Cheers erupted into blue skies heated by unrelenting sunshine Saturday morning as hundreds of graduates of Skyline and Mead high schools were congratulated while making their way across stages on their respective campuses to accept their diplomas.
“It feels a bit like the Daytona 500 out here,” joked Mead High School principal Rachael Ayers in reference to the high temperature and setting of the ceremony on the infield of the school‘s track.
The graduates from each school were among the approximately 2,000 seniors in the St. Vrain Valley School District to complete their high school careers this year.
Longmont High School, Silver Creek High School , Niwot High School, Erie High School, Lyons High School and Frederick High School also sent their seniors off in style on Saturday.
Family and friends of the Longmont High School graduating class of 2018 wave to the class as Dr. Richard Martyr (not pictured), speaks Saturday during commencement ceremonies in Longmont, ()
At Skyline, the school‘s combined choir sang “Something Wild” by Andrew McMahon before principal Heidi Ringer and other faculty began calling students‘ names to the stage for handshakes, hugs, photographs and the presentation of their diplomas.
“Just like senior year, you must find your purpose in life, you must find your why. Why are you here? How will you contribute? How will you make a difference?” Ringer said in her address to the class. “I found my purpose here, serving you, serving Skyline, knowing this is what I was meant to do. Senior year was a lot like life and the emotions you feel throughout your senior year may be similar to the rest of life.”
With more than 300 grads, the class of 2018 was the largest Skyline has seen in at least the last 15 years, she said.
Andrea Rauschmayer was the Skyline valedictorian, while Susanna Jones and Jarod Svensson were both named salutatorians. In Mead, Logan Rowley earned valedictorian honors and Bryson Tillema was the salutatorian.
“Parents, I am sure it is difficult to believe your child has already reached this point in their life,” Tillema said in his speech. “I‘m pretty sure I speak for all of us when I say we have been anxiously awaiting this for years. However, I never imagined the legendary high school years would fly by much like the wind that often plagues this campus.”
The help, assistance and encouragement he and his classmates received from not only teachers, but each other during high school was recognized with gratitude from Rowley in his address.
“I appreciate how, different from classes of the past, we were always a family. We were always willing to assist one another,” he said. “Our support for extracurricular activities was incredible. It was really special during football to hear you in the bleachers cheering us on, and I know all my teammates appreciated you as well.”
Band director Joshua Kirkwood gave the faculty commencement speech to the Mead class, and urged the graduates to find time to “unplug” from social media and technology daily and to determine and live by a proper code of ethics.
Niwot High graduate Ashlyn Gruidel fans herself in the heat during the graduation ceremony at Niwot High School in Niwot Colorado on Saturday morning May 26th, 2018. ()
“Please use the intellect, use the God-given ability of reason you‘ve all been gifted with, to determine what is right — actually right, and not based on feelings — and pursue that right through all things in your life,” he said.
Relatives from near and far attended the ceremonies. Carlos Alvarado flew into Colorado from Las Vegas after attending his own son‘s graduation Friday to be in Longmont for his nephew Rigo Taboada‘s graduation from Skyline.
“We‘re pretty close together, we‘re here to support him through a big step to something bigger,” Alvarado said.
Skyline graduate Laura Cardoza said she was shocked by emotion as she crossed the stage in front of her family.
Graduating senior Kaley Knight waves to her family at the start of Skyline High School‘s commencement Saturday morning. To view more photos visit timescall. ()
“I was not expecting it. It was just unexpected, I just couldn‘t believe I was walking through the stage already. I‘m going to go follow my dreams now,” she said.