Perseverance pays off

Grand Valley High School graduate Erin Vanderpool hugs Diane Krieg, mother of valedictorian Samantha Krieg, during Saturday’s ceremony in Parachute.

PARACHUTE — Commencement speaker and faculty member Mark Gregory summed up the Grand Valley High School Class of 2010 in five words Saturday.

“You guys never give up,” he said.

This is a group that has much to be proud of and celebrate.

“You guys have earned almost a million dollars in scholarships. That’s surreal,” Gregory told the 66-member class.

One of them, Jared Tonder, is the first in the school’s history to get a full ride to a military academy, having received an appointment to the Air Force Academy.

Said Gregory, “I love this Class of 2010 because you have respect, integrity, perseverance and above all else enthusiasm for life.”

All of that could be said about graduate Jacquelyn Janicek, who along with her family had to persevere after the loss of her father, Gary, in a horse accident when she was 6.

A National Honor Society member, she will study elementary education at Colorado Christian University.

“I’m very proud of her. I mean, I’ve raised her, but it’s been her, she’s very driven,” her mother, Cathy Janicek, said.

Mike and Jason Metcalf, co-owners of Metcalf Excavation in Parachute, decided to give the graduate the remaining $12,000 a year she needed for college.

Said Mike Metcalf, “They’ve just had every hardship imaginable, and she’s excelled and we thought that because of that, she deserves to take it to the next step.”


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