2018 graduates leave Burlingame High School headed toward great things

The 2018 graduates of Burlingame High School toss their hats in celebration. Photo by Keri Welch.

Attending graduation ceremonies at Burlingame High School is almost like hanging out with your family, as pointed out by the 2018 salutatorian Fallon Tyson.

Tyson joined with her two fellow valedictorians, Dalton Sporing and Tristan Lee, in good conversation and good company as they gathered with graduates and their families and well wishers, Saturday afternoon, May 12, 2018, at the elementary school gymnasium.

In her salutatorian speech, Tyson pointed out how her school family and good memories developed over the years.

“For most of us, we have grown up here in this building together,” Tyson said. “This has been like a second home to us, and my classmates have become like my family.”

“I would never wish these years away, and honestly my only wish is that they wouldn’t have went by so fast,” she said. “However, I am beyond grateful that we made the most out of our time together, and created memories that will last a lifetime.”

She spoke about the fun and enjoyment of school, along with personal stories that each student collected over the years.

“[E]veryone has their own unique story to tell,” she said. “I’m excited to see how each of you experience the rest of your journeys, and how amazing your stories will end.”

She advised her classmates to continue their lives by creating “new friendships, and experience new adventures and opportunities. Make the most of these moments, and face them head on. My advice to you is to make an impact in everything that you do. Be a voice, make a change, always persevere.”

In his speech, Lee warned about the struggles his classmates would face as they reached for success.

“Going through life is not easy, it is not fair, it never was and it never will be,” Lee said. “Accept it and get on with it, we are going to go through struggles. Whether it is going to college, your job, in anything you do, there will be a struggle, but that is why succeeding is worth it, you have finally accomplished something. The harder the road was to get there, the better you feel about achieving it – it is that simple.”

He also cautioned about accepting misconceptions about success.

“The common misconception that success is determined on what you get not what you give is just wrong. True life meaning comes from contributing to a cause that matters to you,” Lee said. “Now I am not saying to give everything and don’t get anything. I am saying give more than you get.

“Having your life balanced and contributing to a cause that matters to you is true success in my opinion,” he said. “Just remember that each one of you in here have a lot more that you will do with your life than you think you will. So do not sell yourself short in life.”

Sporing echoed Lee’s comments about life’s struggles. “Let’s face it, life can suck – but only if you let it. I believe our attitudes toward life directly relates to the result we achieve.”

He noted poor attitude and procrastination caused some students to struggle, and he advised that everyone should determine their own outlook on life.

“For the students who took the work one piece at a time and started early, it was no big deal,” Sporing said. “For the procrastinators, it was a stressful struggle. Class of 2018, do your work early so you can relax while others stress to complete the task at hand.”

He also advised his classmates to not let fear control their lives.

“I have always been told that to fear failure is to fear life itself,” he said. “Classmates, we must embrace the failure in life rather than shy away from it,” noting his knee injuries that took him away from playing sports.

“Anybody that remotely knows me knows that this had a very significant impact on my life. These events took away a large part of my normal activity, sports. However, by going through this ‘failure’ I have been able to embrace it and help others who are currently going through the process for the first time. As it was once said, ‘It’s good to lose; losing is winning.’ I challenge the BHS Class of 2018 to do the same with the failures in their life; learn from them and use them for the benefit of yourself and others. I am convinced that this class is able to achieve great things.”

After the speeches, BHS Principal Tammy Baird presented the class and USD 454 Board of Education President Kris Kline accepted the class for graduation.

Members of the USD 454 Board of Education presented diplomas to the following Burlingame High School class of 2018 graduates: Cody Atchison, Caitlyn Bowman, Dillyn Brown, Joao Caldas, Trevor Casta, Selena Contreras, Dylan Gatewood, Timothy Griffin, Jenna Haigis, Levi Hamner, Kirah Herman, Zachary Herrick, Raymond Hovestadt, Kristen Kline, Tristan Lee, Malorie Love, Kylie Masters, Caiden Musick, Colton Noonan, Allison Punches, Linda Ricley, Sunshine Roberts, Sydney Robinson, Dalton Sporing, Holly Swart, Jacob Thompson, Fallon Tyson, Jacob White, and Kaitlyn Zabokrtsky.

Senior class sponsors were Megan Summers and Haley Tyson.

Attendants for the commencement ceremony were Morgyn Heyne, Paylon Strohm, Montana Giffin, and Seth Greenwood.

Lucas Masters congratulates 2018 BHS graduate Selena Contreras. Photo thanks to Keri Welch.


Academic honors, scholarships, awards

  • American Legion Award – Fallon Tyson, Kylie Masters, Dalton Sporing, Tristan Lee
  • Outstanding Scholarship Award – Colton Noonan
  • Pepsi Scholarship – Kristen Kline and Dalton Sporing
  • Burlingame Recreation Commission Scholarship – Fallon Tyson and Dalton Sporing
  • KSHAA Citizenship Award – Holly Swart and Dalton Sporing
  • Kevin Masters Memorial Scholarship – Fallon Tyson, Zach Herrick, Tristan Lee
  • Jeff McFarlane Memorial Scholarship – Cody Atchison
  • Chapter IQ PEO Scholarship – Fallon Tyson
  • Mildred H. Dutton Award – Dalton Sporing and Tristan Lee
  • Kansas Scholar – Sydney Robinson, Kristen Kline, Fallon Tyson, Colton Noonan, Tristan Lee, Zach Herrick, Levi Hamner
  • Godderz Washburn Endowment Association Scholarship – Kylie Masters
  • USD 454 Endowment Association Scholarship – Fallon Tyson, Kristen Kline, Zach Herrick
  • Allen County College Scholarship – Caitlyn Bowman, Cody Atchison
  • Dale Dennis Award – Dalton Sporing
  • Bobbie Taylor Humanitarian Award – Levi Hamner
  • Rotary Club Scholarship – Levi Hamner
  • Lions Club Scholarship – Kelsie Quaney
  • Grandma Shirley Noonan Memorial – Holly Swart and Colton Noonan
  • Chamber of Commerce Scholarship – Cody Atchison
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