This year has been a historic one for Skyline. Not only has the school enjoyed immense success in academics, sports, and the arts while being ranked number one in the state of Utah by the Daily Beast, but the Eagles are also celebrating their quinquagenary anniversary. After a journey that began in 2000, the seniors of the 2012-2013 school year are finally finishing their secondary education as the fiftieth graduating class of Skyline High School.
An interesting comparison can be made between the Skyline senior class of 1963 and the senior class of 2013. During their senior year, the average income was $5,807.00 and gas cost 29 cents per gallon. These Eagles mourned with a nation over the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, were rocked by Beatlemania, witnessed the bombing of a church in Birmingham that killed four little girls, listened to Martin Luther King Junior’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” followed the news of the Great Train Robbery in England, and went to the movie theater to see The Birds and Lord of the Flies.
During the class of 2013’s senior year, the average income (taken from 2012 data) is around $45,018.00 and gas costs around $3.60 per gallon. These Eagles have followed the event of Syria’s civil war, seen the election of a new pope – the first from the Americas, grieved over the Newtown shootings and the Boston marathon bombing, witnessed the most powerful meteor to strike the earth’s atmosphere in over a century explode over Russia, and gone to see The Great Gatsby and Iron Man 3 at the cinema.
The home to the senior class of 1963 was designed by architect Dean L. Gustavason, and it was at the time “one of the most modern school plants in the Intermountain West.” The seniors’ principal was Ernest A. Pizza, they were aided by four counselors and 66 faculty members, and their senior class officers were Ronald Jensen, Ed Huntsman, and Jim Talvite. The seniors had, among other activities, a senior assembly, class party, and banquet; their graduation theme was by John Ruskin; they participated in organizations like Key Club, Pep Club, and Folk Singing Club; and they danced at their senior prom to the theme “Old Fashioned Christmas.”
The Skyline senior class of 2013 remains in the same building – although it has had a few touch-ups and the addition of a new (and sorely needed) A/C system. Their principal is Doug Bingham, they enjoy the guidance of eight counselors and 65 faculty members, and their senior class officers are Indigo Cook, Kylie Kida, and Alex Marble. The seniors have participated in activities like Senior Sunrise and Senior Movie Night, and they are gearing up for Senior Dinner Dance; their graduation theme is by Buddha; they are involved in organizations like Key Club, Ski and Snowboard Club, and Balloon Club; and their senior prom song was “One and Only.”
The differences and similarities between these two classes are significant; both groups of seniors are separated by fifty years worth of culture and history, yet they are united within the same school and by the same desire to excel at everything they do. Those students who are graduating this year on June 6 have built off of the legacy left by their predecessors, and they have taken the school to heights never before imagined. They have pushed Skyline to the top of the academic heap in Utah, won countless awards in the arts, achieved many a state championship title, and they have in countless other ways created a legacy of their own to leave for the next graduating class – and the one that follows fifty years from now. “If I’ve learned anything from high school,” states Beth Bergeson, “it’s to expect the unexpected. Seriously. But even if it’s crazy, it’s definitely worth it!” Vincent Fu also offers up his take on this fiftieth senior year: “I feel like as seniors, we’ve grown a lot closer to each other. For me personally, I’ve developed deeper friendships with a lot of people and I’m really grateful for everyone who is a part of my life.”
Fifty years after Skyline’s establishment, the road to graduation remains a long and often demanding one. The fiftieth graduating class has made it through three years of staying up late doing homework and studying for tests, competing in tournaments for subjects like math or debate, practicing for hours on the sports field, attending and performing in countless concerts, musicals, and plays; and evading hall monitors on the occasional morning or two. Through it all, they have shed tears together, laughed together, and grown together to become a graduating class entirely unique and incredible in its own way.