Believe, succeed, achieve! This motto has been ingrained into the minds of Delta High School's Class of 2017 since middle school, and that is what they have done. They believed they could succeed in academics, athletics and other extracurricular activities, which led them to many honors. On Sunday, May 21, Derek Carlson, Delta High School's principal, wanted to recognize the Class of 2017 not by "quantifiable measures like test scores and number of championships," but more importantly by how much grit, character, and work ethic this class has shown.
The salutatorian addresses, given by Emily Nortnik, Shelbi Ledesma and Hannah Branson, took the Class of 2017 back through the last 13 years of their lives. There were good times and there were challenges, but together they faced life's ups and downs while unknowingly making cherishable memories.
Valedictorians Lily Lockhart and Elizabeth Ward graduated with GPAs above 4.3.
The valedictorian address began with Lily sharing a few quotes from the book "Oh, the Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss. Elizabeth shared a story of a small stone that had a perfect life in a little river where the view and environment were beautiful. The stone had no idea what beauty lay outside the waters until the stone was plucked from the river by a boy. The boy had a determined look on his face and when the rock looked across the field he saw a giant. The little stone was scared, but the boy confidently put the stone in his slingshot and spun it around and around until releasing the stone. The stone hit the target with a thud and the giant fell. Elizabeth said the stone is each of the graduating students, the comfortable river is Delta High School, the slingshot is the teachers and parents, and finally, the giant is life. Elizabeth concluded that while life can be intimidating, the Class of 2017 has been placed on a course for success.
The commencement address was presented by Bill Musgrave, an NFL Denver Bronco coach. His speech showed how life is the ultimate team sport, and your teammates are the people sitting beside you.
The points he emphasized to the Class of 2017 were: don't be afraid to ask for help from the teammates sitting beside you, remember that asking for help isn't a sign of weakness but strength, always be a lifelong learner and teach in the positives. As an example of teaching in the positives he said don't tell them what they did wrong, tell them how to do it better. "Instead of saying don't trip, [say] pick your feet up as you go through the hole."
With the closing of Coach Musgrave's speech, Cheri Reece read off the names of the graduates, DHS counselor Holly Teyler-Crowder read the student awards and future plans, and school board member Jill Jurca handed students their diplomas. Off stage, the students were congratulated by superintendent Caryn Gibson and assistant principal Rosie Johnson.
Once all the students had returned to their seats Derek Carlson requested all the students stand one last time as the graduates moved their tassels from the right side of their cap to the left symbolizing the completion of their high school career.
During a preliminary hearing in Delta District Court on Tuesday, Jan. 15, Judge Steven Schultz found probable cause for second degree murder charges against Heather Jones.
Jones previously faced three counts in the shooting of Ryan Redifer in Paonia on Jan. 12, 2018 -- assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree and violation of a protection order.