East Helena High School celebrates sending off its first-ever graduating class

Posted at 10:43 PM, Jun 02, 2023

EAST HELENA — On Friday, 123 East Helena High School students celebrated their academic achievements with the first graduation ceremony for the young high school district. East Helena High School held its first commencement ceremony where students, friends, and family filled the inside of East Helena's gymnasium.

The reception consisted of speeches from East Helena High's Principal, Brian Kessler, along with two Valedictorians, Jaydee Huschka and Dru Lindsey, and some others, as well as some performances from the EHHS Band and Tamika Schoppe and the Class of 2023 Choir Members.

Needless to say, it was a bittersweet moment for some of the graduates.

"Mostly, a little sad, you know, finally leaving the high school, but mostly excitement," said Krystian Higgins, an East Helena High School Class of 2023 graduate.

Some of the graduates are still soaking in the moment that they are a graduate.

"I'm very happy, excited. I waited whole high school for this moment, and hugging my parents as I get done, get my diploma, was very, very exciting. Just happy and definitely almost a tear-jerker, and I'm not a big crier, so it's a big day in my life," said Zane Maupin, an East Helena High School Class of 2023 graduate.

For most of the students, it was being the first East Helena High School graduation class that made this day so special, and for one student, Hayle Koehler, one word came to mind.

"Rewarding. Just to kind of be like that first class, it's really cool. It's just like a new kind of feeling that you wouldn't think you would feel because you're making that kind of new memory," said Koehler.

During the reading of the 2023 class roll, the seniors decided to share one last laugh with Principal Kessler, by gifting him with wiffle balls.

"One of the students decided we should give out little wiffle balls," said Higgins, "Each student gets one and gives it to the principal and everything. We thought it would be a nice little sending-away gift for him."