By Debra Moore
The Quincy High School Class of 2023 looked back at their time together and forward to the future as the 38 classmates celebrated their graduation June 9. The weather held and family and friends were able to gather at Joe Brennan Stadium at Feather River College for the event.
As the crowd awaited the graduates’ entrance, a recording played with their voices sharing their favorite memories from high school — many mentioning their activities with friends. As Celebration played in the background the teachers and district officials made their way to the stage.
With a backdrop that read “Nature proves that the ending is just as beautiful as the beginning,” Principal Jennifer Scheel welcomed those in attendance and then began the procession of graduates. The students entered to the strains of Pomp and Circumstance. When they were seated, Jill Dupras spoke directly to the students and said, “What a privilege and a joy it’s been to be your counselor for six years.”
Salutatorian Emma Beatley addressed expectations and told her classmates: “Sometimes we get so wrapped up in trying to meet expectations that we forget to be sincere to our true selves.” She also told them to “take risks, make memories, start dressing in a new style, change habits, and don’t be afraid to do what you want to do just because of what others say.” She concluded with “It’s sometimes hard to realize how precious a moment is until it’s gone. But these moments that are now memories will stay with me as I hope they will for you.”
Valedictorian Dylan Miller told his fellow graduates that “our paths from this point may vary but we are united by our time here…We have won championships, survived all our classes and a global pandemic which forced us to go through online school for two years… After the diplomas are handed out and we throw our caps in the air tonight it will officially be summer. But this one is different.” They won’t be returning to Quincy High School. He concluded with, “My hope is that each of us can make the most of every moment after we leave here, but that we still remember where we came from.”
His speech was followed by one of the most poignant moments in the evening, when the graduates distribute roses to those who supported them through their school years. With the lyrics of “Darling don’t you ever grow up” playing in the background the graduates handed out their red roses among hugs and tears.
The evening’s keynote speaker was Greg Prouse, the students’ history teacher and soccer coach. He talked about his decision to move to Quincy after first seeing the trees and the morning light hitting the courthouse. “I knew right then that I wanted to teach in this beautiful community.” He has worked with the class since they were eighth-graders and described them as rambunctious, competitive, inquisitive, voracious learners, supportive, dedicated, knowledgeable and hilarious. He cited examples of each description. He concluded with “All of us hope you made the best of your time here because as the sun sets on the longest part of your young lives, tomorrow dawns a new day and its challenges are a test of who you’ve chosen to become. I will always be thankful to the class of 2023 for being more fun to teach than I could have ever imagined. I wish you nothing but success and happiness.
Then Principal Jennifer Scheel told the graduates that they should be proud of where they are today, and after tonight they will begin a new journey. Then it was time for the presentation of the diplomas.
Plumas Unified School District Superintendent Bill Roderick, Chief Business Official Mallory Marin, and Trustees JoDee Read and Leslie Edlund were on stage to congratulate the graduates, with the trustees handing out the diplomas.
Each student accepted the diploma and then stood center stage as Registrar Janet Radtke read their statements of thanks and their plans for the future. As they exited the stage, they were greeted by their high school teachers, before making their way back to their seats. And then it was time to turn their tassels and toss their caps into the air.