Battle Mountain sends off Class of 2013

Justin McCarty |
Justin Q. McCarty |

EDWARDS – Battle Mountain’s graduates lived a lifetime in two hours: Love, life, loss and everything that goes with it.

You need look no further than their class motto to understand why they love life: “2013: Because the world didn’t end in 2012.”

“2013 is the first class to spend all four years in this building and is the first class to graduate here in Edwards,” said Battle Mountain Principal Phil Qualman.

Student body president Remy Lovett smiled and said, “This is class full of characters that will go on to do something great.”

“Our plates were full … helping at home and with jobs, but our strife didn’t discourage us from getting here today.”
—Gonzalez Rivas, Hernandez and Karina Houghton Bardles

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Lovett opened her address in fluent Spanish. “Speaking two languages is just one of the many advantages we’ve had living here,” she said.

They exhibit the same sorts of outside-the-box thinking that Apple founder Steve Jobs said we need much more of, Lovett said.

Innovation, for example, when the boys playing Macho Man didn’t want to pay $15 for T-shirts, so they bought one and tore it into tiny pieces and shared them. Or Keegan Quagliano, who decided his blue jeans didn’t absorb snow well enough, so he wore swimming trunks.

“Risk-taking is essential because without it we will never know our full potential,” Lovett said, “Like the boys who stacked up a wall of 200 tires as a senior prank. The police made them take it down.”

She gave a nod to the power of words, in their proper perspective.

“Mouthing off can make you look foolish. But keeping it all inside doesn’t get you anywhere, either,” Lovett said.

They took a few minutes to lift up classmate Karen Elidalde Olviedo who died last August. She would have walked with this graduating class.

“To her parents we’d like to let them know, through us Karen is walking today,” said Yolanda Gonzalez Rivas and Karen Hernandez.

They recalled Olviedo joking about her class schedule. “All my classes are advanced. I’m so advanced I even have AP gym,” Olviedo told them

“We like to remember her character, her smile and how she made us smile. Her love for life and enthusiasm for what came next is admirable,” they said.

They released a heart-shaped balloon to fly away, like they all soon will. It hesitated a moment then soared.

Battle Mountain has a significant Hispanic population. In their Hispanic Address Gonzalez Rivas, Hernandez and Karina Houghton Bardles talked about when their families had to go through to get to America.

“We are the children of immigrants who came here to provide us with the benefits of a good education and a better future,” they said. “Many of us will be the first in our families to graduate high school and go on to college. Our plates were full … helping at home and with jobs, but our strife didn’t discourage us from getting here today.”

Outstanding Senior Boy award winner Christian Espinoza has lived it.

“His family came here to make a better life and we’ve watched them do that,” said Dave Cope, Battle Mountain’s soccer coach for 20 years, who coached Espinoza and presented him the award.

“No one will ever ask you about your high school grades. They will judge you on your honest and integrity,” Cope said, adding that Espinoza was named a Scholar All American.

The rock band Awaken Annie is Collin Idzikowski, Daniel Ploughman, Michael and Tony Clark. They belted out an original song, “Raise Your Voice.” Their debut album, you should know, is available on iTunes.

“This song is about being unafraid to pursue your dreams no matter what you’re going through,” Idzikowski said as he dedicated the song to the Class of 2013.

When the tassels were turned and they were officially graduated, Kayla Strahan, Elizabeth Davies and Ali O’Brien started the nostalgia with “remember when.”

Remember when:

• Tim Tebow gave our football team a pep talk before crushing Eagle Valley?

• The world was supposed to end before graduation?

• We won the penalty kick shootout against Evergreen to win the boys state soccer championship?

• Streakers at a football game?

• How fast it all goes by?

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935, and

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