Senior Rachel Murphey commemorated the end of her high school career with a selfie of the entire class of 2014.
Rachel and 357 of her classmates said goodbye to Douglas High School during graduation ceremonies Friday evening.
“This is the first and last time the class of 2014 will all be at the same place at the same time,” Rachel said as she snapped the photo from the podium.
Rachel was on the school’s cheerleading squad, ski team and golf team. She is majoring in child development education at San Diego State University in the fall.
“Now we make a way for a whole lot of first times. Today we cease to be children and become adults with diplomas in our hands. Building a new reputation, relationships and a new life,” she said. “Now is all we’re guaranteed. Make time for fun, opportunities and mistakes. Make time for life.”
Prior to the ceremony, the 400 Building was bustling with last-minute hugs, handshakes and photos.
“it’s not sad, it’s bittersweet,” 2000 Douglas graduate and English teacher Karen Lamb said. “You’re really excited for them, but you grow attached and have to keep saying goodbye every year.”
Walking through the commons for the last time girlfriends Tramayne Bennett and Jessie Jim had mixed emotions.
“I’m a little bit nervous, Tramayne said, “but I thought today would never come.”
Jessie wore a braided orange and black cord with her gown to represent being on the varsity basketball team.
She said she’ll never forget the game they played against Fallon her sophomore year.
“I remember taking the last shot that put us into overtime,” she said. “We ended up winning by three points.”
Jessie plans to attend Truckee Meadows Community College before transferring to the University of Nevada, Reno and trying out for the basketball team there.
Drew Rosendale was so excited about graduation that he forgot his walking card at home. The school let him graduate anyway.
“I’ve been working hard for this for 13 years,” he said. “And it’s finally happening. I’m going to miss the friendships and comraderie of high school.”
Drew plans to go into law enforcement while he’s young, and then teach English after retirement.
“I’m tired of people talking bad about the police force,” he said. “And I want to show people that cops are not bad people.”
The tallest student in the class of 2014, James Herrick, is looking forward to what his future holds.
“I’m going to miss the people because I’ve grown up with them for so long,” 6-foot, 10-inch center said. “My best memories are of playing basketball and everybody supporting us.”
James received a full-ride scholarship for basketball at Sacramento State.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what my life has in store,” he added. “Once I get to college I’ll probably be more average height. it’ll be an interesting feeling.”
FFA student Justin Adams wore his yellow sash with pride.
Although farming isn’t in Justin’s future, the class helped prepare him for his future career in psychology.
“I worked with the animals and got a better understanding of how animals think and why they do what they do,” he said.
In his graduation speech, Corey Markwardt-Abrigo quoted a phrase from “Treasure Planet.”
“I can chart my own course and that’s what I’m going to do,” he said.
Corey went on the discuss the challenges he overcame coming from a low-income, broken home.
“Each and every one of us has the power to change the things we loath in life,” he said. “We are the new generation. We have the power to change the world. We need to think selflessness, not selfishness.”
Longtime friends Tyler and Taylor Seamons and Wyatt Eichhorst all said they were looking forward to starting a new chapter in their lives.
The three plan to attend Western Nevada College in the fall, and transfer to a university from there.
“I’m going to miss seeing my friends everyday. I’m sad, but more excited to start a new chapter in my life,” Wyatt said. “In 10 years I see myself being a fish and game warden for Nevada because I like driving around and seeing a lot of beautiful country.”
Meneley Elementary Principal Becky Rugger had a dozen kindergarten pictures to hand out to her former students.
Rugger took pictures of every one of her former kindergarten students and gives them to the students on their graduation day.
“They’re my kids. Once Miss Rugger’s friend, always Miss Rugger’s friend,” she said. “Kindergarten is the foundation and graduation is the end of the road. It’s an exciting day.”