For the Grand County High School Class of 2012, the future is literally on the horizon.

And it starts Thursday evening.

That’s when 90 to 100 Grand County High School seniors will graduate.

The ceremony begins at 8 p.m., outside on the north side of the high school, 608 S. 400 East.

Community members are welcome.

Plan to get there early, said high school Principal Steve Hren, as seating is limited. Once the chairs are taken, other onlookers must sit on the grass. Arrive by 7:30 p.m. at the latest, Hren said.

Parking will be available in the lot by the tennis courts and in both lots adjacent to the technical center. The school will provide transport to the ceremony from the technical center lots – via golf cart – for folks who need it.

Graduates will sit on risers to the west of the stage during the ceremony.

This year’s valedictorian is Udit Bhavsar. The salutatorian is Spencer Smith.

School officials this year changed the criteria for how the top students are chosen, Hren said.

The selection used to be based strictly on Grade Point Average. Officials chose to rethink the criteria, though, after some students stopped taking tougher classes to have a better shot at maintaining a higher GPA, Hren said.

“Now, this is scholastic award, not just a GPA award,” Hren said. “They get points for classes taken, ACT scores” and a host of other factors.

The valedictorian is the student who scores highest on the criteria, and the salutatorian is the student who scores second highest.

Both Bhavsar and Smith will speak at graduation.

To begin the commencement ceremony, a Boy Scout troop will present the flag and conduct a short flag ceremony.

Then, district leaders will honor staff members who are retiring this year before presenting the Circle of Honor award to a community member who has helped the high school.

The keynote speaker this year is Aubrey Holderness. When these graduating seniors were in 7th grade, Holdnerness taught their history class.

“They loved him so much, they asked him if he would speak at their graduation,” Hren said.

After Holdnerness’ speech, the graduates will walk across the stage to receive their diplomas.

Anywhere from 50 to 60 percent of Grand County High School graduates go on to college or technical school after high school, Hren said, though the school district doesn’t keep track.

For more information on Grand County High School, visit