SHERIDAN — Times have changed since Peggy Sorvik graduated from Sheridan High School. Sorvik (née Baertsch) received her diploma in 1957, 28 years after her mother Mildred Peril graduated from SHS.
Sorvik remembered hanging out at A&W and going to a drive-in theater on the southeastern edge of Sheridan, both of which no longer exist. She attended high school at the current location for Sheridan Junior High School and graduated with about 180 students. She was part of the yearbook team, which heavy utilized typewriters.
The town of Sheridan has doubled in size since then and seen myriad other changes, but this year one thing was the same: a member of Sorvik’s family received a Sheridan High School diploma.
Mallarie Apodaca graduated Sunday afternoon along with 229 classmates in a packed gymnasium. She is a fifth-generation Bronc graduate.
Her mother, Stephanie Tellez (née Feaster), graduated in 1999, and Tellez’s mother Meg Montgomery, — a learning specialist at SHS — is a 1980 graduate.
Sorvik has four children, three of whom graduated from SHS. All three of Montgomery’s children graduated as Broncs, and Apodaca is the oldest of Tellez’s five daughters, thus the first to walk across the SHS stage with a diploma in hand.
Apodaca, the oldest of five girls, will start the next phase of her life in the fall and attend Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, to study political science. She wants to attend law school eventually as well.
“Vote for Mallarie,” Tellez said, because her daughter has aspirations of running for president one day.
At the ceremony Sunday, four salutatorians — Aerianna Roth, Emmalee Hoopes, Samara Ordahl and Olivia Thoney — gave speeches on the four years of high school.
Roth talked about being a timid freshman; Hoopes spoke of reaching some goals as a sophomore; Ordahl said junior year was her toughest year of high school but also helped her realize she was capable of more than she initially thought. She encouraged classmates to occasionally take a step back and enjoy good moments.
Thoney talked about senior year and looked ahead for the next four years, wherever each student ends up.
“Starting today, you are all in control of your own life,” Thoney said. “Live it to its full potential.”
Valedictorian Pippin Robison followed with a speech of her own. It focused on time, one of the only commonalities between the class’s 230 students. Robison said she began paying more attention to time as a senior, noting how it seemed to both fly by and stand still. Students have spent about one-third of their lives in school so far, a significant number that Robison said was worth it. She said the class became sociable, punctual and effective, and developed a drive for excellence along the route from freshman to senior year.
SHS math teacher Nancy Crowe gave the keynote speech, as chosen by the senior class.
She admitted that public speaking was her biggest fear, but she at least partially conquered it Sunday afternoon.
“This is the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done,” she said, adding that students can face down their most difficult obstacles as well.
Crowe focused on persistence throughout her speech.
“Fail and try again; fail and try again; fail and try again,” Crowe said. “Be fearless and optimistic.”
Crowe encouraged students to look around at the people who care about them and focus on them, and to not take themselves too seriously.
“Just keep trying,” Crowe said. “It doesn’t matter where you start. It’s your own life. You can’t be behind in your own life.”
Apodaca plans to incorporate that lesson going forward, just like her mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother, SHS graduates before her. The only constant is change.