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School is back in session: BHS seniors return to the classroom for one final year

Elementary School Principal Wallace Schoeb watches students board buses following their first day of school of the 2013-14 academic year on Tuesday, Sept. 3. A typical school day in Blackduck starts at 8:20 a.m. and goes until 4:20 p.m. Photo by Christen Furlong.

The Blackduck Public Schools were once again a flurry of activity this week as students flocked back into classrooms for the 2013-14 school year.

Likely, the most nervous and excited students are the seniors, who stepped through the school doors on Tuesday, Sept. 3 knowing it would be their last first-day in the district.

“It’s different to be the head students,” senior Chance Gourley, 17, said. “There’s really no one above us other than the teachers. It hasn’t really sunk in yet.”

That was a common feeling among seniors on their first day. Many of them floated around the school feeling as though the summer never happened.

“It doesn’t even feel like we’ve been out of school,” senior Brittni Sorquist added. “It feels like (summer) was just another weekend.”

Sorquist, Gourley and fellow seniors Alex Tindell, Maile Olson and Karlene Henjun agreed that starting their senior year felt surreal, but that they also missed last year’s graduates.

“It’s weird not having the seniors from last year,” Sorquist said.

Between the five seniors who were interviewed Tuesday, two are members of the cheerleading team, two participate in speech and four of them are involved -- either cast or crew -- in the upcoming musical, “The Wizard of Oz” which will debut later this month.

Blackduck High School — the senior class included — received an influx of new students this fall with over 25 new enrollees increasing the graduating class to over 50 students.

“(The district) said that it hasn’t seen that for years,” Hansen said. “We do have quite a few new kids — some that are even seniors. We also had to add another kindergarten teacher this year.”

Prior to new student registration, Blackduck Elementary School employed only two kindergarten teachers. But when the number of enrollees began to tip the scale, the School Board approved the school to hire a third should the number surpass 50.

“I like seeing all the new people — those that are new (to BHS), that is,” Sorquist said.

“It’s great getting to see all our friends again,” Gourley chimed in. “It’s been a long summer without them.”

All five seniors plan on attending college after high school and Karlene Henjun is ahead of the game due to her acceptance to St. Cloud State University.

“I already have a place to stay and everything,” she said, smiling at the prospect of her freshman year at SCSU.

Sorquist wants to pursue college through the United States Air Force, Maile Olson is still undecided and Gourley and Alex Tindell hope to attend Bemidji State University in the fall.