Grand Valley High School graduates urged to show gratitude
Tossing their caps in the air with their friends and family cheering in the stands is how the Grand Valley High School seniors said goodbye to the Parachute school Saturday morning.
“We finally made it,” celebrated Montane Whiteley in his valedictory speech.
After a week of winterlike weather in western Garfield County, the sun was shining brightly as the class of 2019 received its diplomas.
Principal Ryan Frink wished luck to all the 66 students, and said he hopes that through all the things they’ve learned in these last four years, being thankful can be the one lesson they will never forget.
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“If they can be appreciative and remember to say thank you to all things big and small, it will make their journeys a lot better,” Frink said.
During his address, Frink also praised the class for being collectively kind and loving.
“This class has a heart that cares for others,” he said before presenting the ceremony’s speakers.
Kindness was also one of the three pieces of advice given by teacher and basketball coach Travis Fox.
“Work hard, ask for advice and be kind,” he said to the graduates.
‘Be the water, not the soda’
How do we find ourselves? asked senior Kellen Jansen during his salutatory address.
“We are who we surround ourselves with,” fellow graduate Sabree Coombs continued. “People of Grand Valley High School, thank you for being the people I want to be.”
The Grand Valley High School graduation ceremony speakers had one thing in common — their love for the school and everyone who’s part of it.
Before the ceremony, assistant principal and activities director David Walck thanked the graduates as they gathered one last time at the school’s gym, known as “The Nest.”
“They first came to the nest as freshman, then they became Cardinals, and now they are flying away from the nest,” Walck said in reference to the school mascot.
During the ceremony, Walck thanked the students, their families, friends, faculty, local businesses and members of the community for the unconditional support to the school.
In her historian speech, Coombs asked her peers to “be the water, not the soda.”
“Know your values and stick to them,” she said. “This chapter has finally come to a close. Good luck to us on the next crazy steps.”
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“Breathe it in and live like whatever you’re doing will never happen again, because it won’t…” — RFHS co-valedictorian Rex Hamilton