Greenville High graduates one of largest classes in years


Greenville High School’s Class of 2013 exults in completing their compulsory curriculum in order to be considered high school graduates June 14. Photo by Samantha P. Hawthorne 

Samantha P. Hawthorne
Staff Writer

Although earthquakes and forest fires made this year a difficult one, the seniors of Greenville High School did not let that interfere with their academic coursework, or their pending graduation. They surpassed those challenges and, on June 14, were officially announced as the graduating class of 2013.

Members of one of the largest GHS graduating classes in years, 25 students accepted their diplomas, and eight were awarded scholarships.

According to Principal Gary Miller, as well as several student speakers, this year’s class was a difficult one. During his welcoming speech, Mr. Miller reminded the students that “this chapter is now over, and a new chapter will soon begin.” 

He proudly commended them for persevering through the year, and completing the compulsory coursework that enabled them to receive their diplomas.

As president of the senior class, Kylee Pettit spoke about the last four years, and how by recalling those memories her stresses seem to melt away. 

She said that although their class was one of the most troublesome, together the qualities portrayed by her classmates made it one of the most unique. One by one Pettit listed the individual attributes that made each one of her peers shine.

As a final send-off to the Class of 2013, salutatorian Brianna Ray replaced her graduation cap with a baseball cap and rapped a unique song to the tune of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s” theme song. The song was customized to the students’ educational experience in Greenville.

Co-valedictorian Dante Simon spoke about his transition from a Bay Area school to the intimacy of Greenville High. He said, “The first day seemed almost surreal,” and he is still amazed that his class is one of the largest the school has seen in years.

Simon said that although he only spent a year at GHS, he considers it a blessing to be graduating with such a unique class. 

“We are a class that is one of a kind,” said co-valedictorian Troy Neer. He went on to describe the Class of 2013 as “unique, united and spirited.” In addition to being one of a kind, he said they did not just bond in the classroom, but also in the everyday occurrences they have experienced together. Because of this, he said their class is not one that will lose touch after graduation. 

Acknowledging the unique set of values that growing up in an area like Greenville can instill in a person, Neer said, “When we step out into the world, we will carry with us all of our small town values.”

During Mr. Miller’s welcoming speech, he acknowledged retiring teacher Gary Rubke as the keynote speaker. After Miller thanked him for his 33-1/2 years of commitment to the students of GHS, those in attendance gave Rubke a rolling standing ovation.

During Mr. Rubke’s speech, he reflected on his years with the school and urged the class to not be self-centered, as people tend to be, but to reach out and work to make a difference in the world. “You are all now in a state of transition,” he said. “As you make this life transition, you move ahead into a world that faces many challenges … you must look at yourselves and your own behaviors to truly address those problems.”

He advised the students to do nothing out of selfish ambition, but instead to learn to think of others first and remember that the world does not revolve around them. 


Scholarships and awards

A total of $13,000 in local scholarships was awarded to students from the Greenville High School Class of 2013. Out of the 16 scholarships available, eight different students were awarded monies to help with college. 

Co-valedictorian Troy Neer earned five scholarships, as well as a special plaque commemorating his achievement as valedictorian. His awards were dispersed from Chester Lions Club, Plumas-Sierra CattleWomen, Carl Paulson Memorial Scholarship, Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce and Indian Valley Riding and Roping Club.

Jacqueline Dery earned three different scholarships: the Greenville Masonic Scholarship; Greenville Rotary Distinguished Student Citizen Award and the California Cash for College Award.

Mark Fairbanks was awarded two scholarships. One was GHS Athletic Director’s Outstanding Athlete Award and the other was the Seymour Smith Memorial Scholarship — available for the first time to two different students.

Cassy Elzea also earned the Seymour Smith scholarship, as well as the Senior Community Service Stipend from Indian Valley Youth Summit for volunteering 100 hours of her time in community service.

Jared Vital was awarded the Darcy Goolsby Music Scholarship for his high school achievements in the field of music, and his decision to pursue music as part of his college education.

Alexander Sieck was awarded a scholarship from the GHS Natural Resources Program for his vigorous field work in its environmental education and natural resource program. 

Tristen Isitt earned the Bowman Family Scholarship and Alicia Missman earned the California Cash for College Performance-Based Scholarship.

Awards were also given to Brianna Ray and Dante Simon for their respective accomplishment of becoming the salutatorian and co-valedictorian.

The final award for the evening was given to Anthony Rogers. As a graduating student, and for earning a scale score of more than 370 on six of his California standards tests, Rogers was presented with this year’s Golden State Merit Diploma. The special diploma is used to recognize students who have demonstrated mastery of the high school curriculum in designated content areas.


Class of 2013

Before presenting each student with his or her well-deserved diploma, Plumas Unified School District board member Bret Cook officially acknowledged their satisfactory completion of the state-required curriculum. 

As a culmination of 13 years of hard work by the students, Cook, Mr. Miller and Assistant Superintendent Bruce Williams congratulated the members of the Class of 2013 and presented them with their diplomas. Once everyone received their mark of academic achievement, the graduating students flipped their tassels and threw their caps into the air in unison. 


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