Soroco celebrates graduation in style

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— Most high schools prepare students for their careers, but Soroco High School didn't prepare Justin Greenhill for his future aspirations.

"I want to pursue my dream of being a rock 'n' roll star," said Greenhill, who admitted Soroco didn't offer a class in the subject.

Still, Greenhill said it felt great to graduate, and to do so, it took a lot of patience and time.

He was one of the 25 graduates of Soroco's Class of 2003 who walked across the stage Saturday in the Soroco gymnasium. School Principal James Chamberlain introduced the class and Valedictorian Meg Hayne, who thanked classmates for "all the good times."

Co-Valedictorian Jessica deGanahl did the same and also thanked the faculty and parents. "We wouldn't be here if it weren't for all of you sitting out there," she said.

Salutatorian Amanda Sweitzer said graduation is a bittersweet moment, because it is the end of the childhood era and the end of some childhood friendships.

Commencement speaker Chris Bowers then took the stage. He spoke quickly and loudly to bring home the point that all people have strengths and they should be confident about those strengths.

"If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will," Bowers said.

He used examples from his childhood. He said when he was in school, he wanted to be one of his classmates who was tall, smart, athletic and got all the girls.

But it turned out Bowers found he had a talent for dancing, as he proved by performing several dances to M.C. Hammer's "You Can't Touch This."

In the end of his story, the other boy who he always wanted to be, told Bowers he wished he could dance like him.

The point of his story was "everyone has strengths." "High school is to help you find your strengths," Bower said. "So get out there and define yourself by what you're good at."

Diplomas were then given out to the welcoming seniors.

After everyone received their diplomas, Class President Tiffany Schaffner presented the graduates as the Class of 2003. The graduates turned their tassels.

"I'm glad I finally made it," said Josh Iacovetto, who said he also was glad some of his graduating friends would be attending his college -- the University of Northern Colorado.

Jessica Wall said she was ready for the change from the routine of high school.

Amanda Phillips didn't appear to be glad as tears streamed down her face. But she said she was very happy. "There are just so many memories packed into one day."

-- To reach Nick Foster call 871-4204

or e-mail nfoster@steamboatpilot.com

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