GLIDE — Glide High School graduates and their applauding audience escaped the heat Sunday afternoon in the air-conditioned Jacoby Auditorium at Umpqua Community College. Proudly wearing blue and gold, the class of 2016 filled the stage.
“It’s a relief to finally be out of high school and to embark on a new journey to college and the rest of our lives,” said graduate Jakub Moeller.
“I’m definitely excited and glad that it’s finally done,” added Nathan Fugate. “It’s been the best part of my life, sometimes not the best, but you power through it.”
Principal Kristina Haug said the graduates are unique and multi-talented with strong values, and she thanked the teachers, counselors, coaches and other GHS staff who’ve contributed to their success.
The graduating seniors chose a quote by Milton Berle as the 2016 Class Motto, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” Through their volunteer work with local organizations, including the Fire Department and Helping Hands, Haug said the students indeed built doors of opportunity.
In their speeches, ASB President Aubrey Syverson, Valedictorian Ariel Farley and Salutatorian Jacob Thompson recalled memories from elementary school through high school, from playing with yoyos to becoming awkward middle schoolers, and experiencing everything else that has led up to graduation.
The graduates will move on to bigger and better things, Syverson said, but they will always remember the times they had together.
“High school was a difficult time,” Thompson said. “For starters, they took out our recess. That was horrible,” he quipped, before adding that it was also a crucial time in the students’ lives to discover who they are as people.
“I encourage us all to remember that this isn’t the finish line,” Farley said of graduation. Instead, it’s the time the graduates get to go out and live their dreams.
“After today,” Thompson said. “The class of 2016 is free.”
Counselor Chris Clair presented a plethora of awards and scholarships, Farley and Jedidiah Nicholls sang, “Shall I Dream a Dream,” by Julie Knowles and scientist and former Glide graduate Carley Corrado led everyone in a “coherence technique” meant to be calming.
Corrado had the audience members close their eyes and breathe deeply while focusing on the heart and thinking of a happy, calm moment. She talked about the importance of being open to new and different experiences.
After a slideshow and the presentation of diplomas, Senior Class President Ian Quimby quoted the Dr. Seuss book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” in his closing speech.
“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to great places! You’re off and away! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.”