The days of homework and getting up at 6 a.m. to rush to school are over for Soroco High School's senior class.
On Saturday, 36 students will fill the school's auditorium one last time before they become official 2005 graduates. The graduation ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday in the school's auditorium. A graduation rehearsal is at 10 a.m. Friday.
"I think they are all very excited," Principal James Chamberlin said. "They'd like graduation to be this weekend."
Chamberlin said this year's graduating class has about 10 more students than the past few graduating classes at Soroco.
Chamberlin is excited for this year's graduation because it is a spring ritual and because the senior class officers worked so diligently to put together the graduation.
"They wanted the graduation ceremony to be classy, personable and a milestone in recognizing the class's accomplishments," Chamberlin said.
This year's class officers were President Kalvert Shiner, Vice President Matt Iacovetto, Secretary Karlie Maneotis and Treasurer Lindsay Ellis.
One very unique aspect of this year's graduation is prominent keynote speaker Dan Issel. Issel, the former NBA basketball player and coach of the Denver Nuggets, is a personal friend of Shiner's, and she is pleased he is going to speak at the hourlong graduation.
The seniors also plan to honor Greg Binsfeld, who has taught math for 24 years at Soroco. Binsfeld also was the senior class sponsor for this year's graduating class.
As with any new change in life, graduation can be an exciting time and a sad time.
"It is going to be bittersweet for sure, and I am going to miss being around each other," Shiner said.
After graduation, Shiner plans to attend the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley to pursue a degree in elementary education.
Shiner is extremely proud of how close the entire class is and is glad to have been part of such a successful group of students.
Shiner said several students have received very prestigious scholarships from the community and colleges and universities. Greg Block received the Boettcher Scholarship, which is a four-year, full-ride scholarship to any Colorado college or university, and Nicole Wilson received the Masonic Lodge scholarship.
While some students are packing their suitcases for dorm life, some students have other plans. Shiner said track star Andy deGanahl plans to join the Army, and other students are preparing to be ranchers. One thing remains though: Shiner is confident the class will remain unified.
"We've always stuck together and supported each other, and that won't change," Shiner said.
Lindsay Ellis thinks this year's graduating class will be remembered in the community for their sense of humor and ability to make everything a joke.
"We have a lot of class clowns in our class because we're always doing something funny," Ellis said.
Ellis was in charge of the class funds for planning the graduation and estimates the entire graduation will cost about $1,500. They used money from several fund-raisers held during the year and leftover funds from last year's budget.
Ellis plans to attend Oregon State University to pursue a degree in exercise sports medicine.
The last day of school was a testament to the senior's ability to have fun, as they planned a water fight after school. Maneotis would have liked to see more students get wet in the fight.
"We didn't get many people, but they didn't expect it, either," Maneotis said with a laugh.
Maneotis plans to attend the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley to pursue a degree in marketing.
With just one more memory to add to their collective bank, Soroco's seniors are ready for the next big adventure.
--To reach Alexis DeLaCruz call 871-4234 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org