Bright sky and warm sun poured blue and gold down onto Olathe High School's Class of 2012 as they celebrated graduation on Sunday, May 20. The ceremony opened a new chapter in the lives of 73 graduates.
After welcoming remarks from Head Girl Makayla Hull, Richard Tafoya of the Montrose Education Foundation presented Distinguished Alumni awards to Marilyn Cox, Class of 1957, and B.J. Brown, Class of 1962.
Cox, the youngest of seven girls, was born to Ray and Lela Lashley on their Ash Mesa farm. She graduated co-valedictorian in 1957 and went on to work in the Montrose County School District for many years while raising four children. While still with the school district, she became involved with the county museum, ultimately serving as curator for 10 years before retiring in 2006.
She told the Class of 2012 to "learn something new every day . . . meet the world with curiosity . . . and savor the beauty of life."
B.J. Brown, who served as principal at Olathe High School from 1985 to 2002, worked with Cox at Columbine Middle School early in his career. "I learned to depend on Marilyn as I grew up as an administrator," recalled Brown.
Brown was also selected by the Class of 2012 as their guest speaker, and later in the ceremony he noted that 50 years ago he too took to the stage to receive a diploma from Olathe High School. "And like many of you," he said, "I could not wait to get out of Olathe. Ten years later I couldn't wait to get back!"
He commended the class for their cumulative achievements both academically and athletically, noting that 40 of 73 held a 3.0 or better GPA, that 12 achieved 4.0 or better and four were over 4.4. The class garnered nearly $1.5 million in scholarships, including prestigous Betcher and Daniels scholarships.
Brown praised several individuals for their achievements, and thanked Kierra Hernandez for her artwork. "I recall receiving several drawings from a aspiring 7th grade artist. which ended up on my door while principal . . . I didn't say 'thank you' then so today, thank you Kierra."
He encouraged the graduates to live life fully; to love your God, your country, your friends, and, most of all, family; and to laugh each day.
The four salutaorians of the Class of 2012 were introduced — Taylor Carlson, Cynthia Godfrey, Aaron Handke and Kylie Tait. Taylor Carlson spoke on their behalf, with a walk down memory lane with his classmates.
The four valedictorians — William Corey, Tawni Middleton, Eric Pace and Richard Tafoya — shared the podium with a collective speech. Their rendition of the Sponge Bob Square Pants theme song drew cheers and laughter from friends, family and their classmates.
Cynthia Godfrey then shared the wisdom of Dr. Seuss in his poem, "Oh, the Places You'll Go."
As the graduates received their diplomas, it was announced that more than 50 intended to enter college in the fall, five planned to enter the military, and about 20 were either bound for a technical school or directly into the work force.blog comments powered by Disqus