Pine River-Backus class of 2021
- Number of graduates: 57
- Class colors: Orange, blue and silver
- Class flower: White rose
- Class motto: “Our lives are before us, our past is behind us, but our memories are forever with us.” - Unknown author
- Class song: “I Lived” by OneRepublic
Students joining the military: Brandon Bowen, Hunter Rice, Kade Schneider.
High honors graduates: Olivia Adkins, Zachary Burtard, Tessily Gregory, Rylie Hirschey, Hailey Jacobsen, Kyosuke Marcum, Halle Milham, Hanna Milham, Nolan Olivier.
- Honors graduates: Molly Adkins, Brandon Bowen, Emma Cincoski, Alyssa Gravelle, Rylee Norman, Annabelle Toothman-Knapp, Ryan Tuchtenhagen, Gavin Wosmek.
- Quote from Principal Chris Halverson: “The 2020-2021 Pine River-Backus graduating class is a talented group of young adults! They have overcome much adversity and grown as individuals in the process. The evidence shows they are strong communicators, creative problem solvers, and passionate humanitarians. Go Tigers!”
V ALEDICTORIAN : Rylie Hirschey
- Parents: Josh and Nicole Hirschey
- Extracurricular activities: Volleyball, basketball, student council, student government, National Honor Society, prom committee and STRIVE
- Hobbies: I love spending time with Jesus, four wheeling, water sports, reading and spending time with family and friends!
- Future plans: I will be attending the University of Northwestern-St. Paul this fall to major in nursing and minor in Bible! I will also be continuing my basketball career there, and hopefully my volleyball career as well.
- Part-time work: This summer I will be working at White Birch Golf Course and Minne-Teepee Resort.
- Memorable high school moment: One of my favorite sports memories is going to the state volleyball tournament in 2017. Another one of my favorite memories with my classmates was when our bus broke down on the way back from our Valley Fair field trip and we played board games on the playground for a couple hours.
- Class rank: 1.
VALEDICTORIAN: Olivia Adkins
- Parents: Kyle and Lori Adkins
- Extracurricular activities: Basketball, volleyball, National Honor Society, STRIVE and jazz band
- Hobbies: Horseback riding, hanging out with friends and enjoying nature!
- Future plans: I plan to attend North Dakota State University or University of Northwestern-St. Paul to study biology.
- Part-time work: Horse training. This summer, I plan to work at the Country Doc Veterinary Clinic as a veterinary assistant.
- Memorable high school moment: Making memories with my team during summer basketball and volleyball.
- Class rank: 1.
SALUTATORIAN: Hanna Milham
- Parents: Angela Flategraff and Charles Milham
- Extracurricular activities: Softball, dance, student council, National Honor Society and basketball managing.
- Hobbies: In my free time, I enjoy boating, shopping, traveling and socializing with friends and family.
- Future plans: In the fall I will be attending the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities to major in biology while taking prerequisites for medical school.
- Part-time work: I am a dock attendant at C&C Boat Works in Crosslake.
- Memorable high school moment: Covering an entire classroom, a student’s truck and other miscellaneous things with Post-it Notes before school hours.
- Class Rank: 3.
2/11: Half of the graduating class of 2021 tosses their hats at the June 4, 2021 Pine River-Backus graduation ceremony. The other half of the class was sitting on the opposite side of the aisle. Travis Grimler / Echo Journal
3/11: Though the June 4 Pine River-Backus graduation ceremony was almost back to normal, graduates this year were seated in the front two rows of the audience. Travis Grimler / Echo Journal
4/11: The Pine River-Backus school choir performs "Found/Tonight" at the June 4 Pine River-Backus Graduation. Travis Grimler / Echo Journal
5/11: High School Principal performs the tradition of moving the tassel while giving a graduate their diploma at the June 4 Pine River-Backus graduation ceremony. Travis Grimler / Echo Journal
6/11: Pine River-Backus school board member Roger Hoplin hugs his grandson Andrew Hoplin at his June 4 graduation from Pine River-Backus High School. Travis Grimler / Echo Journal
7/11: Some graduates at the June 4 Pine River-Backus high school graduation were visibly excited. Travis Grimler / Echo Journal
8/11: Pine River-Backus school board chair Chris Cunningham congratulates Andrea Lynn Leyk on her graduation from Pine River-Backus High School on June 4. Travis Grimler / Echo Journal
9/11: Smiles were big as Pine River-Backus High School Principal Chris Halverson moves graduates' tassels during the June 4 graduation ceremony. Travis Grimler / Echo Journal
10/11: Pine River-Backus High School Principal Chris Halverson presided over the 2021 graduation on June 4 as graduates said goodbye to the school where they spent so many years as well as a tumultuous final year. Travis Grimler / Echo Journal
11/11: Graduates weren't the only ones excited at the 2021 Pine River-Backus high school graduation on June 4. Travis Grimler / Echo Journal