Frontier graduated 3 on March 12

    (Riverton, WY) – The Board Room was filled to the brim for the graduation of Summer Diane Packard, Hayden Lee Blumenshine, and Cassandra Faith Miller last night, March 12, during the Riverton School Board meeting.

    Happy tears streamed down their cheeks, and family members, staff, and students choked up as they wrapped up one chapter of their lives and turned the page to another.

    First up was Hayden. Introduced by Nicole Schoening, who shared the following:


    “I bonded with Hayden at the beginning of the school year over a mutual love of peach rings, so I brought you some. It became very apparent to me from the moment that I met Hayden that he is a laser focused young man. He’s a hard-working student, but he has his eye on a much bigger prize post-graduation. And I loved that about Hayden from the moment that I met him. I said this to my husband in the car Hayden is a salt of the earth kind of guy. He is the kind of guy that we all knew in high school that we all love to be around because he will give you the shirt off of his back. He’ll give you a ride if you need a ride and he’s free of judgment, which is so cool in this day and age to just truly be accepted by somebody. And that’s our Hayden, and it makes me so proud to be able to have the opportunity to speak about him in front of you this evening because he’s just really a good-hearted human being, and he takes so much pride in his work. And when he came to me about his post-secondary plans, he was, I say, dog with a bone, laser-focused on what he wanted to do from the moment I met him, and it hasn’t changed this whole school year. I’m hoping he gets a little bit of a chance to talk to you about his post-secondary plans because I have no doubt they are going to take him to new heights, and that pun is intended. I also would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Hayden is one of our 2023 Pacesetter Awards from the WDE. He received that award last August at the Native American Conference. And so I think that’s a notable recognition as well.”

    Hayden then had the opportunity to speak:

    “I just want to start this off by saying thank you to the school board and all the staff at Frontier Academy for giving me this opportunity. Without you I definitely wouldn’t be standing here today. I also want to say thank you to my parents and everyone who supported me along the way. Even when things got tough, you all helped me tremendously and I can’t say it enough but thank you. Even with my passion for farming, trying to work and graduate high school would have been impossible without Frontier. But they gave me the opportunity to do both and I can’t thank them enough for that have graduated I plan on attending Northwest College in Powell to get my degree in aeronautics. With that degree, I plan on becoming an aerial applicator or in other terms a crop duster pilot. If that doesn’t work out, I hope to become an aerial forest firefighter. Basically, I just want to fly low and fast. With all that being said, I wanted to give a little backstory on my previous plans before I came to Frontier Academy. I didn’t even know if I was going to graduate high school, let alone go to college. But Frontier gave me a new perspective on school and learning in general, especially with English. It’s not as bad as I thought it was. And I can’t thank them enough for changing my perspective and everything they’ve done for me. Thank you.”

    Next up was Cassie. She was introduced by Rhiana Edgington, who shared the following:


    “The girl has grit. She shows up with a can-do attitude, and if she says she’s going to do it, she will. From riding bulls and winning buckles to wrapping up a 15-year long hockey career and finishing high school early, Cassie took every opportunity that we gave her at Frontier and she gave 100 percent. She participated in wellness circle in every field trip we went on. She even gave 100 percent when it came down to the Frontier shenanigans when she showed up every day and she put her best foot forward. We’ve shared a lot of laughs and tears, and Cassie is overall an amazing, kind, true-hearted human, and you deserve this. You did it. Rise to the occasion, Cassie. You’re ready for life after high school and I’m so proud of you.”

    Cassie then had the opportunity to speak:

    “Good evening, school board and guests. First off, I’d like to thank the school board chairs and the superintendent for this amazing opportunity. A big thank you to all the Frontier staff that have been there for me since day one. A huge thank you to Rhiana for being my second mom at school. Rhiana made school very fun and actually made sure that I got there on time and made sure that I did the things I needed to do. Thank you to my parents for not giving up on me and pushing me to finish school. Frontier has helped me in so many ways. To start I finished school before I was even supposed to. I never had more mixed emotions about this big change happening in my life. I never thought that I was going to graduate, and here I am tonight, fulfilling my biggest dream so far. As for the next step, I’m going to work for the county, and during my time there, I’m going to contemplate my next steps, which might include going to college. But I did investigate my passion first. The hardest thing about graduating is leaving my favorite people behind, Mrs. Shoening, Riri, Taylor and Winn, and especially Ibach because she keeps us sane. Thank you all again for an amazing senior year, and thank you to the school board for giving us an amazing school like Frontier.”


    And finally, Summer. She was introduced by Robert Winn, who said the following:

    “Good evening, board, families and guests. It is an honor to be here to speak on behalf of Summer Packard. Summer’s time at Frontier was far too short. She was one of the most incredible family members in our school. She is a talented, caring young lady whose very presence slowly and silently changes the world. I cannot express enough how her lightheartedness, her kindness, and her love for other people just go out all the time. She’s gonna do some pretty amazing stuff and do some very amazing things as she goes on to her next move. Summer, I’m gonna finish with a little inspiration from one of your favorite movies. It’s slightly paraphrased. ‘You wish and you dream with all your little heart. Well, remember, Summer, that old star can only take you part of the way. You got to help him with some hard work of your own. And then, yes, you can do anything you set your mind to, just promise one thing: you’ll never lose sight of what really is important. Summer, you have done the hard work, you have triumphed, and you have succeeded when many others would have failed. You’ve stayed true to yourself. And despite a hectic world, you have an amazing compass that has put you on an amazing path. Avoid the Shadow Man, for the Shadow Man’s only goal is to destroy you from within. Recognize him for who he is and what he does. Focus on your star, and you will realize that you’re always almost there.'”

    Summer then had the opportunity to speak:


    “I just want to say thank you to the board members. My name is Summer, and as Mr. Taylor, Ziegler, and Winn would all say, my name is Old Man Winter. Frontier has helped me fall in love with school again. They have helped me get to where I needed in schooling and brought back the confidence I was missing. My plans after graduation are to attend CWC in the fall and work towards my social work degree. I want to work at DFS in Riverton and help kids in the foster care system. Thank you to Frontier staff all of them, but especially Mr. Winn. Mr. Winn was amazing and I couldn’t think of being a minion for anybody else. I also want to thank Curtis Inman, he’s the supervisor of Riverton DFS and my biggest inspiration to become a social worker. I also want to thank Victoria and Katelyn Slack my foster parents as well. Without them pushing me to succeed I would not be here getting my diploma today. I also want to thank all of my friends and everybody else who has always been with me this entire time. Again, thank you to the board members for giving me this opportunity at Frontier and making sure Frontier is doing good. I worked hard to earn this diploma and I’m excited to move on from high school and work even harder to gain a successful career and future.”

    Congratulations, graduates! 🎉🎓🎉🎓


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