Each of the 277 Ames High School seniors who graduated Sunday, May 22,  has a story to tell. Each has worked hard to complete the rigorous requirements of an education in Ames Schools. And each has benefitted from the support of families, the community and the people who make up this District.

Here are highlights of what students told The Ames Tribune.

Bryan Hoff said he attended 13 different schools before graduating.

“Ames by far has been the most welcoming,” he said. “My first week of school her, even though it’s so big—I’m used to class sizes of like 20, just a lot smaller schools so just walking down the hallway not thinking anyone knew who I am—they came up to me and said, ‘Hi Bryan how’s it going?’” See more.

Hannah Schwartz, who’s attending West Point, thanked her weightlifting teacher Tracy Rial for helping her with her admissions fitness test and English teacher Kate Engelkes for helping her write her application essay.

“[Engelkes] just really helped me with my writing, and we really had a good connection, and this year she was instrumental in helping me with my application to West Point,” Schwartz said.  See more.

Caleb Litster said he’s been so inspired by teachers at Ames High School like math teacher Stuart Sparkman and English teacher Joe Brekke, he’s thinking of becoming a math teacher.

“Both of these teachers they really, really care about their students and that makes a big difference,” he said. “That’s the kind of teacher that I want to be.” See more.

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Photo by Nirmalendu Mamjumdar