Graduation a celebratory time for seniors, families, communities

Congratulations are in order.
The News-Register proudly publishes its 16th annual academic achievement special edition this week called “Making the Grade.” It helps kick off a celebratory season of area graduations, shining the spotlight on seniors as they turn the tassel and prepare to embark on their life’s journey.
The News-Register launched this publication in 2002 featuring the top students from the Aurora, Hampton, Giltner and High Plains public schools. Like many newspapers, we produce special sections throughout the year highlighting athletics, community celebrations and special projects as they arise and we believe it is appropriate to shine the spotlight directly on the classroom. That’s what “Making the Grade” is all about.
This special edition tips the hat in particular to the area’s top graduates, though we’ll gladly pause this time of year, as will families throughout the area, state and nation, to recognize all area seniors as they close the book on their high school careers. It’s a major milestone, stirring pomp and emotional circumstance that brings families and communities together as one.
Graduation season is officially in full swing, with Giltner and Hampton’s Class of 2017 set to cross the stage this weekend. Senior honorees from Aurora and High Plains are on the calendar to take center stage the following weekend. Add in all the local ties to college graduations near and far and you get a month full of milestones and memories for our extended community.
One of the most enjoyable perks of working at a hometown newspaper is the front row seat it gives our staff to cover these young people as they discover, polish and showcase their skills in all kinds of academic and extracurricular venues. The intensity, joy, anguish and pure pride reflected in their faces on the pages of this newspaper from week to week are such a vibrant part of small-town community life and it is a pleasure to be able to document and share their “glory days” of high school.
Those days are done now for another crop of our most valuable resource, the future’s leaders and achievers.  
Whether they realize it or not, the youth of our community bring a sense of unity that is vital to small-town life. They breathe energy and enthusiasm into our families and towns, on the field of competition, up on stage under the lights, in speech and music competitions and in countless other ways. That energy is contagious in communities that are proud to be the home of the Huskies, Hawks, Hornets and Storm.
Congratulations, graduates. We will you all well.
Kurt Johnson

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