Battle Mountain grads celebrate next step
Under a canopy of heavy dark clouds and rain-soaked skies, the Battle Mountain High School class of 2004 took to the stage to celebrate their graduation. A standing room only crowd of friends, family and well-wishers looked on while fighting off the shivers in the damp, 40-degree weather. But the gloomy weather did not seem to stifle the spirits of the graduates, whose excitement was palpable. Self expression and celebration seemed the personality of this class as many students decorated their mortar boards and wore beads or sunglasses.The themes of laughter, enjoyment, taking risks and overcoming challenges prevailed in the ceremony’s many speeches. Student body president Jodi Fleishman opened the ceremony by challenging her fellow classmates to be great communicators, leaders and agents of change in the world around them.
The students chose teacher Nick Loetscher to present the “Charge to the Class.” He gave a very animated, humorous yet meaningful charge to remember that “a day without laughter is wasted.” He also dedicated his remarks to former student Jason Fleishman who passed away earlier this year.Susie Davis, development director for the Youth Foundation, gave the commencement speech. Her themes echoed the spirit of the ceremony – that graduation is not a solemn day but one of celebration. She spoke to the graduates about making good choices, taking risks and doing what they love. She also offered some more practical advice to the graduates, including the tip to put their alarm clock on the other side of the room because you do not want to sleep through the important events in life.Preceded by moving, individual tributes, six students were recognized and awarded for their outstanding achievements. Fleishman and Harrison Gillis were awarded for their outstanding service to the school. Meghan Meehan and Taylor Roach were recognized as the outstanding seniors. Outstanding athletes Madison McCaulley and Keith Denton were also honored.
Finally, the moment the seniors had all been waiting for arrived. Along with a chorus of applause, whistling and whopping, the graduates’ names were called and they each walked across the stage to receive their diplomas. With diplomas in hand they each walked off the stage with roses and out into the crowd to find their families and present the roses. Surrounded by family, Hannan Krystal Ettawil expressed her excitement and said she looks forward to the future. “This day means a lot actually, I can’t wait to get out there,” she said. “I’m going to study video production and move down to Chicago.”
Graduate Garret Dotsch said is just excited that school is over. His plans after graduation? “I’m moving to Santa Fe to be a cook for my dad and be his apprentice,” he said. With a large grin on her face, Christina Jacobson said that this day is another exciting step in her life. She is headed for college in the fall. “I’m excited to go off and do my own thing,” she said.