MHS graduates 52 students

The MHS Class of 2018 tossed their hats into the sky, officially ending a ceremony full of puns, jokes and antics. CAITLIN WALKER
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MEEKER |  Fifty-two students of the Class of 2018 at Meeker High School’s 111th commencement exercises graduated Saturday.

Junior Savana May sang the Star Spangled Banner. High School Principal Amy Chinn welcomed everyone and Salutatorian Eli Newman gave the initial comments. His remarks centered on “The High Cost of Fear,” a senior essay he had written about being afraid to do things and therefore not really finding out who you are or who you could be.

Valentin Rosas paused for a selfie with school board member Dr. Bob Dorsett after Rosas received his diploma.

Class President Sierra Williams introduced one of the Class of 2018’s favorite middle school teachers, Ms. Kris Casey, for the commencement address. While expressing gratitude for the support the Meeker community had given her, Casey urged graduates to get involved in their communities, wherever they might end up, to serve, to participate and to care.

Cooper Meszaros “dabbed” on the way to receiving his official ticket to adulthood.

Counselor Trina Kennedy, as she approached the scholarship awards, lifted the words of Maya Angelou, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter those defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, and how you can come out of it.”

She said the Class of 2018 had been through a lot, and “instead of succumbing to life’s storms, you have morphed into fearless warriors poised to successfully conquer life’s most difficult and challenging waters.” Kennedy went on to praise the exceptional humility with which the class had risen, their character and their perseverance. And the results show in the amount of scholarship support the class has received, she said.

Kennedy reported the total amount of monies awarded from the Meeker community alone was $79,450. Scholarship awards from colleges, universities, regional, statewide and national entities total another $1,069,290. When added together, Kennedy said, this is a “record-breaking and unprecedented $1,242,290 committed now over their time in college.” In addition, she stated that the collective concurrent enrollment credits amassed through Colorado Northwestern Community College amount to an approximate value of well above $267,000.

Kennedy especially credited the following local multiple scholarship donors: Meeker Lions Club, five scholarships this year totaling $2,500; W.C. Strigel and Co., one $8,000 award; Rio Blanco Ranch, a new donor, five awards this year totaling $9,000; White River Electric Association making 18 awards this year totaling $26,500; the Colorado Masons’ Benevolent Fund Association in conjunction with the Rio Blanco Masonic Lodge, seven awards totaling $35,800; and the Freeman Fairfield Trust, 20 renewable awards that over four years would total $64,250.

After all the scholarship awards and graduates were presented, the six valedictorians, all female, shared  their commencement remarks. Valedictorians were Josie Drussell, Sember Leatham, Alicia Mobley, Mariela Rosas Vieyra, Natalie Simonsen and Sierra Williams.

The annual Meeker tradition of “passing the mantle” has the graduating valedictorians passing their mantles of honor, which look like white superman capes, on to the highest ranked students in the junior class who are Gracie Bradfield, Kale Burke, Pake Burke and Kenzie Turner.


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