As families arrived at Hotchkiss High School on May 26 for graduation ceremonies, they saw a number of emergency vehicles at the entrance to the school on Bulldog Street and Highway 92. Luckily, no one was injured in the car accident.
Ceremonies began about 10 minutes later than planned.
Principal Mike Beard began ceremonies by saying, "It's been a quick four-year journey. The air conditioning is running full speed right now." Because of the wind outside doors to the gymnasium had to be kept closed. But even though it was on the warm side, everyone seemed to fully enjoy the speeches and presentations. Families and friends had come to celebrate the Class of 2012.
Class president Jordan Belew welcomed her fellow graduates by saying their class was the best ever.
Salutatorian Joe McChesney said the day they had been thinking about, waiting for and talking about had finally arrived. "As a freshman walking to orientation, graduation didn't even cross my mind," McChesney said. "These last four years have gone by at warp speed." He encouraged the graduates to not wish they were back in high school but to look to the future.
Science teacher Zac Lemon was the commencement speaker. He began by quoting Mr. Price who once told graduates, "'The world doesn't owe you a thing. You owe it to the world to do something great.' So now that you are at that point you get to make that choice. What are you going to do for this world? You can be a hero or a hater." Heroes want to do great things. "You are all heroes."
Beard introduced the eight valedictorians Nikki Buhrdorf, Tell Hawk, Reed Hubbell, Vikash Hypio, Erin Jones, Ben Smith, Kelsey Spadafora and Beth Wood. Some have questioned why the school has more than one valedictorian. Beard gave his reasons for honoring all eight. "Everyone of these students has maintained straight As through high school. Everyone of these students has been involved in early scholar or college-level classes. They have taken 380 college credits in high school. Parents, that amounts to $103,000 savings to your pocket book as they go on to college. Their average ACT score is a 25 plus. That's five whole points above the national average. They have earned in real money, not in financial aid, not in grants, not loans . . . But almost $400,000 in scholarships at this point . . . So, how do you pick? We don't. Everyone is deserving to speak and be honored at this time."
Glen Suppes, dean of students, told the graduates about their accomplishments for next stage of their lives. "The Class of 2012 has earned 1,113 college credits through our post-secondary Colorado Mesa University early scholars program," Suppes said. "Which equals an approximate savings to parents and students of over $303,000 total. Hotchkiss High School administration and teachers are very appreciative of Colorado Mesa University, Western Colorado Community College and Colorado Northwestern Community College in Rangely, Colorado." He thanked the Delta County School District for providing support for the program. Real money scholarships earned by this class totaled approximately $830,000.
Suppes also thanked local businesses and organizations for "their continued support of these graduates. Without your help many of these students cannot attend these post secondary institutions."
The H blanket is a scholar athlete award which was presented by Doug Horton, activities director, to three seniors who attained a 3.4 grade point average or better, participated in three sports for four years and participated in a state championship. Receiving the 2012 H blankets were Lindsey Todd, Dylan Hill and Tell Hawk.
Nikki Buhrdorf, one of the valedictorians, said the Class of 2012 was like a nail with the ability to hold things together. "Our class is tough, resilient. We don't give up easily, and we don't take 'No' for an answer." She concluded, "On behalf of everyone in the Class of 2012, thank you to our teachers who offered us their wisdom, the administration for all their guidance, the North Fork community for their unwavering support and dedication to every student at Hotchkiss High School and our friends and families we would not be here if it were not for you."
The Class of 2012 chose for its motto, "You can't wish for character, you must hammer and forge your own." Wise words from Thoreau and fitting for this class of graduates.blog comments powered by Disqus