September 22, 2023

On Sunday afternoon, almost 350 Hutchinson High School graduates walked across a stage set up at the Hutchinson Sports Arena to receive a diploma, with thousands of friends and family members whistling, cheering and clapping at their accomplishments.

A Hutchinson High School graduate saw the potential in her classmates, citing previous Hutchinson graduates who went on to shape the modern world.

“We follow in the footsteps of CEOs, U.S. Army Major Generals, Hollywood screenwriters and NFL players — all of whom were Salthawks,” said Hutchinson High School chosen speaker graduate Amelia Ontjes. “Additionally, we follow a path of thousands of other HHS graduates who went on to make a difference in the lives of others in less public but equally meaningful ways.”

Hutchinson High School senior Chris Smith signals a heart to his family at the start of the Class of 2022 Commencement Exercise Sunday afternoon, May 22, 2022, at the Hutchinson Sports Arena.

The 140th Hutch High Commencement

More:If a tornado hits Reno County during the school day, where do students go?

Ontjes pointed out that this year is the 140th commencement as well as the conclusion of the 150th year of Hutchinson High School.

“Don’t ask — Mr. Ewy and our Hutch High historians don’t know where those 10 years went either,” Ontjes said.

The Hutchinson High School Class of 2022 throw their graduation mortarboards up in the air at the end of the Commencement Exercise Sunday afternoon, May 22, 2022, at the Hutchinson Sports Arena.

Ontjes established a motif during her address, of graduates writing a narrative of their lives, becoming the protagonist of their stories and marching forward.

“Many people here today have helped shape us in the first few chapters of our lives, but now the volume of blank pages are growing for us,” Ontjes said.

Of the 349 graduates, 76 received high honors, with nine candidates for the International Baccalaureate or IB Diploma.

“The International Baccalaureate program is recognized throughout the world as the most rigorous curriculum available to high school students,” said Hutchinson High School Principal Ryan Ewy. 

Amelia Ontjes gives a student address to her classmates during the Class of 2022 Commencement Exercise Sunday afternoon, May 22, 2022, at the Hutchinson Sports Arena.

During graduation, the nine students recognized completed the program and passed the examination to receive the IB Diploma.

Ewy also recognized roughly 15 more students who participated in the program and took the exam but did not pass all the requirements.

More:Dallas hip-hop artist visits Buhler schools and teaches about motivation through lyrics

The Hutchinson Career and Technical Education Academy, or HCTEA, director Travis Riebel recognized nearly a third of the graduating class as students who received a certificate or credential through the HCTEA program.

Nine Hutchinson High School students received an International Baccalaureate diploma Sunday afternoon during the HHS Commencement Exercise at the Hutchinson Sports Arena.

“The Kansas Department of Education defines post-secondary success measures as students that have earned an industry-recognized certificate, a higher education degree or will continue their education two years after graduation,” Riebel said. 

After Ewy and Reibel recognized graduates who earned high honors, an IB Diploma, credentials through HCTEA and students inducted into the National Honor Society, Jessi Conner, another chosen speaker and Hutchinson graduate, addressed her classmates.