Glenwood Springs grads ready for life’s journey |

Glenwood Springs grads ready for life’s journey

Joelle Milholm
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Although Journey’s big hit “Don’t Stop Believing” came out a few years before members of the Glenwood Springs High School Class of 2008 were even born, the song’s lyrics still rang true in Saturday’s graduation ceremony.

After the Demons carefully moved their tassels from the left to the right, the newly announced graduates tossed their hats in celebration with Journey’s encouraging words of perseverance blaring through the speakers of the new gym at GSHS.

The class ” with the girls cloaked in white and the boys draped in red ” picked the song to represent all 124 of its graduates, and with the success they showed in high school, all have reason to believe good things lie ahead in their own life journeys.

In the class, 63 of the graduates have scholarships that add up to more than $1.1 million. The group didn’t just have one valedictorian with a 4.0 GPA, it had nine.

“They are a great class,” said GSHS Principal Paul Freeman.

Chandra Braeger, Avery Denney, Teka Israel, Ashley Kramer, Brooke Lockhard, Kirk Nordsiek, Kerry Rippy, Karina Tlaxcala and Lyndsey Wesson all spoke as the tops in their class. They compared the graduates to sunflowers ” their class flower ” as they have all matured from seeds into beautiful flowers through perseverance, hard work and the sunshiny support of their families, teachers and friends.

After receiving their diplomas, many of the graduates walked over to Freeman and hugged him. They also gave him a gift ” Mardi Gras beads to put around his neck.

By the time the last graduate’s name was called, Freeman had a collection amounting to a thick mane ” one that went from his shoulders to his earlobes.

“It’s an annual thing that the seniors normally do,” Freeman said of receiving tokens of appreciation. “I get wonderful little things; one year I think it was peanuts.”

The ceremony was originally scheduled to be held outside at Stubler Memorial Field, but rain showers early in the day forced the afternoon service indoors. It was the first graduation to be held at the new gym, which just opened this year, and a packed house was on hand to celebrate the Class of 2008.

“It was an excellent day, I wish we could have had it outside,” Freeman said. “We had to make the decision at 10 a.m. because it takes three hours to set up. We didn’t want to set up the speakers and then have it rain. Which it did.”

Outside of the music stylings of Journey, graduates Taylor Hendricks and Allison Schaiberger also lent their vocal talents to the ceremony. The duo not only sang the national anthem, but also performed a beautiful version of “For Good,” from the Broadway musical “Wicked.”

Wesson, the senior class president, also took time to recognize Glenwood Athletic Director Steve Cable, who is retiring after being at the school as a teacher and AD for 30 years.

Glenwood teacher Joseph Sustar addressed the class, giving them advice and wishing them well in their future endeavors. He also listed off the 2007-08 school year’s accomplishments, which were heavily contributed to by the seniors. From athletic wins to mock trial and DECA successes to the percussion ensemble’s state title, it was a big year for the Demons ” one which proved that future classes at Glenwood Springs High School have a lot to live up to.

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