INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. and#8212; The large gym at Incline High School was packed with a cheering crowd of family members and community supporters on Thursday as the 2012 graduates made their way to into the room.
Bulbs flashed, people whistled and the school's band played on and#8212; performing the traditional version of the Pomp and Circumstance and#8212; while students walked underneath arches of fresh flowers held up by underclassmen.
The room only became quiet during the JROTC's Presentation of the Colors, and the subsequent singing of The Star Spangled Banner, performed by Malia Camozzi and Matthew Davis.
and#8220;I have never had a class that has touched me like this one,and#8221; said Principal Stacey Cooper who was obviously moved by her emotions. and#8220;They are going to climb high and#8212; higher than the roof of Incline High School.and#8221;
A muffled laughter erupted from the students, as they reflected on a recent incident at the school.
When Co-Salutatorian Mitchell Gehring stepped up to address the crowd, he told the audience life is about taking risks and sometimes making mistakes. He drew on his interest in the theoretical sciences while he talked about the recent loss of his passport.
and#8220;The universe doesn't even know where anything is until you shine a light on it,and#8221; he joked. and#8220;How can I expect myself to find it.and#8221;
Co-Salutatorian Patrick Murray lamented he did not want to be and#8220;that guyand#8221; who extracted meaning from the school's graduation motto, but in the end found and#8220;Veni, Vidi, Viciand#8221; to be personal. He reminisced arriving at Incline High School afraid.
and#8220;Some of us had been seventh-grade girls. Some of us were boys who still sounded like seventh-grade girls,and#8221; he said, and#8220;We grew up ... It's now our responsibility to change the world!and#8221;
Valedictorian Alexa Smith reminded the crowd, and#8220;We are all standing on the threshold. The purpose of life is to live it.and#8221;
Cooper announced the winner of this year's Targe Award, an honor Cooper said denoted someone who learned the and#8220;value of a smile.and#8221; Class of 2012 President Ryan Collins accepted the accolade, looking humble and very surprised to be its recipient.
This year marked the 43rd annual commencement exercises at Incline High School. A total of 79 students graduated.