Hinckley-Big Rock High School honors 59 grads

May 20, 2019

HINCKLEY – Many of the 2019 graduates of Hinckley-Big Rock High School have watched each other grow up over the past 13 years.

“I’ve lived in Hinckley my entire life,”Taylor Ann VanLanduyt, the class salutatorian, said. “I’ve known most of my fellow graduates since preschool. I know their middle names, their birthdays, and their cell phone numbers. I can’t wait for our high school class reunions in order to see how far we’ve come from our small town beginnings.”

VanLanduyt offered her gratitude to the teachers who taught her over the years.

“I thank the teachers for never giving up on us,” VanLanduyt said. “We’re indebted to you. You taught us how to defend our opinions.”

The 59 members of Hinckley-Big Rock High School gathered at the school for a final time on Sunday together to receive their diplomas in a commencement ceremony.

Class valedictorian Keith Herrmann talked about the academic and athletic achievements reached by his class.

“Our academic strength is almost unmatched, with two students scoring above a 1400 on the SAT, which is equivalent to a 32 on the ACT,” Herrmann said. “We also have many others who achieved above a 4.0 grade-point average. Between our Academic Challenge and Academic Bowl teams, we advanced to sectionals and were champions of the Little 10 conference, emptying Mountain Dew warehouses along the way.”

Herrmann, who plans to attend Iowa State University and major in agricultural business, also cited his classmates’ athletic accomplishments.

“The dedication to sports was unimaginable as players gave it their all, sometimes too much and ending in stitches, dislocations, and more,” Herrmann said. “Aside from that, our teams had more players and wins than in the recent past and performed very well. Cody Cleaveland qualified for sectionals, while Allison Ryan advanced to state. Boys and girls basketball and girls soccer competed in a regional championship. Sports brought us together.”

Like many close-knit, small school graduating classes, the students will leave Hinckley–Big Rock with many lasting memories, Herrmann said.

“Our class really blew me away this year with its level of participation,” Herrmann added. “Not only did we win most things, the best part of all are the memories we are going to be walking away with from our last year here. I promise that every single one of you has made a lasting impression on a person’s life.

“That is something no one can ever take away from you.”

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