The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

Seniors grow over a 13-year journey

Jack Edwards, Creek Kennedy, Derek Wacker and Cooper Leather smile for a picture on the first day of first grade. Edwards, Kennedy and Leather have been at Yutan since kindergarten while Wacker joined in first grade. (Courtesy photo)

A thirteen-year journey can feel like a long time, but here at Yutan High School, that same journey is the perfect amount of time. Thirteen years is the length of time fifteen of our seniors have gone through the Yutan school system—from kindergarten to senior year. 

“It’s been real nice growing up with the same kids over the past couple of years. It’s been a long time, but it’s been really good to watch them learn and grow,”  senior Creek Kennedy said.

Yutan Public Schools have gone through numerous changes over the years, many of which have impacted the senior class as they have been around the longest. 

“Since I’ve been here, there have been some administration changes and just different transfers through the years. And even though I’m around the same people and friends that I’ve had since elementary school, I’ve definitely gained new friends too. And so, Yutan, despite the changes, just kind of feels like home to me now,” senior Jack Edwards said.

Senior Hailey Martin also recalls administration changes during her time at Yutan.

“My seventh-grade year we had Mr. Daniell, he was really nice. Then, a couple of years later we had Ms. Thompson, and this year we have Ms. Novotny, and I really like her,” said Martin.

The school isn’t the only thing subject to change over the years. The seniors as individuals and as a whole have also changed.

“We’ve all definitely gotten taller. I’d also say that we’ve grown immensely as people. I would say we’ve also gotten smarter, well some smarter than others, but we’ve all grown in different and unique ways,” Kennedy said.

From left to right, Emily Jimenez, Hailey Martin, Hailey Drews, Reagan Wilson, and Kayli Praus pose for a picture at Wilson’s birthday party. Martin and Wilson have attended Yutan since kindergarten, Drews left and came back to complete her senior year, and Jimenez and Praus both have transferred to different schools. (Courtesy photo)

Other than physical changes such as getting taller, social dynamics evolved as the seniors matured. 

“As a class, we have grown a lot closer. In middle and elementary school, I remember we used to be kind of distant from each other and have separate groups. When we got into high school and now as seniors, we are a lot closer and have developed into one big group,” Martin said.

Even though Yutan and the senior class as a whole have gone through changes over the years, their shared experiences tie them together. 

“I just feel like as seniors we have gone through so many changes and ups and downs together like Covid being a tough year for everyone, but I feel like we kinda bounced back from that as a class. I’ve just made a ton of fun memories over the past years, just like basketball in general was super fun. The student section at state basketball was crazy energetic and it was so fun to be in the front row with my friends,” Edwards said.

Senior Cooper Leather agrees that the class has made great memories together over the years.

“From recess in kindergarten to doing different activities throughout the years like making parade floats and being in the student section, I just feel like I have made so many great memories with my classmates, and truly just whenever we are around each other, we are there for a good time and there for each other,” Leather said.

Even when they have time apart, the seniors still share deep bonds from being part of the same class for so long.

“Even though I see some of the same people every day, we’re there for each other as a whole and my class individually. It’s almost just a big family. You know, it’s like, you might not see someone for the whole summer and you come back to school and it picks up just like where it left off. It’s something that we’re fortunate to have because many people don’t have the chance to have that,” Leather said. 

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About the Contributor
Millie Dieckman
Millie Dieckman, Junior writer
Millie Dieckman is a junior and in her first year of journalism.  She enjoys writing newspaper stories.  Outside journalism, Millie is involved in volleyball, basketball, and plans to do speech.
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