Rifle Bears ready for their new adventure | PostIndependent.com

Rifle Bears ready for their new adventure

Heidi Rice
Rifle Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

RIFLE, Colorado – Rifle High School valedictorian Caleb Ziegler had plenty of personal advice to give his fellow graduates.

He and nearly 130 of his classmates graduated Sunday afternoon as the class of 2010 said goodbye to their high school life and embarked on a new adventure.

“This year has been weird in that when a sports season ends or when the last club event happens – it’s over,” Ziegler said in his valedictorian address to his class. “It’s kind of bittersweet because most of those things that have ended or that are ending are also things that are important to us, that we have invested parts of our lives in.”

Yet at the same time, the new replaces the old, Ziegler said.

“We all have the opportunity to reinvent who we are and who we will be in the future,” he continued. “That opportunity is a big one, and it can be easily wasted. Don’t wait for some moment in time or some future event to decide to be who you want to be or to decide to be the best that you can be. Chances are, that moment or event won’t ever come.”

Re-2 Superintendent David Smucker kicked off the 2 p.m. ceremony at the Rifle High School football field, asking proud parents, grandparents and great-grandparents all to stand.

Then he addressed the graduates.

“These are days of tremendous change in our lives,” Smucker said. “And as a high school graduate, you have completed the first crucial step in completing your goals. Good luck, good fortune and my very best wishes.”

English teacher Kimberly Mayer gave the commencement address, congratulating the students and offering her own advice.

“This will be the last piece of advice you will get from this school,” she said earnestly. “While this is a time of celebration, it’s also moments like this that define who we really are. Make each moment the way you want it. If you don’t know what you want to do yet, that’s OK. You don’t have to decide today. Use your heart as a guide.”

The graduates dressed in the Rifle High School Bears school colors – the girls in gold and the boys in blue – also each had a written closing statement reflecting on their four years in high school. Some were sentimental, and some were just plain funny.

“Life is a garden – dig it,” was the advice imparted by Michael Galon Cash.

“Some say the glass is half empty. Some say the glass is half full. I say, ‘Are you going to drink that?'” wrote Kasey Caron.

“I’ve been waiting to graduate since I was a freshman,” Tyler Danielson summed up.

Some just wanted to thank those that they love.

“I have no regrets – love to my family and friends and the class of 2010.”

And then, of course, there was the tear-jerker.

“High school is a lot like toilet paper,” according to Irving Gomez. “You only miss it when it’s gone.”

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