MEEKER | The last couple years or so, we have reported, from the Meeker high school graduation ceremony, what the year’s graduates are planning to do next.
MHS counselor Trina Kennedy said at Commencement that in thinking about the Class of 2018, “The words of Maya Angelou come to mind…’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 still come out of it.’” Kennedy told the class, “Many of you have encountered significant hardships and defeats, but you have never been defeated…you have battled through monumental life-changing events. Instead of succumbing to life’s storms, you have morphed into fearless warriors poised to successfully conquer life’s most difficult and challenging struggles…it reveals that through hard work, determination, perseverance and self-belief, there is no limit to what you can achieve…And achieve you did.”
The six Class of 2018 valedictorians were Josephine Drussell, Sember Leatham, Alicia Mobley, Mariela Rosas, Natalie Simonsen and Sierra Williams.
Drussell is headed to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville where she intends to begin her pursuit of becoming a doctor of medicine.
Leatham is headed to Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo for psychology, preparatory for medical school as well.
Mobley will attend Colorado Mesa University (CMU) for a degree in sports medicine.
Rosas will attend Colorado State University (CSU) for political science and legal studies.
Simonsen will attend the University of Wyoming (UW) where she is one of only 48 freshmen granted admission to the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing.
Williams is heading to BYU, making it two out of these six top Meeker academic women headed there. Williams plans to study mechanical and electrical engineering.
Eli Newman was the sole salutatorian, i.e., second highest in academic standing, actually seventh, counting the six valedictorians. He is headed for Oregon State University, in Corvallis, where he will become an “Oregon State Beaver” intending to major in bio-health sciences.
Brittney Adams will be attending CNCC in Rangely where she will pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a pilot.
Maddie Arnold plans to study psychology at UW in pursuit of a law degree. She also expects to ride on the UW Equestrian Team.
Alexander Barry has accepted an internship/apprenticeship in trailer technology and sales in St. George, Utah.
Matthew Beck has enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and is off to boot camp in San Diego, Calif.
Elinor Bricher and Lavender Castaldo are both planning a “gap year” to figure out their futures, staying home in Meeker and putting some money away.
Issac Clark is entering the workforce.
Macy Collins is headed to Hutchinson Community College, Kansas, where she will be on the Blue Dragon’s nationally ranked livestock judging team. Long-term, she hopes to complete a PhD in animal genetics.
Maleena Denny has enlisted in the US Navy where she intends to become a culinary specialist through the Naval Culinary School in Great Lakes, Ill.
Kiersten Dent is headed to Humeston, Iowa, where she’s planning to work on her uncle’s farm to gain hands-on experience in agriculture.
Zach Dinwiddie will attend Front Range Community College in Ft. Collins to pursue studies in engineering.
Taylor Dodds is off to play collegiate softball for Dodge City Community College where she will also pursue a degree in elementary education.
Jake Edinger is headed for the workforce and “wherever life takes him.” Mostly, he’s interested in farming, ranching, anything agricultural.
Garrett Frantz is also headed for the workforce, perhaps in oil and gas development.
Jerrick Garza wants to earn a professional electric line worker certification from CMU.
Uri Goedert plans to attend UW for a degree in business.
Jordan Goodwin will head to Hastings College in Nebraska to pursue pre-law studies and will compete as a member of their collegiate women’s bowling team.
Logan Hughes will be playing collegiate football for the Wesleyan University Prairie Wolves in Lincoln, Neb., while pursuing a degree in sports management with a minor in business law.
Madison Kummer plans to attend Southern Utah University in Cedar City, hoping to become an oncology nurse.
Eowyn Larson is headed to CMU, planning to major in mass communications.
Doak Mantle also plans to attend CMU, in his case, for diesel technology.
Hunter Mathe plans to attend CMU for automotive technology.
Trapper Merrifield is heading to Southern Utah in Cedar City for exercise science, hoping to become a physical therapist.
Cooper Meszaros is headed to the University of Louisiana in Monroe for studies in insurance and risk management at their college of business and social studies.
Abbey Morgan is head to CMU to study biology.
Daylon Nielsen has already gone to Fairplay, Colo., where he’s working for the Eagle Peaks Gold Mine.
Ruben Paez indicated he will be working at the C Lazy S Ranch upriver with his friend Zach McCann, and then for the oil and gas industry.
Jasmine Patterson will be going to BYU-Idaho in Rexburg for nursing.
Jacob Pelloni is headed to CNCC for that life-long dream of being a pilot. He already earned his associate of arts degree thanks to concurrent enrollment and online classes.
Riley Pertile is going to Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo., for business management and welding.
Brandon Pollock will enter the workforce.
Abbie Powell is off to Long Beach, Calif., to pursue acting and dance, as well as work in the animal welfare and rescue field.
Elissa Quinteros reported that her plan for the next year is simple: “survive as a freshman” at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, pursuing elementary education.
Valentin Rosas plans to attend the CU Denver School of Business to study marketing.
Corey Rowles has enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and is headed to boot camp in San Diego.
Shelby Steele will attend CMU for dance.
Christopher Strate is headed to Southern Utah in Cedar City for studies in geology.
Kiyoko Thelen will be headed to CMU to study nursing and culinary nutrition.
Urista will attend Lamar Community College for a double major in equine business management and horse training.
Victor Varela, who was the 2017- 2018 Homecoming and Prom king, is entering the Colorado ACCESS program in preparation for successful workforce employment.
Jazzy Wakefield is planning to serve her country by enlisting in the U.S. Army after her last summer of 4-H and FFA participation.
Avery Watt will continue to be a Cowboy by attending at UW studying kinesiology.
Dayton Willey will attend CMU for electric line worker certification.
Christian Wilson is heading to Western State Colorado University in Gunnison to pursue creative writing and biosciences.
Codee Woodward is launching into a career with Natural Soda at the Piceance Creek plant.
MHS Principal Amy Chinn told the Herald Times “the Class of 2018 is a great group of young men and women. In athletics and academics, they set the bar high for the rest of the school. We will miss them, but we know that they will be successful in all their future endeavors.”