SHS sends 140 graduates on their way |

SHS sends 140 graduates on their way

FARMER’S KORNER – Coined the “9-11 generation” by salutatorian Erin Young, 140 Summit High School graduates grasped their degrees and marched into the world Saturday with advice to serve others, question authority and go easy on credit cards.

Ceremonies were conducted inside the Tiger gym at the high school before the usual packed house of family, friends and educators.

Young recounted the Class of 2003’s living through the Oklahoma City bombing, the Columbine High School killings and, finally, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

She said the events of 9-11 “will haunt us and guide us.”

“We are the 9-11 generation. Just as we know the hippies and the baby boomers, the future will know us,” Young said. “Your Class of 2003 will change the world.”

Valedictorian Matt Keeling picked up the oratorical baton and urged his classmates to reject the corporate mindset, consumerism and TV. He appealed to his classmates to take charge of their lives and work for good.

“We truly live in the greatest country in the world. Take advantage of that and make it a greater country,” Keeling said.

Keeling quoted consumer and social change advocate Ralph Nader, who he said sees America plagued by issues of poverty, bigotry and apathy. America possesses the power to change all of that but chooses not to, Keeling said.

Keeling laid the blame at the foot of corporate America and a citizenry enslaved by TV, endless advertisements and “jingles burned into our brains.”

“We have become good, unquestioning consumers,” Keeling said.

He said Nader’s solution is for people to learn to be civil.

In a civil world, people won’t merely “express love for” their country but will “truly love it, be active and make it a better place,” Keeling said.

He told his classmates to speak up on their issues and to learn the facts, beyond those given in the everyday news cycles. He said people should question authority at every level.

Television is an enemy to civil society, Keeling said. He urged classmates not to waste five hours a day in front of the tube.

“Turn off the TV, and throw it out the window. Pick up a book,” Keeling said.

He cautioned classmates they have only 15,000 days to change the world, between now and retirement at age 65.

Keeling said debt and consumerism are twin evils.

“Don’t be mindless consumers,” he said, adding that debt is a way to keep people down, and possessions are a carrot encouraging debt.

Continuing his financial advice, he decried credit cards and urged classmates not to buy more than they can afford.

The guest speaker at Saturday’s ceremony was Michael Carricarte Jr., a Summit County second homeowner whose primary home is in Miami. Carricarte runs an insurance business, but his real passion is working with an inner city school in Miami.

Carricarte addressed the importance of failure and the greatest work of all – serving others.

Carricarte, a graduate of the Harvard Business School, noted that 50 percent of the school’s graduates fail at a business in their first year of trying. Yet the one thing the school doesn’t teach is how to deal with failure, he said.

“Embrace failure. It is a very important part of life,” Carricarte said. “Those who embrace failure have a much smoother ride and don’t hit bottom as hard.”

He cited the long-time failings of treasure hunter Mel Fisher, who finally hit paydirt, but only after five bankruptcies, two failed marriages and other tragedies.

Carricarte picked up on themes expressed by Young and Keeling – that the graduates are the instruments of change.

“A true mission and purpose in life has to do with serving others,” said Carricarte, who tutors and works with an inner-city grade school. He formed the Miami Inner City Angels group, which has assisted 1,000 students to date from preschool to eighth grade.

“I believe you are all here to make a difference. You are the future,” Carricarte said. “What makes a difference is how you will serve each other.”

Carricarte said real satisfaction in life comes from service, not the name under a title or the size of a bank account.

“The only thing that lasts is our investment in people and their souls,” the insurance executive said. “Money is an important piece of the pie, but how big a piece do you want it to be?”

Carricarte said his social work gives him perspective on his own problems, an appreciation for a higher power – no matter what one may call his or her god – and satisfaction in knowing he is making a difference.

“To me, that is what life is really all about,” Carricarte said.

With that said, the graduates were given their diplomas. By a vote of the students, teachers Scott Porter, Jennifer Carlson, Denise Oaks-Moffat and Karl Barth were given the honor of reading the names.

Jim Pokrandt can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 227, or

Summit High School class of 2003:

National Honor Society (N)

Spanish Honor Society (S)

French Honor Society (F)

PollyDay Liddle Abernathy

Michael Leonard Allard

Casey Wynn Anderson

Lance Leroy Avey

Joseph Edward Baldwin

Tina Marie Barrientez

Nathan Hamilton Bastiaans

Yesenia Becerril ( F)

Kate Allison Becker (N,S)

Beau Pollock Beling

Chad Allen Blackman

Justin Paul Blincoe

Aaron McGuire Bork

Miles Myer Bradford

Kathryn Margaret Breslin

Gretta Isabelle Brown

Jason Robert Buckley

Jeffrey Matthew Buckley

Kevin Robert Bums

James Anthony Canepa

JacklynAlexis Chambers

Sze Wai Cheung

Tracy Rae Church

Ann-Marie Elizabeth Clancy

Ryan Tyler Clift

Eric Ross Cobb

Lauren Suzanne Cole

James Lee Condon

Gilberto Alfonso Corral

ElizabethAnne Crandall

Keegan Lee Cropper

Jennifer Louise Davenport

Kyle Cochran Davis

Joshua Eugene Dayton (S)

Wendolina de Miranda

Cole F. Denckla

Cody Joe Dobbs

Parker Sargeant Downs

Aurora Ebert-Santos

Jennifer Marie Estes

Guilherme Bezerra Esteves

Dolly Keala Fiedelman

Joshua John Fields

Cameron Patrick Finn

Jacy Marie Folkers

Jared Mackenzie Freeman

Sarah Kathryn George (F)

Jessica Nichol Glynn (N)

Miguel Gomez Sanchez

Iraida Yadira Gutierrez

Peter David Haire

Kelsey Rae Hamilton

Sarah Danielle Hamilton

Justin Todd Heck

Todd Alexander Heller

Heather Nicole Hildreth

Allison Grace Hill (N)

Kelsey Anne Hodson

Lindsey Jean Holden

Leslie Nicole Hopp

Daniel John Hren

Kendra Beth Huenneke ( F)

Steve Hui

Quetzal Tonatiuh Infante Avina

Jorge Infante

Christopher Alexander Jocelyn

Timothy Coughlin Jungman

Heather Rene Kanski

Matthew Kridel Keeling (N,S)

Daniel Evan Kincaid

Stacy Dawn King

Alexandra Lisa Kokot

Michael Thomas Koop (N)

Hannah Marie Kopicky

James Brian Lindblom (S)

Cristina Lopez-Morales

Kyle Haverton Lord

Shabree Donnmary Lord

Ana Carlo Lujan-Nanez

Jeffrey Thomas Lunceford

Jordan Phelps Lynch

Rachel Rose Maike

Conor Keith McGahey

Skylar Jon Memsic

Hampton Charles Meyer

Justine Nicole Meyers

Garrett C. Miller

Kelly Elizabeth Moles

Aaron Michael Nelson

Sara Brady Nelson

Ryan Jay Norton

Gregory Jay Nowaczyk

Andreas Grant Pannke

Elizabeth Rose Pansing

Dixa Marlene Patino

David Arthur Payne

Taryn Elizabeth Power

Halston Blair Lowrance-Puchek

Christmas Rose Ramirez

Ashley Ann Reavis

John Arthur Rutter

Travis Paul Shackelford

Christopher Michael Shult (N)

Claudia Sigala Felix

Ryan Patrick Silven

Kyle E. Smith

Diana Jackelyn Smithwick

Claudia Krystyna Sobiecki

Melanie Anne South

Kinga Katarzyna Sowa

Nicole Kira Splettstosser

Jackson Ernest St. John

Crystal Dinae Starling

David Scott Sustad

Stephanie Marie Swanson

Terese Danielle Swartz (F)

Ashley Erin Thompson

Brittany Lea Todd

Vail Alana Tucker

Ana Lilia Valenzuela Ibarra

James Rellendale Vaughn, III

Matthew Glenn Vawter-Beaird


Seth James Walsh

Sarah Marie Walton

Kristin Lynn Wanamaker

Isabel Beatrice Warpecha

Todd Alan Wegner

Kevin Andrew West

Jonathan Andrew Wheeler

Alan David Widdifield

Sharon Melissa Wilkinson

Joshua Chad Williamson

Charles Andrew Willis

Carly Ann Wilson

Gary Michael Wilson

Colin Michael Wyatt

Nicole Lynn Yessak

Erin Morrissey Young (N;S)

Raymond Michael Zakahi (F)

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