Bartlesville Class of 2017 Graduates

posted Jun 4, 2017, 1:55 PM by Granger Meador   [ updated Jun 4, 2017, 6:42 PM ]
2017 Commencement
The Bartlesville High School Class of 2017's Commencement was held on Lyon Field at Custer Stadium

Hawkins & Banerjee
The 382 members of the Bartlesville High School Class of 2017 graduated on Friday, May 26, 2017 on Lyon Field at Custer Stadium.

Haylee Hawkins of the Student Council and Study Body Vice President Shayoni Bannerjee gave the opening remarks.

“Throughout the years, our friends, family and the school have cultivated us to believe in ourselves,” Banerjee said. “This has helped us reach this distinguished point in our lives.”

Hawkins remarked, “Although we live in the quaint town of Bartlesville, we have received countless opportunities for success,” she said. “We would not be here today without the teachers and administrators who worked tirelessly to help us.”

Senior Class Vice President Emma Claiborne and Makayla Lein of Student Council introduced the various district officials on the stage.


The main address came from Noah Eiden, Student Body President, and Shay Stayton, President of the Senior Class. 

Eiden stated, "We have been lucky to live and learn among a community that cares about one another. One that rallies together to support those who are in need and wishes for all to succeed. Growing up in Bartlesville is different than growing up in other towns, and because of that we all have our own unique memories of things that only we Bartlesville kids can understand... We can control our own lives by deciding what challenges we are willing to take on. We control what happens to us through our choices.”

“We are all called to leaving a place better than when we came,” Stayton said. “With all the new beginnings that are happening in this town, I say we are succeeding... I think I speak for everyone when I say school is not a cake walk. We all had our own challenges, but bless Bartlesville for giving us the opportunity to be our own heroes.”
Stayton with Fluffy
Both brought humorous notes to the event, with Shay Stayton placing on the podium Fluffy, a mascot for over a quarter century of physics classes at the school, stating that the cat was finally ready to graduate with the Class of 2017.
Taking the selfie

Noah Eiden pulled out his cell phone and a selfie stick to continue a recent tradition of a class graduation selfie.

Graduation Selfie

Daphne Wheat of the Student Council and JohnDavid Lancaster, Student Body Secretary, followed the presentation of the diplomas with a lively recital of class accomplishments.

Pranoy Behera and Melody Brown-Clark of the National Honor Society noted that the students had handed rubber duckies to BHS Principal LaDonna Chancellor as she greeted them on stage. These symbolized the challenging weather conditions of this academic year, with the student parking lot in the floodplain briefly inundated by heavy spring rains and a Snowball dance that was repeatedly delayed by winter weather.

Erin Cope of the Student Council and Lauren Szmutko, Editor of the Fourth Estate student newspaper, gave the closing remarks. They thanked families and teachers for their support of the students.

Music at the commencement ceremonies included the traditional "Pomp & Circumstance" played by the BHS band, a performance of the Star Spangled Banner by the BHS Class of 2017 string ensemble, and the singing of the Alma Mater by the BHS Class of 2017 Choir Senior Ensemble. Katie McCollum sang "Laurie's Song" by Aaron Copeland, and Alexis Jergenson sang "I Was Here" by Diane Warren.

Derek Hill and Dillon Hiemstra
Derek Hill (in front) and Dillon Hiemstra prepare to graduate; in the background are Junior Marshals Paige Sauer and Hannah Aldrich