Garfield County seniors are heading into the world |

Garfield County seniors are heading into the world

John GardnerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GARFIELD COUNTY, Colorado – Drew Hogan is so busy during the last few weeks of the school year that he doesn’t have much time to reflect.But when the Rifle High School guidance counselor thinks about graduation, and what it means for the kids he’s grown to know over the past two years, he’s reminded of how important the day is for each of the 140 graduating seniors from Rifle High School.”In some ways it’s heartbreaking,” he said. “There are a few kids that didn’t make it, but then there are the success stories of the ones that did. The ones that met the adversity, that really had to work for it, and are going to graduate with their class. That makes it all worth it.”Three western Garfield County high schools will hold graduation ceremonies Sunday, marking another year and another milestone in these students’ lives. Grand Valley’s alternative high school program, serving between 15-20 teens, will hold its ceremony at 5 p.m. today at the Battlement Mesa Activity Center.Grand Valley High School in Parachute will kick Sunday morning off at 10 a.m., graduating 64 seniors. The ceremony will take place in the school’s gym with former principal Larry Brady offering graduates a keynote speech. Student speakers have yet to be announced.RHS will hold a midday ceremony at 1 p.m. at Bear Field. Jonathan Rice, social studies teacher and Rifle city councilmen, will deliver the commencement speech. Senior Molly Simms is the 2008 class valedictorian while salutatorian honors went to classmate Cori Kosht.This year is especially significant with Coal Ridge High School in Peach Valley, holding its inaugural graduation at 4 p.m. for 69 graduating seniors. Words can hardly describe the emotions of CRHS principal Jeanie Humble.”It brings us full circle,” Humble said. “It may not be exactly what we had imagined, but the reality is that it’s upon us and that is really exciting. To think, that these are the dreams we thought of four years ago, it’s finally here.”CRHS social studies teacher Luke Labaw will give the commencement speech for the first graduating class. Senior Pramini Rachel Kanakaraj is the school’s first valedictorian, while Nadine Louise Chavez has the honor of the schools first salutatorian.The ceremony at CRHS will be held in the school gymnasium. People attending the ceremony are encouraged to show up at least 30 minutes early and parking is available around the back side of the school.Hogan noted that the lower parking at RHS is the primary parking option as the upper lot will be reserved parking. Hogan advised people attending to show up at least 30 minutes early.Contact John Gardner: 384-9114jgardner@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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