J. Douglas Hodgson graduates celebrate growth


J. Douglas Hodgson Gr. 8 valedictorian Sadie EvansFockler said the school has been “such a place of growth” for her and her fellow graduates as they prepare for the short walk to Hal high in September. 

She delivered an address to the standing-room-only crowd celebrating the school’s Gr. 8 graduates June 28.

 “Here’s where we grew from little kids to young adults. Watching all of us grow and change has been such an amazing experience,” Evans-Fockler said. 

“All the memories made, the friends that we’ve had, the good times we’ve had, all went by in a blink of an eye.” 

As she and her classmates crossed the stage, Gr. 8 teachers read what each student hoped to achieve in 10 years. 

Goals included home ownership, working their dream jobs, writing books, furthering their education and playing professional sports. 

Principal David Waito urged the class not to settle for a “new normal” after COVID-19. “The new normal has a lulling sound to it. I hope we can do better than settle for the way things were.” 

He urged the class to boldly pursue knowledge, social justice and change in their futures. Trustee Gary Brohman’s remarks were read in his absence. He told the graduates to “do what is right, each and every day,” and to remember their parents can give good advice. “Wisdom is a gift your parents have a ton of, believe it or not,” Brohman said.