The Bear Facts ... May 10, 2003

Good morning, I'm Jenna Hansen!

I'm David Murphy!

I'm Autumn Thompson!

I'm Steven Kellner!

And I'm Sarah Schmitt!  Welcome to a very special edition of the "Bear Facts", where we're saluting the Class of 2003 at Bishop Garrigan High School.

If you talk to most of the teachers or staff members at Garrigan, they'll tell you this has been a pretty laid back year. The teachers haven't had many discipline problems, not many students have a lot of time in the principal's office, and things have just generally gone pretty smoothly at school. There's a lot of reasons for that, but most of the staff will be quick to credit the good example and leadership of this year's senior class. Nobody's ever said we're a perfect group, but almost everyone will say that the Class of 2003 contributed to Garrigan in countless positive ways.

Garrigan has a tradition of success in almost every activity, but our class has brought more to that tradition than almost any other. Take the danz squad, for instance. Just last winter they went to California and won the first-ever national championship the Bears have won in any activity. No one can ever do better than that, and it was the girls in our class that set the standard that everyone else will be trying to match.

This spring the it's the senior boys who are setting records-this time in track. Garrigan has had outstanding individual runners before, but never before have they come together as a team like they have this year. The Bears have placed in every meet they've been to this year, and they've won the school's first team championship trophies in track. Once again, it's the Class of 2003 who have led the way.

Besides dance and track, our class has led the school to state appearances in football, cross-country, and golf, and we've had winning seasons or play-off success in every other sport. The Class of 2003 has also excelled in the arts. We helped the marching band earn their first Division I rating in over a decade, and seniors also won "I"s for their solos and ensembles in both band and choir. This year alone, six members of our class were named "Outstanding Performers" in speech, and the class has also won high acclaim for our accomplishments in art.

Other areas where the Class of 2003 has excelled have included HOSA, the Health Occupations Students of America, and quiz bowl. Seniors helped Garrigan teams in both of those activities qualify for national competition this coming summer. We've also worked to triple the size of the Garrigan website, and all this year on the "Bear Facts" it's always been seniors you've heard announcing the news.

We're proud of our class' accomplishments, and we're all a little sad that it's almost time to say goodbye. We're now done with the last of our classes. Next Monday and Tuesday we'll take final exams, and after that there's just the formalities of graduation. Baccalaureate will be next Thursday night at 7:30 in Friedmann Auditorium, and commencement will be Sunday the 18th-again in the Garrigan gym.

The Class of 2003 chose the white rose as their flower. The class colors are baby blue and silver, and the class motto is "Remember yesterday; dream for tomorrow; live for today". The tradition at Garrigan is for all the honor students to vote from among themselves for who will give the commencement address. This year it will be all-state speech honoree Jeff Hellman who will say the farewell remarks at graduation.

And now, here with our last Senior Spotlight of the year is Jeff Hellman.

We've got four more seniors left to feature in our spotlight: Jill Johnson, Jason Kollasch, Tim McCleish, and Josh Roethler. Jill Johnson has worked at the Algona Manor Care Center for two years. She is a past member of the choir, band, and volleyball team. She was a basketball cheerleader, and she also represented her class on student council. Jason Kollasch has also been a choir member. He is an honor roll student who has been to the Academic Banquet every year of high school. You may have seen him working at Godfather's in Algona.

Tim McCleish also worked at Godfather's. He came to Garrigan from North Kossuth during his sophomore year. Tim is an outstanding photographer who was honored at the North Central Conference Art Show for his talent. Finally there's Josh Roethler. Josh has been a dedicated member of the tech crew for plays and concerts at Garrigan. He is an FFA member, and in the past he was active in choir and 4-H. Away from school he enjoys working on the farm. Congratulations to these students and to all the graduating seniors in the Bishop Garrigan Class of 2003!

On our Golden Bear calendar this week, there's girls golf at Spencer this morning. Tomorrow is Mother's Day, and many of our seniors will be honored as part of the Mason City Globe-Gazette's Star Class 2003.

Monday and Tuesday the seniors have final exams. Monday the golf teams play in the North Central Conference meet at Webster City, and Tuesday there's boys track at Forest City. Then on Wednesday softball practice starts.

Also Wednesday night we'll have the awards potluck for speech, drama, and quiz bowl, as well as for our top announcers here on the "Bear Facts". Thursday there's CYO girls golf at Ft. Dodge, and that night the seniors will have their baccalaureate mass and awards assembly.

Friday the girls track team runs in the conference meet at Eagle Grove and there's girls golf team plays in their sectional meet at Algona. Then on Saturday the boys track team runs at districts for the chance to go to state.

Finally this week we'd like to salute one of our alumni. 2001 graduate Amanda Freking was recently honored by the UNI drama department with their "rising star" award, the highest award they give to underclassmen. Congratulations to Amanda and to her parents, Garrigan teachers Sarah and Dennis Freking.

That's the Bear Facts for this week. Thanks for listening, and be sure to tune in next week when some of the younger Golden Bears will be taking over to bring you the news from Bishop Garrigan High School.

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