(Riverton, WY) – Three Frontier Academy graduates received their diplomas in front of friends and family last night, June 13.
Frontier Success Coach and Registrar Shanell Stanley spoke on behalf of graduate Bailyn Bloomquist:
“… I will tell you this young lady’s leadership to our culture is going to be greatly missed. … We have kind of an odd little history. We got COVID together, we don’t know who gave it to, but we got it together. … Bailyn lost her father her junior year, and that was another little journey we went through. We started a group, and you had to have a parent who passed away to be in it, so I got a supervisor that group. … It’s been a journey for her to finish this process of her education, this part of it. But she’s ready. … She’s definitely mature enough to go on and go forward. She’s an old soul by her own right and I feel very confident about what she’s going to do in her future.”
Bailyn then had the opportunity to speak:
“… Before I get started, I would like to give all glory to God. Without His grace, I would not be standing here in front of you today. I have been a student at Frontier Academy for almost three years; my life has drastically changed in the time I’ve spent at Frontier. I had 2.5 credits as a junior when I was accepted and missed my whole sophomore year, and my last semester of my freshman year. I put my education on the back burner. I truly did not see myself graduating anytime soon. Frontier not only accepted me and helped me achieve my high school education but also helped me grow into the person I am today. Without all the encouragement and support from the staff and students, I truly don’t think I would have had the motivation to finish. I know you all have heard many times before that Frontier is like a family, and I would like to reiterate that. When I say I consider the school my second home, I mean it. I have been shown compassion and understanding every single day that I have been attending Frontier. I was dealt some pretty rough cards at the beginning of 2021. I had only been at Frontier for about six months when my dad suddenly passed away. My whole world shattered. I was only 16, and now the reality of graduating seemed so unattainable. I took about two weeks off school, and in the first week, I can remember feeling so alone and lost, but the next thing I knew, Stan dropped my front door with open arms and a big yellow blanket. I can remember Stan saying to wrap this around yourself when you need a big warm hug. This is just one of the moments I realized I was more than a student or a number of the system. When I eventually got back to school, I came in to see my desk covered in notes from friends saying how much they missed me and how much they couldn’t wait for me to get back. I’ve made so many lifelong friends at this school who see me for who I truly am. People who I would have otherwise never talked to you or taken the time to get to know are now the ones that call on any help or encouragement. …”
Frontier teacher Rob Winn spoke on behalf of graduate Kristena Dickensen:
“… She started in August of 2020. As new students enter Frontier, we often tell all of them that we’re all reaching for the same summit. We’re all going for the same goal, but we all have different paths on how to get there. Every student can take their own pace, do it their own way. But the goal is to get there. Tena took this concept to the extreme. Oftentimes it felt like we were just about to reach that summit, that something was gonna change, and then all of sudden, we were back at the bottom of the mountain looking up, trying to figure out which way we were going to go again. Every time she descended that, she restarted a new path. Regardless of the setbacks, the restarts Tena has finally reached that summit. Tena, there were many times when you could have given up. But you stand here today as an example of your grit, your toughness, and your resilience. Many others would have folded their hands and walked away from the game, but he managed to finish that game and did so with pride. I’m very proud of you in this accomplishment. I am even more impressed with the young adult that you have become. Stand tall, work hard, and don’t ever settle for less than you deserve.”
Kristena then had the opportunity to speak:
“… I was supposed to graduate in June of last year. Many family deaths, surgeries, and other obstacles came up and set me back pretty far. I’m just glad I was able to finish. I would like to thank the school board for giving me this opportunity with the right school to be able to get my high school diploma. I would like to thank my dad. He’s been there through just about everything, and also the rest of my family and friends. I want to send a special thank you to my grandpa. He may not be around anymore, but I know he’d be very proud of me for pushing through and getting it done. I would also like to thank all the Frontier staff for being on my side no matter the circumstances and always being understanding about my situations. If it wasn’t for this school, I would have no idea where I would be today. Especially Stan, Taylor, Winn and Ibach for pushing me every day to do what I need to do, especially getting to school on time. Even if I did get mad at them, we would always come to an understanding about whatever it was. I would like to thank Sarah for always being there when I needed to rant about anything and giving me great advice on how to deal with the situation. There will be many, many memories that will come along with me for the rest of my life. …”
Stanley also spoke on behalf of graduate Madison Medeiros.
“… She’s a new student to us but joined Frontier right away and became part of the family pretty immediately. And this young lady had five classes to finish and she came early, stayed late, worked weekends. …”
Madison then had the opportunity to speak:
“… I came to Frontier as a senior with only one to 22.5 credits, I’m pretty sure. I came to Frontier because I was overwhelmed by all the assignments and the pacing wasn’t right for me. For the past two years, I’ve noticed a pattern in myself. For the first semester of high school I’m hyper focused on getting everything done as soon as I am assigned something. The second semester, however, my brain just likes to shut down and say, ‘no.’ … Frontier helped me graduate when I thought I wasn’t going to be able to. Frontier had small classroom sizes, which are easier for me to focus on one thing. … Thank you to the board members for giving me this opportunity at Frontier. I worked hard to earn this diploma. …”
Assistant Superintendent Jodi Ibach offered a few words as well:
“Congratulations, graduates. We get to do this every once in a while, and it’s a privilege to see you here after a long chapter of your life and several chapters. And while you’re closing this one, you’ll be opening a new chapter. Cherish the memories that you have. And as you go forward, think every day as you’re writing the pages is what I’m doing today, getting me closer to where I want to be tomorrow. One of my favorite quotes, I don’t know who attributed it to. …”