Written by Kera Mashek, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -
Many eastern Iowa high schools celebrated graduations Sunday. But for one school, it was the last graduation ever.
Back in February, the Board of Regents decided to close Price Lab School, as part of budget cuts recommended by University of Northern Iowa President Ben Allen.
For teachers, graduates and their families, saying goodbye to the school isn't easy.
Brianna Gute is graduating from Northern University High School with both academic and volunteer service honors. She's looking forward to all the future holds, but is sad the school she's called home since fourth grade will be closing its doors for good.
"I've loved being here so I'm so happy I got to graduate from here. But you know, it is hard to be happy because you know so many others aren't going to have that same opportunity," Gute said.
Jacob Henry is most grateful for the friendships formed during his time at NU High.
"I've only been there three years, but I feel like I've been there a lifetime because of all the relationships I've developed while I've been there," Henry said.
Despite the sadness and some hard feelings about the closure of Price Lab school, many of this year's graduates are putting that aside, sticking with what's familiar, and will take classes this fall at UNI.
"I have taken college classes and I did like the feeling of the campus and stuff. So I'm excited to go there," Gute said.
Not dwelling on the closure, but looking forward to the future, is what NU High's principal says the last few months of school have been all about.
"It's been a really interesting thing as we try to support the underclassmen in their transitioning process, and we're supporting the seniors in not forgetting about them, making sure they still had their senior year in as much of a positive way as possible. And you know our teachers are really good at what they do. They're landing on their feet as much as possible and looking forward to new opportunities," said Josh Henriksen, NU High Principal.
This year's 31 graduates know their status as NU alums will be different now with a shuttered school. They're just thankful to hold a place in history as the school's last class.
Price Lab will officially close July 1. There's still no firm plans for what will happen to the school building.
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