GYPSUM — Saturday was their day, and Eagle Valley High School’s graduates had the last word.
In fact, they had pretty much every word, as it should be.
As Principal Greg Doan opened the Charge to the Senior Class, the music blared a thumping rock beat, and the entire class jumped up and performed a Gangnam Style dance routine led by graduates Annika Stough and Tania Molinar. They were inspiring, hilarious and, like they’ve been so often in their 13 years together, moving in the same direction at the same time.
“We are not merely classmates, we are a family,” said Salutatorian Erica Buzbee. “No matter where we go, we will always be part of the same family.”
Doan said the signature boards are returned to the school’s hallways, where the Class of 2013 will take its place among all those who’ve come before them, and wait to be seen by those who have yet to come.
Some family traditions simply must carry on, like when Salutatorian Aaron Kline called up Ryan Warner to speak.
Warner harked back to his older brother Kyle’s salutatorian speech when Kyle did a rap instead of a standard speech, the first time it had been done.
Ryan belted out the line, “Standing up here, it’s all so clear. We did it!” And then he stopped and grinned at Kline.
Smiling, Kline appeared non-plussed.
“Ryan, your brother’s speech was three minutes long,” Kline told Ryan.
So Warner launched into a hilarious rap about the small school at the end of the valley, friends, family and dreams.
The rap ended with, “When you’re soaring overhead, keep your dreams in your head and remember that the rest is still unread.”
For Eagle Valley’s Class of 2013, traditions are for observing — in their own way — and paradigms are for pushing.
The senior musicians performed the class song, “Send Me On My Way,” by Rusted Root.
“High school was unknown, but we all jumped in,” said valedictorian Sarah Meline. “Growth means change and change means risk — trying out for the high school musical … or writing ‘Go Nebraska’ on Mr. Knight’s whiteboard.”
“We are here today because we are ready. Although the future is unknown, I know it will be amazing,” Meline said.
Salutatorian Thomas Mills made a reference to the movie “Gladiator,” and its admonitions for honor and courage.
“I know each one of you will live out your lives with honor and courage,” Mills said. “We raised the bar not by lying, cheating or bullying, but with honor and courage.”
Opening his faculty address, Nebraska native Walter Knight pulled an ear of corn from his pocket, held it up and said to the graduates, “One of you left this in my room.”
Knight made five observations:
Importance of kindness and tolerance: He commended the Class of 2013 for the way they’ve accepted one another and people from the outside, no matter what they brought with them.
Humility: “I have been amazed at how you go about your business without any thought of personal aggrandizement,” he said
Dream: “Dreaming is the basis for greatness, but it is best to avoid dreaming about being great,” Knight said.
Loving: “The cynical will always be jealous for the love you have. Don’t let them take it from you,” Knight said
Truth: “The truth can be elusive and can lie somewhere you would rather not look,” Knight said.
As he closed, Knight said, “As for the future, I can tell you I have no fear, for you are in excellent hands.”
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935, and rwyrick@vail daily.com