Roaring Fork grads move into future
CARBONDALE – Graduates of Roaring Fork High School are ready to head off into the world and make a splash – in their own unique styles.Some 50 Class of 2006 students received their diplomas at the high school gym Saturday, in an event valedictorian Laura Wright compared to jumping into water from a cliff.In Wright’s view, whether students head to college, the military or the workplace, they’re all taking that leap, with emotions ranging from excitement to fear.”Make it work for you, whether with a scream, a bit of encouragement or a back flip,” Wright told her fellow classmates Saturday.Wright joined fellow valedictorians Megan Bannon, Theo Pulver and Collin Stewart in sharing memories of their years in Carbondale schools, and looking to the future.
Along with especially memorable class trips and unforgettable little moments such as someone suffering a poke in the buttocks with a pencil, the four also recalled more serious memories. Among them were the graduates’ state of confusion when they were in Carbondale Middle School and news of the terrorist attacks of 2001 broke, and Stewart’s visit to Pearlington, Miss., which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.While the future might look serious as well, Pulver offered a humorous view of it by producing a butterfly, swan and other balloon creations, as metaphors for the different kinds of futures awaiting him and his classmates.Then he popped one of the balloons, to indicate the setbacks that sometimes await in following one’s dreams.”All that time and effort wasted, right? Well, not exactly. Although the balloon may be done, what you envision is not. It remains with you in your heart and mind,” he said.For the Class of 2006, graduating Saturday was the accomplishment of one dream. Class members showed gratitude for their family’s help on the way to graduation by presenting family members with flowers.When Noe Duran gave a bouquet to his mother, Maria Castillo, the Roaring Fork graduation tradition didn’t come as a surprise to her. Castillo’s daughter, Liliana Duran, had bestowed the same gift on her mother upon graduating a year ago.
Liliana said she and her family are proud of her brother for overcoming challenges of language and culture since immigrating from Mexico.Now he’s setting his sights even higher.”He’s actually going to CU in Boulder,” she said.At the University of Colorado, just six years removed from coming to the United States, Duran plans to study aerospace engineering.Before grads moved on, guest speaker Bill Edwards, a 1968 graduate of Roaring Fork, urged them to remember where they came from, and to appreciate the role their parents, teachers and coaches have played in their lives.He advised graduates, “Your integrity is non-negotiable. You have been given the compass by which you are to live and lead your lives.”
Edwards went on from Roaring Fork to become a captain in the Navy, earn a doctorate in mathematical physics, teach at CU and other schools, and now serve as a civilian advisor on security matters to the military in Washington, D.C. He also returned to his alma mater in 1998 to volunteer as a football coach.As many of the graduates look forward to going to college, several received good news Saturday about scholarships they have received to help pay their way. Pulver was pleasantly surprised to learn he would be getting about $33,000 in financial assistance as he makes plans to study art or computer science at Seattle Pacific University.”I was really worried that I would be in debt in college, but now it looks pretty hopeful,” he said after Saturday’s ceremony.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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