Glenwood Springs High School graduates look to a bright future |

Glenwood Springs High School graduates look to a bright future

Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” It’ll be a future full of 4-leaf clovers, rainbows and Lucky Charms, if Janessa Foraker, Stephanie Grange, Whitney Setterberg and Laura Young have anything to do with it.

That rosy outlook was offered by the four Glenwood Springs High School Class of 2009 co-valedictorians to their classmates Saturday afternoon.

GSHS graduated a class of 141 seniors in a school gymnasium packed full of family and friends, rather than outside at Stubler Memorial Field as is usually the case.

Principal Paul Freeman apologized to the class as the sun managed to peek through the storm clouds just as the ceremony was getting under way ” for a brief moment anyway. The weather forecast called for a 70 percent chance of thunderstorms, along with the danger of lightning, which forced the school’s hand to move inside, he said.

As for the future, Young compared her classmates to the marshmallows picked out of a bowl full of Lucky Charms cereal.

“You bring color and fun to the world,” she said.

And, in the search for that elusive 4-leaf clover, she encouraged her fellow graduates to be patient.

“If you work at it, and if you wait, you’ll find the place where the 4-leaf clovers grow,” Young said.

Added Foraker to the valedictory address, “The more passionate you are, and the more heart you put into anything, the more you will get out of it.”

Giving the keynote commencement address this year was Kirsten Petre McDaniel, director of Youthentity (formerly Computers for Kids), an organization that strives to empower young people through technology and community service.

“It’s OK if you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up,” McDaniel said. “I’m still trying to figure that out myself.”

McDaniel urged the graduates to make good choices, but to learn from their mistakes when the inevitable bad choice comes along.

“You’ll find it’s easier to be at the top of your game than it is to be at the bottom of your game,” she said. “You’ll also find that it really isn’t any more work to be at the top of your game.”

McDaniel also offered a few thoughts on work: “It’s easier to get a job than it is to keep a job;”

Money: “Start saving early, and believe in the miracle of compounded interest;”

Marriage: “It’s OK to wait;”

And family: “Don’t underestimate the value of living near family … unless you don’t like them.”

In his principal’s address, Freeman presented Glenwood High’s annual community award to David and Mary Rippy, for their ongoing support of the school.

Freeman also offered a final thought to the Class of 2009, from former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill: “Now this is not for them the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Contact John Stroud: 384-9160

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