Keep love of learning, Palisade class told

Palisade Grad Rose Kretschman smiles up to her family in the stands at Stocker Stadium.

What will I become?

That’s the question Palisade High School graduation speaker, Matt Borgmann, a fifth-year social-studies teacher at the school, tried to help the class of 2009 answer at Tuesday evening’s commencement.

He told the graduates they could make a difference as long as they continue to learn, love and work hard.

“What I love about graduation, it doesn’t matter if your bottom of the class or
valedictorian. You all get a diploma. You all get a chance,” Borgmann said to the 195 graduates.

The class valedictorian agreed.

“Let’s think of this uncertainty as opportunity,” valedictorian Joshua Wilson said, adding,

“I say we reach beyond the Palisade peach and go for the stars.”

Twelve of Palisade’s graduates are members of School District 51’s first class in the International Baccalaureate program, which is based at Palisade High.

Each will attend college in the fall. One is off to attend Harvard University, one to Duke, one to St. Johns University, one to the University of Washington, one to the University of Utah, one to the University of Colorado at Boulder, one to Colorado State University and four to Mesa State College on full-ride Presidential Scholarships. One is undecided.

Even though the 12 have received their diplomas, they will be in school until May 22, taking exams for the IB program that can earn them up to 24 college credit hours.

IB program coordinator Tracy Arledge said the journey the students take and what they learn on the way is the cool part of the program.

“The test and college credit is just icing on the cake,” Arledge said.

While many of the graduates will move away from home for the first time, for Nadine Janecek it won’t be anything new.

She will be in Golden this fall to attend Colorado School of Mines, where she plans to major in mechanical engineering. Eventually she’d like to be a physical therapist for patients who need prosthetics.

Nadine, a United States Pony Club member, has traveled without her parents as far as Florida to train and compete in three-day equestrian events.

The Florida trip, during her junior year, may have had her grow up a little too quick, if you ask her mom, Cindy Janecek. The house she was staying in was broken into one night by a neighbor who, according to Marion County Sheriff’s Department, had just killed his girlfriend and was still covered in blood. The neighbor started to strangle
Nadine’s trainer and was eventually apprehended by deputies, Cindy Janecek said.

Once back in Palisade, Nadine didn’t stay long, finishing her credits for graduation in December. Then she took three months to work at Lincoln Equestrian Center in Lincoln, Neb., and she will leave again Friday to train in Blanca.

In the fall she won’t take a horse with her to Golden, but that doesn’t mean she plans to give up riding. She takes inspiration from her older trainers and says she never wants to get off the horse.

“Like, heck, I want to be 76 and riding,” Nadine said.


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