Farewell to the Class of ’98
It was only 15 minutes before the ceremonies were to begin on Saturday morning. It was just enough time for the sun to shine and dry up Surprise Stadium for the graduates of Tahoe-Truckee High School’s Class of 1998.
Some people cheered and clapped, while others broke into tears as the solar sphere popped its head through the clouds. It was a moment only second to the commencement of the 173 grads.
This year’s ceremony included the usual sunglasses and flip-flops, but more importantly, was filled with messages of success, determination and achievement.
“We couldn’t have asked for better weather,” said TTHS Principal Dennis LeBlanc.
Angela Hauser and Lisa Tobias sang the National Anthem and were followed by LeBlanc’s welcome message.
Valedictorians Kristen Pilner and Christina Harvey made their inspirational speeches next.
Pilner drew mental pictures of years gone by with childhood memories.
“If you think you can reach the stars, push yourself to go higher,” she said “Be your very best.”
Harvey told a story of a man frustrated with the climb to the top of a mountain and his revelation at finding it was the journey that brought him pleasure, not reaching the actual peak.
She capped her spiritual message with a passage from Gibran’s Prophets.
Salutatorian Jenny Rassuchine spoke to her graduates about attaining success through hard work. She noted the success she has already attained through her training in nordic skiing.
“I know that I will reach my personal best in about 10 years,” she said. “I will have to train about 900 hours per year, which equals about two and a half hours each day. But I know the goal I want to reach.”
Rassuchine’s goal is set on Olympic gold.
After the speeches and the singing of “Friends are Friends Forever” by Jacquie Hartzell and Jessica Amos scholarships were awarded.
More than $92,000 was awarded to graduating seniors (see Page 5A).
“This is incredible,” said educator Paul Christiansen, who helped organize the scholarships. “There is amazing community support for our students.”
The Tahoe-Truckee Community Scholarships totaled $27,250. The recipients are chosen anonymously based on academic merit and financial need. The Local Scholarships awarded to individuals through a specific selection process totaled $19,860.
Universities and organizations outside of the Truckee area awarded students $45,250.
Before the diplomas were given out by Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District boardmembers John Wojcik, Nancy O’Neill and Suzanne Prouty, senior Tawny Seagoe, who is best known for her theatrical flair and vocal talents sang “I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane” to her family sitting in the bleachers. It was a Kleenex moment.
Following the applause, LeBlanc presented the graduating class and diplomas were issued. Senior Dustin DeMont led the changing of the tassels and off the hats flew.
It was only one of many graduation ceremonies this week. Sierra High School graduated Tuesday morning, North Tahoe High School graduated Tuesday afternoon, and Sierra Mountain Middle School graduated its eighth-graders last night.
The last day of regular classes in the district was yesterday.
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