As high school graduations are underway across the Denver metro area, tradition will most certainly be on the agenda. And for Golden High School, Colorado’s oldest continuously operating high school, rain has become a perennial guest.
However, in spite of wet, gloomy skies, 292 beaming seniors proudly walked across the stage May 19 at Alumni Field at Marv Kay Stadium to receive their diplomas as friends, family and loved ones watched on, huddled together beneath umbrellas and plastic rain ponchos.
“I’m sitting here listening to the speeches this morning, and I’m looking up and seeing the Marv Kay from Marv Kay Stadium, it sort of reminded me of the man who was so important to the city of Golden, to the School of Mines, and to Golden High School,” Golden High School Principal Brian Conroy said. “And when I first became principal and our very first graduation was in the pouring rain, he pulled me aside and said, ‘The rain is just washing high school off the kids and gettin’ ‘em ready for adulthood.’”
And ready they are.
The Class of 2023 not only endured the stress of high school but also the first global pandemic in more than a century — their thoughts amply reflected in the selection of their class song, “Good Riddance,” by Green Day.
Senior speakers Joanna Toy and Abigail Greiner offered classmates uplifting and thoughtful messages for the future.
“We are the poets and the artists, the engineers and scholars, the writers and the thinkers,” Toy said. “No matter where we are or what we do, this is our world — one we will have to take responsibility for. One that we already are (taking responsibility for). Find your voice. Practice until you can sing with clarity. You can share with compassion. You can teach fairness in whatever way is fitting for you.”
Greiner’s senior address reflected on change and the merits of being like worms.
“Worms don’t have a concept of time,” she said. “They live in the moment. However, humans are unique because they are aware of time…We should try to be like worms and separate ourselves from counting the seconds. Memories are important to keep, to look back and to smile upon but we cannot let the desire to live in memories prevent us from moving forward…Being a worm, you must live for the now. To be a worm, you must learn to play in the dirt now.”
Musical selections were performed by the GHS 24th Street Singers.
Mr. Paul Evans was the faculty speaker, and the GHS Cheerleaders and Dance Team led the class in the “GHS Hand Jive.”
Of the graduating seniors this year, the majority plan to attend college. Others will serve in the armed forces or directly enter the workforce.