CLEARMONT — In the 90 seconds allotted each of the nine graduating seniors at Arvada-Clearmont High School, parents once again watched their children grow up thanks to the longstanding tradition of the class slideshow.
“Everyone has a graduation ceremony,” said graduating senior Clayton Auzqui’s mother, Alicia Auzqui. “The slideshow is the emotional piece. Everybody cries.”
Each year, Arvada-Clearmont High School compiles pictures of each student graduating from the class. Families help pick out the cutest and sometimes most embarrassing photos to share with family, friends and other community members attending the graduation ceremonies.
Previously, ACHS senior classes paid an outside entity to compile the collected photos from students and would put the memories to music for everyone to enjoy at graduation. This year, senior class sponsor Dawn Knudsvig found another individual in the Panther family to complete the slideshow for the class.
Jonathan Broersma started teaching for Sheridan County School District 3 this year and made the slideshow presentations for school board meetings. In exchange for Panthers gear, Broersma happily put together the slideshow for the Class of 2018. Broersma said in smaller schools, everyone has to serve in multiple roles, and he was happy to use his talents in this way.
Before Broersma worked his slideshow magic for the crowd’s enjoyment, the task of finding the perfect pictures was put on the students and their parents. The Auzquis have seen a dozen of the class slideshows in their time attending in SCSD3. The duo started piecing together Clayton Auzqui’s 90-second spotlight back in December. The family laid out dozens of photographs and chose what they felt was the best — and cutest — depiction of Auzqui’s 18 years of life.
“When you have a limited number of pictures to capture 18 years, it’s hard as a parent,” Alicia Auzqui said.
A few of Clayton in cowboy boots and taking baths in the sink made the final cut, flipping through to Luke Bryan’s “Most People Are Good.”
“We actually narrowed it down to three (songs). We sat down and listened to the lyrics and when that song came on, that is him,” Alicia Auzqui said.
Classes have the option of viewing the slideshow during ceremony practice, but the ACHS Class of 2018 opted to keep it a surprise and watch it for the first time alongside their parents and loved ones.
“For these guys to not have seen it and are very hesitant about talking is because it’s very emotional,” Auzqui said. “It’s just the part of the graduation ceremony that gets you.”
The school provided boxes of tissues on every row reserved for the graduating seniors’ friends and family. By the end of the ceremony, used tissues lay scattered across chairs as loved ones shared in the joys of youth and the transition into adulthood commenced Sunday afternoon.