A growing school, a growing graduating class | NevadaAppeal.com

A growing school, a growing graduating class

by Maggie O'Neill
Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal From left, Sheryl Brown, Dave Hodgen and Randy Valiska set up for the Silver Stage High School graduation ceremony Wednesday afternoon. Sixty-five students will graduate in the ceremony, at 6:30 tonight.

After the senior class of Silver Stage High School graduates tonight, a new photo will grace the walls of the main office.

Although the photo will be the third of a senior class, the students pictured will hold a distinction from the prior two.

They are the first to attend all four years at the school, which opened in the 2002-03 school year, as a midway point between Fernley and Stagecoach. There was no graduating class the first year.

“When these kids started, the school wasn’t finished,” said Principal Patrick Peters. “We didn’t have the common area, and we didn’t have the gyms for the first four months. We had to go across the street to the middle school for lunch.”

Many of the students are the first to have completed kindergarten through 12th grades in Silver Springs. Before the opening of Silver Stage, high school students attended Dayton or Fernley high schools.

Valedictorian Cherry Davis, 18, plans to speak of the changes she’s seen at Silver Stage during the commencement ceremony, scheduled for 6:30 tonight in the school gymnasium.

“I’m going to talk about the little improvements too, like the shop teachers making the podiums,” she said. “Everyone contributed to making our school look good.”

Davis, who participated in varsity volleyball, basketball, dance and track, was class president her freshman, sophomore and junior years and student body president this year. She’s also in the National Honor Society. She plans to attend Eastern Oregon University to study medicine.

Silver Stage’s maximum capacity of 650 is far from being reached with 394 students enrolled this year. More than 440 are expected to attend next year and 271 attended in 2004-05.

Nine percent of the graduating class plans to enter the military, 12 percent to attend a four-year school and 50 percent to go to community college. Forty-two seniors graduated last year. Sixty-five are graduating this year.

“I’m kind of scared-excited (about the future),” Davis said. “I think it’s going to be a different experience, but I’m open to it. I’m really happy I made it this far. I’m the first student in my family to graduate from high school.”

Nineteen graduates are Millennium Scholarship recipients, which works well for salutatorian Damian Escobedo, 18, who plans to attend the University of Nevada, Reno in the fall and study journalism.

“I have a passion for sports, and I figure if I get into journalism I can write about it or get into broadcasting,” he said.

While at Silver Stage, Escobedo played football, baseball and basketball, was vice president of his class his sophomore and junior years and president this year. He was in the National Honor Society for three years.

Former Principal Dave Regalado, who many students knew from their first three years, is unable to speak because he’s in Texas, so Peters, who has been principal for the past year, will welcome the female graduates in their silver robes and the males clad in navy blue.

The 2005-06 graduates will also be the first to take a trip as a senior class. They leave Friday for Great America in Vallejo, Calif., and return Saturday.

• Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at moneill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.