By Emily Stifler Explorebigsky.com Managing Editor

BIG SKY – Seven young men graduated from Lone Peak High School on June 2. This crew, nicknamed the Brotherhood, was the third-ever graduating class from LPHS.

Approximately 175 people attended the ceremony, which took place on a stage in the school’s new gym. The school board trustees sat on stage, and the school’s staff marched in to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance,” wearing robes and hoods denoting their college colors and degrees. The seven graduates walked in last.

Guest speakers included two students and two staff members, plus keynote speaker Martha Johnson. The students picked Johnson to speak, something she said was a great honor.

A real estate agent and long time resident of Big Sky, Johnson had worked with the graduates for several years through the Warren Miller Freedom Foundation. Through that entrepreneurial program, Johnson helped teach them how to earn a living with what they have.

“I’ve been an entrepreneur in this town for 24 years. I never expected anything back. [But this] was one of those things you do in your life where you leave wanting more. It recharged my soul.”

In her speech, Johnson encouraged the graduates to be kind, thoughtful, have gratitude, perseverance and honor. “Remember, your honor is not necessarily established when everyone is watching – it’s about your actions when no one is watching that truly defines your character.

She also told them “Big Sky will always be part of your foundation and there are a lot of people here cheering for you—it’s the beauty of a small town—you will never be anonymous here.” The graduates, Johnson noted, were themselves passionate about Big Sky.

Johnson also brought Big Sky Resort general manager Taylor Middleton onto the stage to announce a new LPHS tradition: The resort will put up a stainless steel plaque at the tram station atop Lone Mountain with the names of the graduates. It will also add plaques for the last two graduating classes.

Expectations of LPHS students are high for both academics and behavior, said school superintendent Jerry House. “They wanted to recognize that.”

The 2012 LPHS graduates are:

Matthias Arthur Becker

years at Lone Peak: 2, MSU Bozeman next year

Riley Adam Carson

years at Lone Peak: 1, MSU Bozeman next year

John Christopher Goode

years at Lone Peak/Ophir: 8, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA next year

Nicholas William McTaggart

years at Lone Peak: 3, University of Montana, Missoula next year

Jace Paul Morgan

years at Lone Peak: 1, MSU Bozeman next year

Cash Robert Munro

years at Lone Peak: 1, undetermined

Thomas John Tosic

years at Lone Peak: 3, MSU Bozeman next year