200 Greenwave graduates walk into next chapter of life
May 29, 2018
Friday was an evening to remember for Churchill County High School's Class of 2018, as graduating seniors celebrated their last night together as one with family and friends, without stormy weather.
"It doesn't feel real," said graduate Jacob Ledesma. "It might not hit me until I go home. I can't tell if it's exciting or terrifying."
Although 199 walked the stage with a cap and gown, CCHS presented 227 diplomas to the class overall, and 25 percent of the class received scholarships this year.
Before the ceremony began, recorded messages by students were shared as farewell, such as "I love you mom and dad," "thank you to all teachers," and few "shout out to my homies."
Like Ledesma said, to walk into a new chapter of life can be exhilarating — but also frightening. Some seniors were already reminiscing on the good times during their four years before they walked on the field.
"I'll always remember the music classes I took with Mr. Fleming," said graduate Ryan Lords. "I enjoyed those classes so much."
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"I'm a little nervous," said graduate Kyla Fabian. "I'm going to miss going to ROTC, especially Captain."
But to calm nerves, co-valedictorians Dawson Frost and Austin Lunderstadt presented their graduate addresses congratulating classmates.
Frost reminded his classmates they were the athletes, artists, scholars, musicians, and leaders of the year with taking home seven state Championships, sending artwork to exhibitions at Lake Tahoe galleries, and music competitions statewide.
"We all got here because someone else decided to help us along the way," he said. "It's cliché, but it's true. Whether it was your family, teachers, or friends we all owe someone a debt for helping us get to this point. These people in our lives taught us some of the most important lessons."
In Lunderstadt's speech, he encouraged his classmates to keep up the courage, continue to triumph goals, and make history.
But while at it, Lunderstadt said, being whomever you want to be isn't always the truth — but sometimes, it's a good thing as it exposes more opportunities.
"There are doors we go through in life and some of the doors are slammed closed in our face," he said. "The key in life is not to sit down in front of the closed door and cry but to keep moving until you find the open door."
But as far as life advice for the future, English Teach Myke Nelsen kept it real in his speech to graduates. He said his advice would be like his final assignment for students; a list of objectives to support the paradigm shift in life.
"You are all wondering why you learned the things you learned the past 12 years, and if you'll ever use it again," Nelsen said. "It's not about what you learned, it's about the important outcomes from learning. The process of learning is a part of your individual development, how you solve problems, navigate, and take in value. You will learn something every day from this day forward."
Nelsen said even though he didn't have every single senior in his classes, he felt he had a connection with each one. As a father, there were heartfelt moments during his speech as his daughter, AmiDayne, also was a part of the graduating class.
"You've endured many losses in your journey and some of you are still going through challenges," he said. "But not one of you were the same since freshman year because of those challenges."
Before the presentation of diplomas, this year's Senior Class Gift was a diploma presented to the parents of Zachary Griswold, who passed away Feb. 13 in a car accident.
Graduates also recognized five retirees from the high school, including Superintendent Sandra Sheldon: Dan Combo, Richard Evans, Kelly Frost and Mary Kroll.