Class of 2021 graduates from Broadus


The PRCDHS Class of 2021, with their families in the background, listen to Valedictorian Megan Johnson's speech during the graduation ceremony, held last Saturday.

The PRCDHS Class of 2021, donned in green and gold gowns, entered the gym last Saturday for their last time as students. The soon to be graduates walked down an aisle surrounded by friends, family, and faculty, as they were serenaded with "Pomp and Circumstance," that standby graduation tune, played by the high school band. As the class sat in front of the stage as the guests of honor for their graduation, the crowd watched the ceremony which would officially transform the class of students into a group of alumni.

Broadus Schools Principal Denise Ternes welcomed the gathered crowd, and introduced the first speaker for the afternoon – the 2021 Class Salutatorian, Deanna Twedt.

Twedt spoke to the gathering about her experiences coming to school in Broadus initially as a fifth grader and not knowing anyone; as time went by those strangers would become classmates and close friends. Deanna spoke fondly of her class, relating details of each and every classmate.

Class President Garrett Cunningham then presented Marshall Williams, the guest speaker for the afternoon.

Marshall opened his speech thanking whomever was in attendance who brought the rain with them – Broadus received a good shot of moisture in the days leading up to graduation, something that did not even occur with the vaunted Bucking Horse Sale rainstorms of yore.

The theme for Marshall's speech: "Looking back to help you move forward" concentrated on taking the lessons learned in school and carrying them into the future.

Marshall commented that his research found an average graduating class size of 137 students in the US today, essentially 10 times the size of the PRCDHS Class of 2021. These graduates would go from a familiar landscape out into the mysteries of the world at large, where change is inevitable, so the students should embrace that change and not dwell on the familiar.

Williams spoke of one of the most important lessons to learn in either the classroom or on the job – showing up every day, and being prepared for the task at hand.

He emphasized working with others towards a common goal, harkening back to experiences with the FFA or sports teams, which he said are formed at least in part to help prepare students to work with others.

Taking time to enjoy the ride, and not become a complete workaholic was another point of emphasis in Williams' speech. Finding that balance between work and doing what one enjoys is a tricky balancing act.

He summed up his speech by encouraging the class to look around at the gathering of people who were there to celebrate the classes' accomplishments – a group which was looking forward to seeing the class succeed in life. Williams also encouraged the class to think for themselves, and to be active participants in whatever choices they make. In closing, Williams noted that failure would be a part of life, but the class should make failure a teacher instead of an undertaker, picking up the pieces and moving on.

Following the speech and a rousing ovation from the crowd, the class video, produced by Joziah Brost and Kortny Cathey was shown. The video featured each senior's baby pics and graduation pics, set to the music of each student's choosing.

Math Teacher Eric Myers then presented academic awards for the previous school year to the seniors; those awards are presented at the end of this article along with the scholarship details.

Guidance Counselor Dori Phillips next led off in the presentation of scholarships, relating that 12 of the 13 seniors present at graduation would be continuing their education in in college.One student will be working as an apprentice. She noted that 1/3 of the class had already taken classes for college credit, and the class had been awarded around $80,000 in combined scholarshiops. Dori presented the Student Council Scholarships, Ken Amen Scholarships, PRCDHS Scholarships, and Heads Up Hearts Strong scholarship in memory of Kenna Emmons.

Music Teachers Lisa Lynch and Lisa Gaskill then gave out Music Booster Scholarships to the graduating seniors in the band and choir programs. Margaret Scoles presented a VFW/ Auxiliary Award for the Patriotic Art Contest, Eric Myers the scholarship from the Broadus Education Association, and Krista Graff a scholarship in memory of her father, Ben Minow, who passed away last July. Jimmy Collins presented several TRECO scholarships, including a host of scholarships presented to Megan Johnson, who had previously won a trip to Washington, DC, which had been cancelled due to COVID – instead a $1,000 scholarship was awarded. Collins noted that one of the scholarships won by Megan, the Education Roundup, was available for all TRECO members to participate in – rounding up their electric bill each month to the next highest dollar helped contribute to three scholarships, one of which would go to a PRCDHS senior every year.

Darcia Patten then presented a scholarship from the Powder River/Carter County Farm Bureaus and Matt Korell, followed by Shavon Harmon, who presented the Pam Ware Memorial Benefit Scholarship with the excellent help from three of Pam's granddaughters, Raelyn, Arya, and Winter Piechura.

Marshall Williams then awarded the FFA-Amanda Gaskill Scholarship, and last but not least Frankie Schoonover presented the Amanda Gaskill Memorial Scholarship.

Following the scholarships, seniors Megan Johnson and Deanna Twedt played a heartfelt rendition of "Fly with the Eagles" on piano.

Superintendent Jim Hansen then presented the graduating class, and breaking from tradition he gave out a word of advice to the class. He related a lesson he heard during a university professor's speech to a graduating class; in the professor's opinion the detail that determined future success was not intelligence or creativity but grit – that is, a powerful motivation to achieve an objective.

Hansen and School Board Member Danny Johnson presented diplomas to the graduating class.

Class Valedictorian Megan Johnson then finished off the graduation ceremony with her speech, where she began by describing a few of the classmates who left the class, including Megan's friend Kenna Emmons, who passed away from her battle with an autoimmune disorder in 2011.

Megan then spoke of each one of her classmates who stood before her at graduation, detailing those little things that only someone who spent time with one another, observing, and listening to the other person would know.

Johnson thanked the community for helping shape and support her and the class, and encouraged the underclassmen to take time to enjoy the moment, emphasizing that before they knew, those underclassmen would also be up on stage. Megan then led her class in doffing their graduation caps and flinging them into the air, with the class then exiting the gym while "Life is a Highway" as performed by Rascal Flatts played over the loudspeakers.

Following the graduation, a combined get together of families welcomed visitors out near the skating rink.

Future plans

Gavin Severeide: "I will go to Black Hills State University to study psychology and secondary education. I will enlist in the National Guard to help pay for college. Someday I hope to be a school counselor or use the psychology degree to be a hospital psychologist."

Luke McAlpine: "I will attend Montana Technological University for a Computer Science degree. After that I plan to find a job in the field of software engineering in Montana or the surrounding area."

Joziah (Jake) Brost: "I plan to attend Gillette College to study industrial electricity and get a job in the mines."

Kortny Cathey: "I am going to Montana State University in Bozeman to study crop science."

Jarett Miech: "I will be attending Sheridan College to study diesel technology. I want to open up my own shop and help take care of my dad's ranch."

Layla Preite: "After high school I plan on going to MSUB for my generals and hoping I find a career I love."

Garrett Cunningham: "I plan to attend Montana State University-Northern to study diesel mechanics. After college I plan to take over the family ranch."

Megan Johnson: "I will be attending North Dakota State College of Science to study Social Work. After earning my associates degree, I plan on transferring to Chadron State College to further my education. After college I hope to work as a mental health counselor, start a family of my own, and help others as much as I can."

Michael Rumph: "I will go to welding school in Gillette and then I want be a pipeline welder and then retire a rich man."

Jon Desatoff: "I will be going to college at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell for an Associate's Degree in Computer Informational Technology."

Deanna Twedt: "I plan to attend Black Hills State University this fall majoring in English and minoring in music."

Tate Page: "I will be going to Western Dakota Tech in Rapid City to study Computer Aided Design and architecture."

Kyle Minow: "I will continue to work for Darby Fulton through the summer. I hope to eventually be a certified electrician."

Scholarships and awards

Joziah Brost: Pam Ware Memorial Scholarship-$1,000, Ken Amen Memorial Scholarship-$500, Top Honors PAD Student, Ag Welding I Achievement, Ag Mechanics Achievement.

Garrett Cunningham: MSU-Northern Rodeo Scholarship-$9,096, Pam Ware Memorial Scholarship-$1,000, NAPA Scholarship-$1,000, Amanda Gaskill Memorial Scholarship-$1,000, Ag Welding II Achievement.

Kortny Cathey-MSU Premier Scholarship-$2,500, Range Telephone Scholarship-$2,500, AGR Scholarship-$500, Mixed Media Achievement Award.

Gavin Severeide: Powder River/Carter Co Farm Bureau & Matt Korell, Farm Bureau Financial-$500.

Megan Johnson: Range Telephone Scholarship-$2,500, Leave a Legacy Scholarship (FFA)-$500, TRECO Education Round-up Scholarship-$1,000, Youth Tour Scholarship (TRECO)-$1,000, MECA Scholarship-$1,000, Basin Scholarship-$1,000, North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) Foundation Scholarship-$1,000, NDSCS Resident Assistant Scholarship-$5,347, Amanda Gaskill (FFA) Scholarship-$1,000, Music Boosters-$75, Heads Up Hearts Strong Scholarship-$1,000, English IV Achievement Award, Top Honors Psychology Student, Outstanding Dual Credit Student.

Marshall Williams, Broadus Ag Ed Teacher, was the Guest Speaker at graduation.

Luke McAlpine: Range Telephone (Louis Capra Memorial) Scholarship-$2,500, TRECO Scholarship-$1,000, MUS STEM Scholarship-$1,500 renewable x4, MT Tech Academic Scholarship-$3,000, Music Boosters-$75, Outstanding Computer Science Student.

Tate Page: Western Dakota Tech Build Dakota (full ride) Scholarship-Computer Aided Design (CAD)-$10,800 renewable x2, Range Scholarship-$2,500, Music Boosters-$75.

Layla Preite: PRCDHS-$500, Music Boosters-$75, Art Achievement Award.

Deanna Twedt: BHSU Friends of Music Scholarship-$500 renewable x4, TRECO Scholarship-$1,000, Range Telephone Scholarship-$2,500, VFW/Ladies Auxiliary Patriotic Art Scholarship-$100, Ben Minow Memorial Scholarship-$1,000, Music Boosters-$75, Ken Amen Memorial Scholarship-$500, BEA Scholarship-$500, Amanda Gaskill Memorial Scholarship-$1,000, Art Achievement Award, English IV Outstanding AR Award, Outstanding MTDA Student.


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