The Bear Facts
May 12, 2018

Good morning! I’m Drew Bacha!

I’m Johnny Zeimet!

I’m Caitlin Thilges!

And I’m Tommy Kollasch! Welcome to a special edition of the “Bear Facts”, where we’re celebrating the Class of 2018 here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

Graduation time is here. Garrigan’s seniors had their baccalaureate mass and awards assembly last Wednesday night, and tomorrow is graduation day. The ceremony will start at 2pm, and it will be broadcast here on KLGA.

Thirty-six seniors will be marching across the stage this year. Megan Wadle is the class valedictorian. Tommy Kollasch was chosen by his classmates to deliver the senior farewell speech, and Drake Buscherfeld and Ben Degen will present the class gift—a drinking fountain designed to fill water bottles.

The class motto for this year’s seniors is “We cannot discover new oceans unless we have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” They chose the traditional black and gold as their class colors, and the official flower for the Class of 2018 is the white rose.

The Class of 2018 has a lot of accomplishments to be proud of. Thanks to our seniors, the girls basketball team made it to state for the first time since the year 2000, and the football team completed its third straight undefeated regular season. The Golden Bear danz squad brought home two more first place state trophies, and we’re looking forward to more state appearances in track and golf.

The seniors have been solid performers in the arts as well. Garrigan seniors made it to all-state in both speech and choir, and they were also named to the outstanding performer showcase in music. They won first place honors in show choir and marching band, and the musical Little Shop of Horrors won statewide awards.

The Bears also continued their tradition of success in quiz bowl. They won the Top of Iowa Conference championship as well as a regional contest at Algona High, and they earned Garrigan’s first ever all-state honor in quiz bowl. This summer the school will be making our 19th appearance at the National Academic Championship.

The Class of 2018 began a new tradition last Tuesday, when they held the first ever Bishop Garrigan dog show. Seniors brought their dogs to school first period on Tuesday, and they wrote descriptions of what made them special. The middle school kids watched the show, and they really enjoyed seeing all the animals.

This past week was National Teacher Appreciation Week, and we want to take this time to honor a long-serving teacher who will be retiring this spring. English teacher and speech coach Mary McCall has been at Garrigan since the mid-1980s. Miss McCall has coached numerous students to all-state in speech, and her writing classes have helped prepare generations of Garrigan students for success in college.

With Miss McCall’s departure, the longest-serving teachers at the high school will be history teacher Ron Patterson and math teacher David Burrow. Both of them have been on the staff for more than thirty-five years. They taught many of our parents, and they saw lots of changes in education over the years.

Last Friday Garrigan’s band and choir competed at the state large group music contest in Rockford. The choir earned a division one or “superior” rating for their entry, which included “Salmo 150”, “Crossing the Bar”, and “Gloria”. Meanwhile the band received a division two mark for their performance.

Eighteen Garrigan musicians performed at Iowa State last Wednesday in the state outstanding performer music showcase. A vocal solo by Sam Trainer, a French horn solo by Sami Darling, the girls triple trio and the boys double quartet were named outstanding at the state solo and ensemble contest last month.

Other students performing at the showcase were Logan Heying, Aidan Koob, Sam Vaske, Eric Thul, Joey Trainer, Gabe Trainer, and Bryce Capesius; as well as Caitlin Thilges, Ashlyn Harrington, Megan Bronk, Amanda Miller, Emma Thul, Jordan Hansen, Layah DeLange, Lauren Kenyon, and Madison Illg. Congratulations, outstanding performers!

Our last senior spotlight of the year shines on Livia Miller. Livia is probably best known for her accomplishments in cross-country and track. She also plays basketball, and her past activities include softball and cheerleading. Livia plans to major in agribusiness at Iowa State next year, and we wish her all the best in the future.

On this week’s Golden Bear calendar, tomorrow is graduation. The ceremony is at 2pm, and it will be broadcast here on KLGA.

Monday Garrigan will host the girls sectional golf meet at Spring Valley. Then Wednesday there will be a K-11 mass as part of the eighth grade celebration.

The state coed track meet is next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at Drake University in Des Moines. Friday there’s boys district golf in Mason City, and the freshmen, sophomores, and juniors also begin semester tests that day.

That’s the “Bear Facts” for graduation week. We seniors are out of here, but some younger students will be back next week with more news from Bishop Garrigan High School.