HEBRON – For Ian Johnson, Alden-Hebron High School's small population isn't what mattered. It was the quality of the education he and his 27 fellow graduates received.
The high school Sunday bid adieu to 28 students.
Johnson, the class salutatorian, said even though Alden-Hebron was a small school, it gives students opportunities to do well.
Johnson will attend the University of California-Los Angeles and play lacrosse.
"At the beginning of my high school career, I didn't think that was true at all, but at the end of it, I'm headed to a huge university in California," Johnson said after the commencement. Being in a small school "really hasn't been a setback, and I thought it was going to be."
During the ceremony, Johnson and valedictorian Kelly Warren performed a duet. They wrote about memories from their freshman through their senior years to the tune of Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)."
Warren will attend Trinity International University in Deerfield, and will possibly major in psychology.
"I made so many great friends here, teachers, friends, that I hope to carry onto college," Warren said after receiving her diploma. "This school pushes you to work hard and to get good grades; that mentality of going into college and striving to do my best."
Alden-Hebron students brought in $111,500 in scholarship money from college and universities.
Principal Tim Hayunga called the class a hardworking group.
"They're just a real joy to be around, constantly coming in with a smile on their faces," Hayunga said.
Students from the Class of 2013 will attend Lakeland College, Southern Illinois University, Augustana College, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Concordia University of Wisconsin, Southwest Florida College in Bonita Springs, Ripon College, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and others.
"It's important for people to know that just because you're in Hebron doesn't mean you can't go out and enjoy different things," Hayunga said. "Absolutely, we would love them to come back and be here, but at the same time, if there are things out there for you that are other places, go get it."