Message to Grand Valley HS grads: Don’t be average |

Message to Grand Valley HS grads: Don’t be average

Grand Valley High School class of 2017 valedictorian Jessica Orosz.
Lynn J Shore / Post Independent contributor |

Families, friends and colleagues of 64 graduating seniors came together for Saturday’s commencement at Grand Valley High School in Parachute.

Class-nominated commencement speaker Sam McLeod, an English teacher at the school, praised students’ accomplishments and encouraged them as they faced the future of adulthood.

“Whatever you feel within you right now, what you feel you’ve become,” he said, “it’s nothing compared to what you can do in the future.”

McLeod included that the students were destined for extraordinary roles in life, whatever path they may choose.

“It’s not your destiny to live an average life … you don’t have to be great leaders or doctors, it doesn’t matter what you do in this life. It matters how you do it.”

Class historian Lohgan McClung reminded students that every moment makes the experience of life.

“The last four years have been a roller-coaster filled with emotions, memories and friendships we will remember for a lifetime,” she said. “All of those moments led us here today.”

Valedictorian Jessica Orosz reminded her classmates to live in the present, and to take each day as it comes.

“For me, the future comes in small steps of one minute to the next, sometimes even second by second,” she said. “Don’t become so consumed by your plans and ambitions to the point where you forget to live.”

Before parting from the podium, Orosz gave a final word of inspiration.

“To me, all of you are amazing. One of the most tragic things that can happen is when we let other people control how we perceive our passions, but ourselves. Make yourself happy, and the right people will come into your life.”

Principal Ryan Frink expressed pride and gratitude for the graduates celebrating their final day as high school students.

“It’s that time you’ve been waiting for,” he said. “It’s time to turn the page and ascend from Grand Valley High School into this world.”

Grand Valley High was awarded over $700,000 in scholarships this year. Out of the 64 graduates, 31 students graduated with honors, and the senior body as a whole completed 852 hours of community service.

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