Ask any of one of the hundreds of relatives, friends and teachers packed into Huron High School's gymnasium Sunday afternoon, and there's a good chance they would have told you Huron's Class of 2009 will be a group to contend with.
Take, for instance, the words of Huron High School Assistant Principal Tony Munafo, who has spent years as an educational administrator to all 121 graduating seniors, as well as a parent to one: Tony Munafo Jr.
"I guess I can say this because my son is in this graduating class," Munafo said, chuckling. "They're like unbroken horses, and they don't want to be broken. They're free-spirited. You mess with one of them, you mess with all of them."
So they're loyal, too.
"He's a great kid," Munafo said of his son, who kissed his dad three times while he was handing him his diploma on stage. "They're all great kids."
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Huron High School guidance counselor Jan Henning rated the Class of 2009 the same way: Willful, free-spirited, and incredibly brilliant.
"This is one of the smartest groups that's ever come through here," Henning said. "Their test scores and GPAs were very, very good."
The statistics say as much: About 55 percent of the students in Huron High's Class of 2009 earned some type of local, state or national scholarship, Henning said. It seemed every other student who accepted his or her diploma on Sunday was sporting a gold sash or some adornment boasting of academic prowess.
Kim Riddle's son, Jacob Riddle, delivered a speech to the group as salutatorian of the graduating class.
"He's highly intelligent -- an in-depth thinker with a great sense of humor," Kim Riddle said of her son. She added: "And free-spirited."
And humble, too. Riddle's speech included this note: "Even the smartest graduates walking out of here today still have a lot to learn about the world."
Huron Schools Superintendent Fred Fox, the featured speaker at the ceremony, doled out four doses of world-wise learning for the grads by providing four students with envelopes containing advice, which he had them read to the crowd of family and friends.
Fox's four things to remember, as suggested to the Class of 2009:
* Nothing good happens after midnight. "If you read the police blotter, it's pretty much true," Fox said.
* Don't text and drive.
* Call home often. "At least two times a week for the first month," Fox said.
* Do what you have to do so you can do what you want to do.
Huron High School, Class of 2009
121 seniors graduating
80 percent going to college
5 percent going into workforce
2 percent going into military
12 percent going to technical schools
$1.3 million worth of scholarships awarded