Battle Mountain High School: Caps in the Air
It was a graduation ceremony much like any other ” only this was their graduation ceremony. The Battle Mountain High School seniors, garbed in black caps and gowns, stood on the stage at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater Saturday afternoon, seemingly unaware that they were teetering on the brink of adulthood. As a beachball shot into the air above the pupil’s heads during Briton Bock’s introduction speech it was clear, at least for the next hour and a half, that these kids were still high school students at heart.
But then, after all the pomp and circumstance, the tassels were turned and they were not. They were now graduates.
“I feel like a million bucks,” said Sam Sterling, while standing in the processional line before the ceremony.
“I feel great. I’m happy to get it done with,” said his friend and fellow graduate Charlie Banner, without a trace of sadness, “I’m really stoked … it was a roller coaster ride, let me tell ya’.”
Both are headed to college to study business.
Two other graduates were also enthusiastic about escaping the shackles of high school.
Romaine Walford said he felt liberated and was glad to be done with it.
“Hell yeah. We’re finally out of high school. Who’s not happy?” Walford said.
That would be Rigo Spath, who said he will miss his girlfriend who is not graduating this year.
While happy to graduate, Walford said he would miss running on the school’s track team. He plans to go back to Jamaica for college. Spath said he will become the greatest rapper alive.
Sean Pack kicked off the graduation ceremony by singing the National Anthem with all the gusto of a kid who knows he did his best with the time he had.
He said he will miss all the musicals and plays performed in at the school. In retrospect, though, high school was a lot different than he envisioned.
“It definitely had more downs than I expected but in the end, like now, it’s just an awesome moment and I really appreciate all the good things that happened in high school,” Pack said.
But the day was not just for graduates. In between all the clapping, shouting, whistling and crying; parents and teachers were recognized for the help and encouragement they gave students during a speech by BMHS teacher Jan Abbott.
Terry and Winnie Marcum stood snapping photos of their graduate daughter, Annalise, obviously proud of her accomplishments.
“She finished second in her class and she studied very hard. She did very well,” Terry said. “We just provided a little assistance, she did most of the work.”
Likewise, Winnie was overjoyed by Annalise’s success.
“I’m so excited. I like my kids taking the next step in life and making their own way,” Winnie said.
And of course, teachers like Don Hohmann feel a certain amount of pride when they see their students moving on.
“It’s really fulfilling, you know, you think that you probably have the best job that you could possibly have.” Hohmann said
According to him half of the students graduating were in his Spanish and German classes. He said decency, kindness and compassion were a few other lessons he tried to teach as well.
In the background snow was fading from the slopes of Vail Mountain, but these kid’s futures were just beginning. They may or may not change the world, but that’s the last thing on Kyleigh Quintana’s mind after receiving her diploma. She summed up her time at BMHS as most probably would.
“It was amazing. I love high school but I’m not going to lie ” I don’t want to come back.
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