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Saying goodbye the the senior class

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Saying goodbye the the senior class

Students ceremonially toss their caps after turning their tassels. Photo Credit: Karen Manley

Students ceremonially toss their caps after turning their tassels. Photo Credit: Karen Manley

Students ceremonially toss their caps after turning their tassels. Photo Credit: Karen Manley

Students ceremonially toss their caps after turning their tassels. Photo Credit: Karen Manley

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With another year come and gone, it is time to say goodbye to the class of 2018 as they move towards the next chapter of their lives. While all graduates have unique stories, each and every one is a Sabercat, and this is what makes Fossil Ridge High School such a special place. Though the senioritis set in months ago, and many are saying “good riddance,” high school is a memory that we will have for the rest of our lives, and it is worth looking back on as it comes to a close.

On Wednesday, May 23, The People’s’ Choice Awards assembly was held. It is an end of the year tradition at Fossil, honoring students for their contributions to the school. This year’s Ridge Award winners from the senior class spanned from 5 different categories: Academics, Service, Spirit, Leadership, and Character. The male and female winners from each category respectively were; Jay Chandra and Chelsea Wang, Dennis Arguelles and Shreya Pandit, Alex Henderson and Julia Quaid, Ryan Yu and Eden Senay, Dylan Ellis and Zoe Bartel.

In addition to the Ridge Awards, the Senior Class Guardian was selected. This is an award presented to an individual elected by his or her peers that gets to lead the procession at graduation and go down in Ridge history. This year, Dylan Ellis was selected.

Following the assembly, a tunnel was formed, paying homage to the tunnel students walked through on their first day of freshman year. Soon-to-be graduates sprayed silly string, dumped glitter, and even squirted shaving cream at teachers and underclassmen. Ultimately, at the end of the tunnel, students left campus for the final time as Fossil students.

On Saturday, May 26, Graduation was held at Moby Arena. Lead by Ellis, the senior class paraded in at 5:30. Speeches were given by senior class officers, Dr. Chaplain, and superintendent Sandra Smyser, and the senior class waited patiently for that monumental moment.

Students from the band, orchestra, and choir performed together, including some seniors in their gowns, playing for the final time as Fossil students. There were also two smaller performances during the ceremony, one cover of Taylor Swift’s “The Best Day,” performed by Hannah Brown, and an original song, written and performed by Sophie Contino with the assistance of Travis Turner and Jordan Hughes.

412 names were called, and the anticipation grew as the end got closer. Finally, as the ceremony drew to a close, the graduates were asked to turn their tassels, marking the end of their high school experience.

Meet the class of 2018: several students were selected to be featured. Read about them below:

Ayden Adair

Ayden Adair, a 2018 graduate has been deeply invested in Fossil culture throughout his high school career. “Man, the clubs here are a different level of incredible. I dedicated the last four years of my life to Robotics, Theater, and TV production, and it was worth every single second I put into it…You get out of high school exactly what you put into it. I put my heart and soul into this school and I was given the world in return.”  

One of Ayden’s passions, perhaps lesser known than TV, was Ridgebotics. He took pictures and video to document the team’s success in addition to being part of the operating team of the robot itself. “Being on the drive team for the last 4 years in robotics is by far the most meaningful experience I’ve had in high school. My best friend, Hunter Pearson, and I both drove the robot at competition for the last 4 years. As juniors, we drove our way to the FIRST World Championship in Houston. It was an incredible honor to qualify for the championships, and it was the peak of our career on the team,” he reminisced. “It felt like the robotics team was trusting us with their lives for 4 years in a row, and we did our best to make them proud.”

Ayden then addressed the TV program directly: “to everyone who has future years of production ahead of you, I hope you recognize the incredible opportunity presented to you. This is your time to shine, and I’m fully confident that you’re all going to do amazing. I wish I could be here next year to help you all on set, and even though I’m an hour drive away, I’ll always have my phone by my side to be tech support for you. You all have the power to make a difference in the school.”

In terms of Ayden’s relationship with Fossil, he noted “from Diversity Day, Unity Day, and especially the assemblies, I’m going to miss our school-wide events at Fossil. It was during those events where it really seemed like people cared about one another.”

He left with a bit of advice for those of us coming back in the fall: “high school will be exactly as amazing as you let it be. There’s no reason in doing anything if you won’t do it with your best ability, and if you put your best into Fossil you will be amazed at the returns it gives back to you. All it takes is your dedication to positivity to have a huge effect on the school. Give these 4 years your everything. Good luck Sabercats, I’ll never forget the impact you’ve had on my life, and I hope you don’t forget me, either.”

Eden Senay

Eden Senay was a multi-organization student and found herself involved in many aspects of the school. “My time at Fossil has been shaped by my participation in Key Club, Mu Alpha Theta, and Student Council. I appreciate how my involvement in these groups introduced me to my closest friends, and also allowed me to play a part in shaping the high school experiences of others,” she explained. In addition, Eden formed a local branch of National Organization for Women and was voted Prom Queen.

In addition to her extracurriculars, Eden’s academics included an array of AP courses, and she constantly challenged herself to be the best she could be.  “Some of the classes I’ve enjoyed the most include AP Human Geography, AP Government, and AP Biology. It’s been important to me to have both academic rigor and content that I actually enjoy in my curriculum.” In the fall, Eden will be attending Yale University “hopefully majoring in either Cognitive Science or Neuroscience,” she said. “Ever since I was young my parents stressed the importance of learning and education, and I’m excited to where my pursuit of those ideals takes me next.”

To the younger Sabercats, Eden gives advice: “I would tell my younger brother Melak to believe everyone that tells him high school goes by incredibly quickly. Make good use of your time, but don’t forget to take care of yourself as well. Appreciate and support your friends. It’s crucial to have a safe space away from being defined by quantifiable academic data. Also please start your college applications early.”

Mumbi Mwaura

FCCLA member Mumbi Mwaura will be attending Boston College with a major in Political Science with a pre-law track. “Basically for my entire life leading up to this I wanted to go into medicine and then ESS and College Algebra reminded me that I’m just not passionate about science,” she said, “What lead me to this path was definitely history classes and especially AP gov I took this year. I became so much more passionate about politics and government and law in general.”

“[My most memorable experience was] experiencing the presidential election in high school. I began to realize that the real world isn’t as perfect as teachers and parents made it out to be when we were younger. It was difficult to accept that there are still huge issues we face today regarding equal rights whether it be in the LGBTQ community, with people of color, immigrants etc.,” explained Mumbi.

Mumbi “made a ton of friends throughout the four years and made lots of memories.” and her most important advice is to “surround yourself with positivity and great people who want you to succeed. Make meaningful connections and relationships with the people in your life and cherish them. And lastly, thank your parents, hug them, tell them you love them, spend time with them because 4 years go by much faster than you think and next thing you know you’ll be saying goodbye to them.”

Vaughn Parsons

Vaughn Parsons has been a part of the Fossil Community three out of four years of his high school experience. “As a freshman was involved in sports before I was gone just the next year. Sophomore year I had gone to Kremmling where I had done various school activities from Track to Theatre to Tech. I made it back to Fossil for my Junior year where I reconnected with friends and others,” he explained.

“Junior year I got more involved with Theatre and TV and really got into film from Film Studies. That year I came out as bisexual. I dipped into may things, mostly TV projects, some art, and there was a lot of self-discovery that happened,” reflected Vaughn.

Vaughn was well known throughout the school for his sense of humor. “Plus I made an appearance as certain soda based superhero that people went nuts for,” he admitted.

As Vaughn moves on from high school, he is in the process of making a decision about the future, saying, “My next chapter of life is an open page. We are cursed with the freedom to do whatever we want in this life. I am most likely to take a gap year, study and better my skill set with online resources before heading into FRCC.”

Ryan Yu

Ryan Yu was involved in a copious amount of classes and activities in high school, including NHS, Key Club, SNHS, Mu Alpha Theta, Student Council, and 13 AP classes. Regarding the AP classes, Ryan was satisfied, saying, ”I’m glad I took as many courses as I did because even though I struggled with the course load, I can adamantly say that I grew both as a student and as a person. It was also in these classes that I got to become friends with some of the most talented and kindest people in the world.”

In addition to his course load, Ryan was involved in extracurricular activities. “I was able to connect with the community through volunteer work. Volunteering at Bacon Elementary Chess Club was extremely fun, as I taught and supervised kids that were always so energetic and eager to play,” he reflected. “It would also be a huge mistake if I didn’t mention my involvement with Knowledge Bowl. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have KB. It’s been a huge part of my life, and the friendships I have made through Knowledge Bowl are some of the most important to me. Shout out to Ms. Cranor for being such a great coach.”

Ryan has grown into a leader in the last four years as well. He explained, “my most meaningful experience in high school has been being a part of Student Council. As we all went through the common hardships of setting up for assemblies or planning events, I got to grow closer with a group of people that has now become my family. At our end of the year retreats, in the moments of laughter and tears, was when I came to truly understand the importance of the relationships I had built with others throughout high school.”

Looking back, Ryan found advice for underclassmen: “high school shouldn’t be a time of resume building and consistent stress. Hypocritical, I know. But this is truly something that I have learned these past years. Pursue what you are truly interested in. Hang out with friends. Listen to music. Have fun. Later on, there’s going to be far less time for these sort of things, so enjoy it while you have the time.”

Good luck to all the seniors as they embark on their newest adventure.

About the Writer
Karen Manley, Editor in Chief

Karen Manley, a senior, has been in the journalism program since her freshman year. She feels most at home when writing about Unified Sports and activities,...

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