Redmond’s Class of 2017 reflects on high school experiences

Every graduating high school class is different and unique for any number of reasons. Some have defining moments throughout their four years that set them apart, while others are known for a high level of academic and athletic excellence.

The Redmond High School and Ridgeview High School Classes of 2017 have all that, but they also possess traits that are increasingly difficult to find: an overwhelming sense of school and community pride and good old fashioned hard work.

“As a class, we have literally grown up together in this community and have all experienced the journey of maturing and developing into the people that we are today,” Redmond High’s Associated Student Body President Bradi Wood said.

Redmond High is Redmond’s oldest high school, and with that comes decades of tradition. Thankfully, that sense of tradition and school pride was not lost on the Class of 2017, and was displayed most recently with the “Return of the Rock.”

For over 30 years, Redmond High proudly hosted a four-ton rock inside its halls. This massive, seemingly immovable boulder served as a place for friends to meet, take photos and plan adventures, Principal Paul Nolan explained.

Then, at the start of the 2013 school year, the rock was gone; moved to an inconspicuous location inside the football stadium.

After four years without “The Rock,” Redmond High seniors decided it was time to bring the slab back to a place of prominence, which in this case ended up being the literal doorstep of Redmond High.

The moving crew consisted of some earnest seniors, a forklift and one poor truck that bore the weight of the eight-thousand pound rock.

“Returning the rock to its rightful place is a great example of how our class recognizes and appreciates tradition,” Wood said. “I will always remember our class for our unity, tenacity and ability to work together for a common cause.”

For now, the large stone is on its side, greeting students and staff as they walk into the building, but thanks to funds raised through a GoFundMe page set up by Redmond High seniors and Principal Nolan, “The Rock” will soon be turned right side up, complete with a secure base and a metal panther mascot on top.

The Redmond High Class of 2017 is stubborn (in a good way) and determined, Senior Class President Kali Davis explained. “Our class tries their very hardest to reach their goals,” Davis continued. “They push every day, week, month and year to achieve the goals they set. They have a great mindset of knowing where they want to go, and getting there.”

The Class of 2017 marks the fourth graduating class for Ridgeview High School, first opening its doors in the fall of 2012. No seniors attended during the 2012-13 school year.

Ridgeview High and Redmond High are different schools to be sure: one older, one newer; one on the north side of town, the other to the south. Differences aside, both share pride for their school and community, a fondness for tradition and an enduring work ethic.

Ridgeview’s Associated Student Body President Claire Platt, who has been at Ridgeview almost since the beginning, shared that she was looking forward to the traditions started during her time surviving for years to come.

“Ridgeview is an amazing place and our class fully embraced our school’s great programs and teachers,” Platt said. “Our class works hard but if I had to define the Class of 2017 in a word, it would be ‘fun.’ A fun class that loves Ridgeview (Go Ravens!) and creating new traditions.”

Class of 2017 Valedictorian Emma Poindexter explained that because the high school is new, her class had an excellent opportunity to set the foundation for long-term traditions. “I hope that 20 years from now, I can come back and visit and see the traditions I helped set in place still being continued,” Poindexter said.

Ridgeview High’s Class of 2017 graduates on June 7 at 7 p.m. at the Bank of the Cascades Event Center on the Deschutes County Fairgrounds & Expo campus.

Ridgeview’s 2017 Valedictorian honor goes to Emma Poindexter, with Kalie Anderson earning Salutatorian honors.

Redmond High’s graduation follows two days later on June 9 at 7 p.m., also at the Bank of the Cascades Event Center on the Deschutes County Fairgrounds & Expo campus.

Rebekah Cleary earned Valedictorian honors for Redmond High, with Salutatorian honors going to Dana Wanamaker.