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Stanley County celebrates high school seniors at awards night

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Soon-to-graduate Seniors at Stanley County High School were honored Tuesday, May 14, with scholarships, awards and other recognition for their four years of hard work.

“This is when it all pays off,” Stanley County Superintendent Dr. Joel Price told the assembled students and their families.

The annual Awards Night, which commemorates the collective efforts of the outgoing senior class, was this year held in the Stanley County Middle School gym at 7 p.m. All but eight of the 34 students set to graduate this weekend are slated to enter technical schools or four-year colleges in the fall. Two will be entering the military, and a further six will be entering the workforce directly.

Almost all of the students bound for further education received financial awards of some form, and five students won a full-ride “Build Dakota” scholarship to a technical school of their choosing.

These five students were Logan Chase, Emma Cowan, Jayden Face, Braya Klemann and Landan Voigt.

“The Build Dakota scholarship is a miracle for students who may not want to go to a four-year college but can go to some of the finest tech schools in the country,” Dianna Knox, the award night emcee and high school counselor, said.

Knox, who also served as the seniors’ English teacher, said she had been urging the students to apply for scholarships since the start of the school year.

“Scholarship season really kicks off in January… I try to have them ready [for scholarship procedures] by Christmas,” Knox said.

Riley Hannum was among the most-awarded students, as well as the class valedictorian.

“It was very much worth it,” he said, when asked if the scholarship awards were worth the effort in high school. He said he planned to study education at Black Hills State University this fall, with the intent of eventually becoming an elementary school teacher.

Hannum also said he was unsure if he would return to Stanley County after finishing college.

“I’ll just see where life takes me,” he said.

This is similar to the response fellow scholarship winner Katelynn van Dusseldorp gave to the same question.

“I guess it just depends on what the future holds,” she said.

Van Dusseldorp also won a good deal of scholarship funds, including the national Horatio Alger scholarship. This award is funded by members of the nonprofit Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc, and is given to “students who have exhibited determination, integrity, and perseverance in overcoming adversity,” according to the Association’s scholarship website.

Van Dusseldorp said she will be attending the Minneapolis College of Art and Design this fall. She intends to study illustration.

“The eventual endgame is to be a comic book artist or a children’s book illustrator; create posters or advertisements for companies, all that fun stuff,” she said.

The seniors’ graduation ceremony begins noon on Sunday, May 19 in the Parkview Auditorium. Their graduation will be the last in Dr. Price’s career as an educator, as he is set to retire on July 1.

“As these students of 2019 walk off the stage for the last time, so will I,” Price said. “It’s been an honor and a privilege, and I wish them well.”

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