The Bear Facts

Good morning! I'm Joe Straub!

And I'm Christopher Schmidt!

And I'm Shanna Miller!

And I'm Danielle Rahm!

And I'm Alec Boeckholt!

And I'm Randy Kenyon!

And I'm Ben Hellman!

And I'm Kelly Rouse! Welcome to a very special edition of the "Bear Facts", where we're saying farewell to the fiftieth senior class here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

The Class of 2009 is Garrigan's fiftieth graduating class, and they've also been one of the top classes academically that the school has ever had. Three of this year's seniors have 4.0 GPAs, with lots of others close behind. Even the midway point in the class is in the A- range. About two-thirds of this year's seniors have earned college credit while they were still in high school, and the colleges they'll be headed to next year range from Iowa and UNI to Drake, Wartburg, and Notre Dame.

The Class of '09 has left its mark in just about every field. The seniors were part of state playoff football teams all four years they were in high school. They were also part of two state championship girls golf teams, and they helped the Golden Bear girls basketball team to advance farther in playoffs than any other team in the area. The dancers and cheerleaders both won state championships, and seniors were also part of a district championship baseball team.

Members of the Class of 2009 have really excelled in boys track. They've led the team to two meet victories already this season, and the team expects to make a decent showing at next weekend's state meet. The seniors have also helped Golden Bear teams to winning seasons in volleyball and boys basketball. Six members of the senior class-Kyle Smith, Holly Byrkeland, Mandy Kohlhaas, Brian Patterson, Kristina Schiltz, and Christina Richter-will all be playing sports at the college level next year.

The senior class also has a lot of musical talent. They helped the marching band receive a "I" last fall, and both vocal and instrumental selections earned "I"s at solo and ensemble contest. Three seniors-Alec Boeckholt, Rebecca Brosnan, and Sam Norland-were named to the All-State Choir last fall, and Alec and Rebecca were also named Outstanding Performers this spring. Some of the seniors even formed the band Kickstart and released their own CD last winter.

Seniors in quiz bowl have led their team to nationals for two straight years, and they've won trophy after trophy in regional competitions. Two seniors-Kelly Rouse and Ben Hellman-qualified for state in math team. Rebecca Brosnan won all-state honors in speech twice, and three seniors-Danielle Rahm, Meghan Mayer, and Beth Kollasch-helped needy people in Honduras as part of a special mission project.

The class of 2009 is now at a crossroad. We've finished our classes at Garrigan and had our baccalaureate mass. Commencement will be tomorrow at 2pm. Rebecca Brosnan will give the student address at graduation, while Ethan Gisch and Josh Berte will present the class gift to the school. Then it's out the door and on to college and the "real world".

The seniors made a unique choice for their class flower, which is the lavender daisy. The class colors are turquoise, dark purple, and silver. Their motto says "We are Garrigan's 50th class: To achieve all that is possible, we must attempt the impossible; to be as much as we can be, we must dream of being more."

The biggest event in the coming week is the quiz bowl trip to nationals. The team will leave on Thursday, May 21. That day they'll stop in St. Louis on the way to an overnight stop in southern Missouri. The next day they'll head down to New Orleans, where they'll spend three days competing against top teams from all over the country. While down South, they'll also see the French Quarter, the Audubon Zoo and Aquarium, the National World War II Museum, and the beautiful Gulf Coast beaches.

Ten students are making the trip to nationals. They include seniors Chris Hansen, Christopher Schmidt, and Vince Cruise; juniors Rebeccah Erdman and Brittany Berte; and sophomores Anna Kollasch, Jake Rosenmeyer, Michael Hellman, Michael Fakler, and Alex Hamilton. Accompanying them will be Coach David Burrow, parents Deb Kollasch and Judy Erdman, and quiz bowl alumnus Ethan Dahlhauser. Good luck at nationals, quiz bowl!

Last Friday Garrigan hosted the Iowa High School Music Association's state large group contest, and both the band and choir had a good day. While ratings were very tough, the Garrigan choir ended up with a Division I or superior rating. The band earned a "good" rating, just one point away from "superior". Congratulations to directors Ken and Linda Ferjak and our musicians!

We have one more senior to feature in our Senior Spotlight, Allison Blocker. You may have seen Allison at the State 3 Theatres, where she works when she's not in class or spending time with friends. During her years at Garrigan she's been involved in volleyball, track, and basketball. She also enjoys helping out with farm work. Like most of the Class of 2009, Allison will be off to college next year. We wish her and all the seniors the very best of luck in the future! 

On our Golden Bear calendar, there's graduation tomorrow at 2:00. Monday there's girls golf districts at Spring Valley Golf Course.

The school board meets on Tuesday. Then Thursday quiz bowl leaves for New Orleans. State track will be Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in Des Moines.

That's the Bear Facts for graduation weekend. Thanks for joining us, and be sure to tune in again next week fro more news from Bishop Garrigan High School.


So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu ...!

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