Tightly knit Plateau Valley class departs, recounting the fun

Plateau Valley’s 23-member senior class has been known for its pranks, and it had one left to pull on graduation day.

Each departing senior gave the school’s principal a handshake — and a golf ball.

“Now I know how my principal felt all those years ago when we gave him a marble,” Principal LeRoy Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said the golf balls were fitting gifts because he plays the sport. He said he might make a display out of them for his office. This is the first class that has given Gutierrez a special parting gift.

Teacher John Holmes, who gave the keynote speech, said graduates may have been playing a trick on him as well. They knew he couldn’t make it through a speech without crying.

“I’m going to be bawling like a baby before I’m done,” Holmes said.

He had a simple message for the 2009 graduates: Strive for happiness. He told them to be optimistic, have fun and love what they do.

“Just because you’ve entered adulthood doesn’t mean you have to act like an adult,” he said.

Valedictorian Clancy Jandreau reminisced about funny moments throughout the years, such as recess football games. The games would switch from tackle to touch, depending on which direction the recess monitor was walking.

He told his fellow seniors to hold their memories close. “Your memory is all we have left of high school now.”

Salutatorian Justin Gross said the class grew closer in its 12 years since kindergarten than he ever thought possible.

“To me it seems more like a dysfunctional family than a class,” Gross said.


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