If walls could talk … | PostIndependent.com
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If walls could talk …

Amanda Holt MillerWestern Garfield County Staff

PARACHUTE – Some of the Grand Valley High School class of 2005 may have regretted selecting Mayor John Loschke as their commencement speaker. He told personal and often embarrassing stories about each of the 39 seniors.Loschke, whose daughter Nicole was a valedictorian, told stories that sent laughter rippling through the crowd gathered in the Cardinals gym. It was the laughter of friends and family who had heard the stories before, many of whom witnessed the events firsthand.”Jamie Vance had some sort of infatuation with J.T. (John Trowbridge) when they were kids,” Loschke said to the crowd. “She was out on her bike one day. I guess she just didn’t see the tree while she was looking at J.T.”Loschke spoke about each of the graduates as if he’d known them all their lives. He said the walls of the old school told him about the seniors. The class of 2005 is the last group that attended classes in the old building, which is now the Grand Valley Early Childhood Literacy Center.Nicole Loschke and Julianne Jones, co-valedictorians, spoke about the class’s imminent adventure into “the real world.” “In the world we were living in, the walls were made of Styrofoam,” Nicole said. “In the real world, if you run into the walls you risk severe hemorrhaging of the frontal lobe.”Nicole and Julianne joked about the differences between the figuratively padded walls they’re leaving behind and the tough decisions they know they’ll face as adults. They thanked each of their teachers and staff individually, including the custodians, for the tools they gave the class of 2005 for the “real world.” The two also talked about how close their class is.John Trowbridge, the salutatorian, gave his class several words of encouragement to carry into the future. Tiffany Brown, the class historian, spoke about some of the benchmarks in the class’s history together.After the graduates collected their diplomas and principal Larry Brady explained each graduate’s plans for the future, John Mellencamp’s “Small Town” played over a slide show of cute and sometimes embarrassing photos of the graduates from the time they were babies to high school seniors. The photos also featured several pictures of the graduates playing together as young children, a touch that added to the intimate small-town feel of the ceremony.After “Pomp and Circumstance” played for their recession, Brady announced the class of 2005. Red and black mortarboards flew into the air at the back of the gym.


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