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Park City High School Class of 2023 sets records

Park City High School Principal Roger Arbabi speaks during the graduation ceremony at Dozier Field Friday evening.
Parker Malatesta
Park City High School Principal Roger Arbabi speaks during the graduation ceremony at Dozier Field Friday evening.

Family and friends gathered at Dozier Field Friday evening for Park City High School’s graduation.

Despite threatening skies earlier in the day, the sun came out for the 398 graduates that make up Park City High School’s Class of 2023.

About 80% of them will continue on to higher education at more than 100 different colleges across 35 states and four countries.

The class also has seven National Merit Scholars and two Presidential Scholarship finalists, according to Principal Roger Arbabi.

“And for the first time ever, we have a student receiving a GPA over 5.0,” Arbabi said. “We actually had to get in touch with the state, because they didn’t have the capacity to list that GPA.”

More than half the class participated in 23 different sports at Park City High. Additionally, nearly a third took part in non-athletic extracurricular activities at school.

Zachary Watkins is student body president and spoke during the graduation ceremony.

“We grew up with the world at our fingertips, the internet shaping and shifting the very world as we touched it," Watkins said. "We’ve seen abundant transformation through social media, not realizing we were transforming too. Now, according to a Harvard study, with an attention span of 8.25 seconds, 0.75 seconds less than that of a goldfish… Class of 2023 is absolutely crushing it.”

Watkins encouraged his peers to take a moment to slow down and embrace the moment they’re in.

Senior Class President Phebe Marsland spoke after him, and listed the number of hurdles the students faced to get to graduation. Most notably, the COVID-19 shutdown during their first year of high school.

“There have been many highs and many lows in our time here, and there’ll be many more in the future," Marsland said. "There are things that we will all miss next year, like skiing, riding in the snow, high school events, Gaper Day, and being called a Miner. But there will also be incredible new experiences and traditions that we will cherish just as much as those we have grown up with. As we all journey into a world full of new people, places, and experiences, I encourage everyone to look for the happiness in all our little moments.” 

Nearly a fifth of the Class of 2023 are first-generation students, meaning their parents didn't complete a four-year college degree. Two-thirds of that group will continue on to college, which is a record for Park City High.