Rifle High School 2009 grads have heart to follow dreams
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
RIFLE, Colorado ” Sunday’s graduation ceremony at Rifle High School was a victory dance for 92 students who now are preparing to take the next steps in their lives, to see what the future holds.
RHS chemistry teacher David Ziegler led the graduates in a verse of a makeshift victory song, which summed up the last 18 years of each student’s life.
“Victory. Victory. That is what today means to me,” He sang, and the crowd of RHS graduates followed in unison.
It was perhaps the final time that the Class of 2009 would be together as one, in unison, like one heart beating, making one last memory for the scrapbooks.
Marcy Kreimier and co-valedictorian Francisco Lariz both graduated with 4.19 GPAs, and have completed enough college credits to be sophomores already.
Lariz has been accepted to the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he plans to study chemical engineering, while Kreimier will be attending the University of Notre Dame, where she will study either biology or education.
The class’ salutatorian, Shea MacLeod, will be attending Boston University in Boston, and she has been awarded nearly $200,000 in scholarships to pursue a medical career.
Kreimier told her classmates in her valedictorian address that she had a tough time summing up her class in one sentence. However, she managed to come up with one word that defined them perfectly.
“Heart,” she said.
“No matter what happened, our class brought heart every time,” Kreimier said. “We all make up a heart that beats 2009.”
She reminded her classmates that while they are each going on to face the future as individuals, they should always be remember that 91 other hearts, somewhere in the world, beat as the Rifle Bears Class of 2009.
“Each of us allows for another beat,” Kreimier said. “As we plan for our futures and find our own path remember that one heart that beats for you.”
She explained that it wasn’t only the classmates that made the heartbeat, it was the entire Rifle community. The family and friends that attended that day, and the teachers and administrators, helped make them what they have aspired to become and were the ones that helped lead them to victory.
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart. Whatever you do, do with all of your heart,” Kreimier said. “Because you may not be what you eat, but you are what you love.”
The class’ other valedictorian, Lariz, took a different approach with his speech. His message was brief, yet simple and powerful.
“This is not the end, but just the beginning,” Lariz said.
The first big hurdle in life is complete. Now it’s up to the members of the Class of 2009 to decide what they make of themselves.
RHS science teacher Anthony Rossilli gave the commencement address. He told the graduates that they had reached this day with the help and guidance of their teachers, RHS staff, family and friends. But starting tomorrow, life’s decisions are up to them to make.
But he had one final piece of advice. He told the students that things would work out just fine as long as they forever pursued truth.
“There is truth,” Rossilli said. “Pursue truth. There is evidence of truth. Live according to truth. That is the best way I can say I love you.”
Victory. Victory. That is what Sunday meant for the RHS Class of 2009.
Contact John Gardner: 384-9114
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