(By Brandon Hansen/Chewelah Independent)
Teacher Kyra Rolstad delivers commencement…
It’s a bittersweet moment for seniors, as they say goodbye to the school they called home for four years, but JJSHS graduation went off without a hitch and the Class of 2018 tossed their caps on Saturday.
Jamie Eide was the salutatorian for the Class of 2018, while Griffin Stroyan was the valedictorian. Both gave light-hearted speeches about times spent at the school, what the future holds and Stroyan even quoted world-famous rapper Drake.
Longtime JJSHS teacher Kyra Rolstad delivered the commencement speech, reminding graduates that life is not fair, failure brings learning and people should learn from their mistakes while never quitting, and that the graduates should surround themselves with people that make them better.
“And last,” she said. “Set personal goals. I suggest posting them on your bathroom mirror, and feel accomplished when you achieve them.”
In college, Rolstad said she set a goal to never criticize another human. That was a challenge since she was living on campus in a sorority.
“Girls can be mean,” she said. “That goal got me elected president of the AOPi chapter at Indiana University because people noticed that I wouldn’t participate in gossip.”
Rolstad also brought the speech around to reminding people to take care and love themselves, quoting Mark Twain along the way: “The person who you’re with most in your life is yourself and if you don’t like yourself you’re always with somebody you don’t like.”
There was a slideshow of baby photos and graduation photos for the senior class. The foreign exchange students were also honored during the ceremony after spending a year in Chewelah.
Jaelynn Skok was honored for her 4.0 GPA through four years in high school while Katie Kiefer was honored for already graduating with an AA degree through running start.
Everything moved briskly in front of a packed gym, and the whole ceremony was done in about an hour as the graduates moved their tassels over and tossed their caps. One cap landed next to retiring Chewelah Schools Superintendent Rich Linehan who picked it up with a big grin.
And perhaps that was the mood of the day: grinning and celebration as Chewelah kids took the next big step in life.