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EDITORIAL: Congratulations, Class of 2017

This year’s graduating seniors were among the last babies born in the 20th century.

They came into the world in 1999 or so — a time when parents didn’t announce births on social media. They were toddlers when America was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, changing the world as we knew it.

While a lot has changed since 1999, some things have not. For more than 100 years, Powell community members have gathered on a spring day to celebrate the academic accomplishments of its young people. On Sunday, the community will continue to do just that.

We know the Class of 2017 is filled with exceptional students. Some excel academically and athletically, while others are gifted in technical skills or perform well in music, FFA, drama, art and other activities.

Throughout the past 13 years, local teachers, principals, aides and other school staff have worked hard to ensure these students learned the necessary lessons to earn their high school diplomas.

Local educators and coaches also taught them about life, character, integrity and serving their communities.

But it wasn’t just lessons in the classroom or on the field that prepared Powell High School and Shoshone Learning Center students for their graduation day. The earliest life lessons were taught in the home, by their mothers, fathers, siblings and grandparents.

Sunday’s celebration of graduates isn’t just for the students — it’s for the families who worked hard to help their children reach this point.

While graduation marks an important milestone in their young lives, in many ways it is just the beginning.

Their next steps may lead to college, the military, work, marriage, parenthood, traveling the world or another adventure. The choices they make in the coming years will shape their lives.

As this year’s graduating seniors begin their next chapter, we wish them all the best.

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