Prosser Creek student graduate
According to Prosser Creek Charter School Executive Director Jayna Gaskell, Webster’s defines the word “challenge” as “a summons that is often threatening, provocative, stimulating, or inciting; a summons to a duel to answer an affront; a calling to account or into question; a stimulating task or problem.”
“Yep, that definition pretty much sums up a portion of the last year here at Prosser Creek,” Gaskell told the crowd of friends and family gathered Saturday to honor the approximately 100 graduates in the charter’s class of 2002.
However, those challenges, which included ongoing feuds with the Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District and various financial obstacles, had only made the Prosser community stronger, she said.
“Today, we’re here to celebrate the many accomplishments that came out of those challenges because for every challenge we’ve faced, we’ve managed to accomplish far more,” Gaskell said.
After a stirring rendition of the national anthem arranged and performed by graduating senior Sara Danielle Guerrero, three guest speakers addressed the crowd.
“As the mayor of Truckee, I have to cut a lot of ribbons at grand openings – even shovel dirt at ground-breaking ceremonies, but [graduations] are by far my favorite events to attend,” said Mayor Ron Florian. “This is an important milestone in your lives, for it’s not an easy thing to balance your academic life with other interests.”
Major Corey Bartholomew, an Air Force pilot and parent of one of the graduates, shared his thoughts on the three secrets of life and provided ways to deal with the challenges that life presents.
“First off, life isn’t fair, even though Hollywood often makes it appear that way,” he said.
“The second secret is that time goes by and it doesn’t come back. Right now, time is your friend. An hour of your life is worth far more than an hour of my life at my age and you need to find ways to use it to your advantage. Finally, you need to remember that all of your choices have consequences.”
Bartholomew encouraged students to “play by the rules of basic human decency,” strive to make a difference, and “discover common ground with everyone they meet” rather than dwell on differences.
The third and final speaker, Jake Ridzon, president of the Class of 2003, encouraged graduates to always be themselves.
“To quote my friend Chris, ‘Nothing else matters as long as you’re having fun and making a lot of noise,'” he said.
The ceremony also featured the presentation of various awards and scholarships to outstanding students and staff.
Recipients included: Rose Sciaroni and Ryan Land (Dare to Soar Award), Landon Little (Brendan James Allan Memorial Award), Jayna Gaskell (Keith Alpaugh Commitment to Excellence Award) and Trevor Benites, Sean Berry, Leslie Cook, Najun Gregory and Ryan Thomasson (Spirit of Citizenship awards).
Graduate Rose Sciaroni also received a $1,000 scholarship from T.A.M.A. (Truckee Alliance for the Musical Arts) for both her passion for music and interest in pursuing her musical studies in college.
“What sets Prosser apart from other schools is really the freedom that it allows its students – the freedom to be ourselves, to learn at our own pace as well as to pursue our dreams,” Sciaroni told peers during her speech. “We have all the freedom we could want, use it well.”
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