High school ends with hugs

By Kori Rayborn/For the Baker City Herald June 05, 2012 05:17 am

Baker Bulldog Memorial Stadium’s bleachers were tightly packed on Sunday’s cloudy
but warm afternoon to see off the 110 graduates of the class of 2012.
 
“Never been so excited in my life,” said graduate Nathan Payton.
 
“I’m finally done,” said graduate Erin Brandon.
 
Jacob Baxter, ASB President, welcomed all to this year’s graduation ceremony.
 

Zachary Searles gave the salutatorian address. Searles talked about watching his class
grow up in the last four years, starting as kids and becoming adults.
 
“I’ve watched class clowns become hard working individuals,” said Searles. “I’ve
seen a class come together to achieve very many things…those aren’t the actions of
kids.”
 
Searles ended his address, “I can say with confidence…we are ready for whatever
comes next.”
 
Baker School Superintendent Walt Wegener introduced commencement speaker Amy Freeman, BHS graduate
of 1990.
“I’ll keep it simple,” said Freeman as she began her address.
Freeman told graduates that she had a plan when she left Baker, a plan to go to
college, get married and have kids. Not all of that has come true for Freeman yet. She
isn’t married and has no kids, but she does have a job that’s become her career.
 
“I wouldn’t change the path I’ve taken,” said Freeman.
 
Freeman began her career as a shoe salesman for Nike and now is Nike’s director
of marketing of North American sales.
 
She gave three tips for graduates as they set out into the future. One, work hard,
and always give it your all and strive to do your best. Two, be open to new people and to
new places. And three, be true to yourself, stand up for what you believe in, be kind to
others, trust your parents, follow the Golden Rule and you can’t go wrong, said Freeman.
 
Valedictorians were Darryn McCauley and Katharine Sizer.
 
McCauley compared graduating high school to the first softball game of the
year. “You get out of it what you put in,” said McCauley.
 
Sizer described graduation as a time to release tension and to not worry too much.
 
Principal Jerry Peacock and Vice Principal Gundula O’Neal handed out diplomas.
Diploma readers were Jacob Baxter, ASB president, and Kellie Freels, ASB vice
president.
 
Senior Farewell song was “Tattoos on this Town” by Jason Aldean.
 
Class of 2012’s motto, “To achieve all that is possible, we must attempt the
impossible. To be as much as we can, we must dream of being more.”