graduation ceremony at Cheyenne Wells on Saturday was well attended and began with speeches from the top students in the class including Blake Gilmore, Salutatorium, and three Co-Valedictorians including Makayla Brossman, Kassadee Dickey, and Ella Weed.
These young people spoke about life in school, their friendships, and what they hope for the future. Weed told the crowd, “Anyone who knows my class knows we have faced a lot of adversity, in elementary school we were labeled as a troubled class, that we knew teachers had to prepare for, “Watch out they said, they are loud, rowdy, and don’t know how to listen.” Saying these things now doesn’t seem like a list of faults but a list of strengths. Although we all have grown up and become, I would say only slightly calmer, we have not lost our spirit. We are still a loud, rowdy bunch of kids who are not afraid to the bend the rules. I think that these skills will not be our downfall but will allow us to advocate for ourselves and to make a real comprehensible change in this world”
Makayla Brossman urged her fellow classmates, “Look to each other for inspiration and be one to inspire others. Remember to stay true to your values as you reach for high goals and celebrate even the smallest of wins.”
Kassadee Dickey recognized their lost classmate as she described some of the tougher times the Class of 2023 faced together, “We have been through everything together, we’ve had fun together, we’ve cried together, we’ve lost a classmate, Kaylee Gertner, together, we suffered through COVID together, and here we are all today.”
The scholarships and future plans were then revealed by school counselor Cassidy Harding. The following is a summary for each student:
LEVI LANE ADAMSON plans to join the workforce upon graduation.
MAKAYLA LEE BROSSMAN has been accepted at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. She’ll be pursuing a degree in Animal Science. Makayla received the following scholarships: KC Electric Assn–$1,000; CSU Green & Gold Scholarship–$4,000 annually; CSU Honors Student Scholarship–$1,000; Seibert Equity CO-OP Scholarship–$1,500; CSU 4-H Freshman Award–$1,000; Eastern Colorado Historical Society–$200; Sean Donnelly Memorial Scholarship–$1,000; Rocking X Land Company Scholarship–$500; Audi Hemphill Memorial Scholarship–$1,500; ESA Scholarship–$500; Mary Jo Tallman Memorial Scholarship–$3,000; CSU Jerome & Ellen Keefe Memorial Scholarship–$1,300
ETHAN EMERY CAMPBELL plans to join the workforce out of high school.
DAKOTA RAE CHRISTIE plans to attend North Central Kansas Technical College (NCKTC) in Beloit, Kansas majoring in the major construction trades including carpentry, plumbing, and HVAC.
KASSADEE WREN DICKEY was accepted at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas and will major in their Business Entrepreneurship program. Kassadee received the following scholarships: Hays Black & Gold Scholarship–$2,000 annually; Knights of Columbus Scholarship–$1,000; Audi Hemphill Memorial Scholarship–$1,500; Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Scholarship–$1,000; Rocking X Land Company Scholarship–$500; Eastern Colorado Historical Society Scholarship–$200.
BLADIN LANE DOMSCH plans to first obtain his Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and continue working in agriculture.
LONDYN JO EIRING will attend the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas majoring in Biology. While there she will pursue a Pre-Med program. Londyn received the following scholarships: Daniel’s Scholarship–$25,000 annually; KU Distinction Scholarship–$14,000 annually; Sean Donnelly Memorial Scholarship–$1,000; Audi Hemphill Memorial Scholarship–$1,500; KU Jayhawk Access Grant–$5,600 annually.
BLAKE AARON GILMORE has been accepted into the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado where he will study in the Engineering Department. Blake received the following scholarships: Hagan Scholarship–$15,000; The Mines President’s Scholarship–$4,000; Eastern Colorado Historical Society–$200; Cheyenne Wells Booster Club Scholarship–$1,000; Mary Jo Tallman Memorial Scholarship–$3,000; Rebecca Tallman Memorial Scholarship–$1,000; Cheyenne Sheriff’s Scholarship–$500.
LENA MAE JOHNSON will continue to work in the agricultural industry after graduation.
ELLA RAE WEED has been accepted at Regis University in Denver, Colorado and will be majoring in Business Finance. Ella received the following scholarships: Presidential Merit Scholarship for $25,000 annually; Regis University Ranger Award – $2,500 annually; Audi Hemphill Memorial Scholarship–$1,500; Jerome & Ellen Keefe Memorial Scholarship–$1,500; Redefining Rural Student Scholarship–$1,000.
After the scholarships were presented and plans revealed to the crowd, it was time for reminiscing. The Class of 2023 powerpoint was presented. The Parent Recognition was then given during the song, “I’ll Always Remember You.” Finally, the class joyfully marched out to the recessional song, “I Just Wanna Feel This Moment.”
The Cheyenne Wells School Board was also recognized as they handed out the diplomas. They include Chris Tallman, President; Brett Legg, Vice-President; Briar Fulton, Sec/Treasurer; Jake Pelton, Member; and Laine Mitchek, Member.
Congratulations to the Tiger Class of 2023, their parents and families, the entire staff at Cheyenne Wells School District—and to the community of Cheyenne Wells who has given their support through scholarships, attending events, volunteering, and just being a shoulder to lean on when they needed a little boost. It does take a village to raise a child and the village of Cheyenne Wells just sent 10 “raised” children out into the world.