A-A graduates look back and prepare for future

Friday, May 21, 2021

Students revisited the past by way of their farewell speeches at the May 16th Alta-Aurelia commencement. Speeches were given by seniors Cade Rohwer, Trey Engelmann, Ella Walters, Jessica Larson and Sierra Hill.

Rohwer and Engelmann said when the class of 2021 came together in the 6th grade, they realized they were going to be special. A common characteristic was that they were very outgoing, talkative and could never sit still for long.

They recapped memorable events from their early days of middle school when Trevor Hanks won the middle school tag tournament, Hammie came to school with a pink mohawk, Ryan attempted and failed at the World’s Tallest Fence Jump, Abigail Marcos mistook Gorilla glue for lipstick, and Levi Sleezer stuck a paperclip in an outlet causing the room to lose power.

/Photos by Amy Rohwer

Engelmann said, “These memories as well as countless others have helped our class develop this tight bond that has continued to grow to this day. Over the years, our class has grown up to become bright young men and women who are ready for whatever obstacles life may throw at us.”

“To the class of 2021, we want to leave you with one wish for your future: that you may not completely lose that middle school playfulness we had. That you may go on to whatever is next in your walk and make life truly enjoyable for yourself and those around you.”

Ella Walters thanked her dad the Superintendent and the school board for doing their very best at providing safety in these uncertain times with COVID and enabling students to have a ‘normal’ school year. She said since kindergarten, “You have gone through many failures and setbacks in life but also have found so much success that has brought you to the people you are today.”

“Your 13 year journey here has finally come to a close once you have crossed this stage behind me. But that will just bring us to the start of our new journeys,” she said.

Walters quoted Kerry Washington: “Your life is your story, and the adventures ahead of you is the journey to fulfill your own purpose and potential.”

“I hope each one of you can live your life to the fullest,” she said.

Jessica Larson said they are a class that likes to have fun and make each other laugh, despite an accident-prone tendency which kept the hospitals busy.

An accumulation of nicknames included Sierra is Skrrt, Alaina is Red or Rusty, Brandon is Randy, Chandler is Boom, Kelly is Kell Dog, Matthew is Lil’ Purp, Tate is Tater Tot, Cade is Buggy, Trey is Ricky, and Hammie’s nickname is Brian.

In sophomore year, Lil Purp was born with their remake of “We are the World” which featured the voices of multiple teachers and students.

“We have also developed a profession of getting teachers off-topic during class. These questions would include, Mr. Curbow, tell us about your wife. Burk, what kind of music do you like? Mr. Larson, tell us a joke. Mr. Galvin... we could say anything to Mr. Galvin to get him off-topic.”

Larson spoke of when the gym curtain fell and almost killed Oliver, and when the same curtain was rolling up and wanted Tyler to come along with it. Then there was Trey’s puppy eyes and smile that always got him out of being late, or ANY trouble. She talked about the infamous senior bonfire last summer where they learned a lot about each other that they will never tell.

“Even though most of the time we may not seem very mature or focused, we are still a hard-working, and determined class that holds high morals and values,” she said. She noted that over the past four years, they received state achievements in baseball, softball, football, wrestling, track, and jazz choir as well as All-State speech and jazz band.

“From the numerous injuries, nicknames, laughs, and achievements, we have had loads of great memories that will last a lifetime,” Larson said.