Saturday, 300 students donned purple robes to walk across a stage and graduate from Hermiston High School.

Three of those graduates took home a special title: valedictorian. Laikyn Whitney Carnes, Patrick Brock Linnell and Maloree Breann Moss shared that honor for the Class of 2012.

“It’s been a goal I’ve had in mind,” Linnell said of being valedictorian. “The last semester was tough, a couple classes were iffy, but I pulled it off.”

When Hermiston High School has multiple valedictorians, a salutatorian is not named. To be in the running for the valedictorian title, students must have a 4.0 grade-point average — Hermiston High does not use weighted classes — and complete enough honors-level classes to receive an honors diploma. Of the five advanced placement classes offered at the school this year, which can grant the student college credit, the valedictorians each took, and passed, at least four.

“It’s pretty rigorous work, but it’s worth it,” Moss said.

Each of the three also involved in other extracurricular activities, such as clubs, FFA and sports.

“We’re all involved in other things, not just academics,” Linnell said. “We’re more-rounded people.”

Linnell said he plans to attend Colorado State University to major in animal science before moving on to a master’s program in animal nutrition. Moss will attend Eastern Oregon University to begin a business administration program before moving on to master in health care administration.

Both said they would like to return to Eastern Oregon.

“I would like to come back here to Hermiston,” Moss said. “We’ll see where the job takes me.”

The three valedictorians joined their classmates in commencement exercises on Saturday. During the ceremony, the class also added another name to their class roster: Buzz Brazeau, high school principal.

Brazeau served as principal at HHS for five years and assistant principal for three, but will leave Hermiston this summer to become the superintendent of the Central School District.

“I’m honored that they consider me part of their class,” Brazeau said Monday. “My wife and I consider this truly the highlight of our educational careers, and I’m thankful for all the help and support and patience that was shown to us over the years.”


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