Hats off to Glenwood grads | PostIndependent.com

Hats off to Glenwood grads

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

About 160 students bid Glenwood Springs High School goodbye Saturday but not before enjoying one last laugh.Make that a lot of last laughs.Glenwood’s Class of 2006 graduated with smiles on their faces that reflected not just pride of accomplishment, but a long-running sense of humor within this group of students.Maybe it goes back to when they were all in grade school and endured what has come to be known as “The Split,” when Sopris Elementary School was built and some of Glenwood Springs Elementary School’s students went to Sopris instead.”I might be a little biased, but I’ve got to admit Sopris Elementary was a little bit better,” said Jon Jay, whose father, Howard, happens to have been the school’s principal since its inception.”Two words, John – carpeted gym,” responded John Hoban.

That’s why GSES was better, Hoban boasted to those attending Saturday’s graduating ceremonies at Stubler Field.The many good-natured rivals of the two grade schools became schoolmates again when they were older. They grew to have a pride in their class that Chris Benson found best to express in song Saturday, as he and Jay strummed their guitars. “Many classes may claim they’re the best but that’s just one big lie,” Benson crooned.He later sang, “My advice to you would be to suck up to us, because one of these days we’ll be worth a lot of bucks.”And then there was Hansen Nordsiek’s view of what the future holds for him and his classmates.”It is when everyone will go their separate ways and go to CU,” he said.

Glenwood High teacher Mike Wilde will miss this class of comedians.”They are a really fun class, and funny. From the beginning to the end these kids were just fun to have around in class, because you never knew what they were going to throw at you,” he said after Saturday’s ceremonies.Principal Paul Freeman said the class was not only funny “but intelligent as well.”Indeed, jokesters Jay, Nordsiek, Hoban and Benson are all valedictorians, along with Shauna McWilliams, Haley Carmer and Cassidy Willey.Freeman can thank the class for presenting him with his very own redcoat, allegedly from the Revolutionary War. Freeman is from Britain, which Hoban, the senior class president, reminded Freeman in giving the coat to him.”Even though you lost and we beat you pretty bad, we still love you,” Hoban said.

Enough so that class members signed salutations to Freeman all over his new gift.This was Freeman’s first year as principal at GSHS, and Bob Willey’s last year as counselor. Willey, Cassidy’s father, is retiring, and the class picked the longtime Glenwood educator to give Saturday’s graduation speech.As a bit of a cutup himself, Willey was a natural choice to address this class. But he spoke with a serious admiration about them.”The future is in the hands of some of the best people I’ve ever met. You’re a wondrous group,” he said.He also praised Glenwood teachers, parents and the community at large for the job they have done helping raise this year’s graduating class.He advised the graduates, “Remember your roots, care about your roots. … You’re blessed to live in a beautiful town like this.”

That’s something Hoban seemed to appreciate. As each graduate picked up his or her diploma Saturday, Wilde read a short message that the graduate had prepared.Hoban’s said simply, “My words pale in comparison to the gratitude I feel for everyone in my life.”Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, est. 516dwebb@postindependent.com

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