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Leaving them laughing: Farmington grads crack jokes, receive diplomas

Principal Jason Berg pretends to take a call from someone interested in purchasing the school — a reference to the senior class prank of listing Farmington High School for sale on Craigslist. Jackie Renzetti / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 5
Quoting Steve Jobs, Farmington Student Council President Josh Wilson speaks of the importance of loving one's work. The class of 2018 graduated June 8. Jackie Renzetti / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 5
In keeping with Farmington High School tradition, this year's five graduating foreign exchange students received their diplomas first June 8, 2019. Jackie Renzetti / RiverTown Multimedia 3 / 5
Graduates line up to receive their diploma. Jackie Renzetti / RiverTown Multimedia 4 / 5
Graduates applaud student council president Josh Wilson during commencement ceremonies June 8, 2018. Jackie Renzetti / RiverTown Multimedia 5 / 5

FARMINGTON — This year’s graduating class at Farmington High School was among the last to have students born in the 20th century. It also had seven pairs of twins, remarked Student Council President Josh Wilson.

“Lastly, our class was so bad that Mr. Berg has to leave as principal next year,” he joked at the school’s graduation ceremony. “Just kidding, Mr. Berg.”

This light-hearted, optimistic tone lasted throughout the ceremony. The seniors’ class prank — listing the school on Craigslist and sticking “for sale” signs in the front lawn — became an ongoing reference in speeches. Principal Jason Berg, who is leaving to work for the District Service Center, even pretended to take a call about a showing.

Attendees packed the gym for the 441 graduates, with audience members learning over the railings from the second-floor track above the bleachers and others watching video from the cafeteria. The school also live-streamed the event on its Facebook page, where the video is still available.

Cole Stansbury, who was selected by students to give a speech, spoke about the importance of perseverance, drawing on his experience running cross-country and meeting personal records or PRs.

“Class of 2018, never ever lower the bar,” he said. “Push yourself beyond your limits and you will almost certainly achieve the PR that you guys want and you guys deserve. You’ve already had lots of practice.”

Before the presentation of the diplomas, social studies teacher Matthew Grove assigned the students one last task.

“I have observed that as a society, young and old, we may not spend as much time as we should telling each other how much we appreciate one another,” he said. “So graduates i want you to say thank you to your support network. I want you to tell them how important they are to you and how grateful you are for their constant encouragement. But most importantly, I want you to tell them that you love them.”

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