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Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt   

Gold-medal memories mark the class of 2010

Gold medals, gold balls, top honors have certainly been prevalent with the Holyoke High School graduating class of 2010 and the schoolmates sharing the limelight.

Sincere congrats to the latest winners of the gold—hard-working tracksters Kyle Carper in the triple jump; Marissa Smith in the 100, 200 and 400 meter races; and 4x200 relay team members Heather Duester, Mallory Bennett, Marci Vasa and Marissa Smith.

It is with much pride that friends, family and community members tout the achievement of those we call our own.

The 2A Track Championships line up quite nicely with the winning of the gold ball in boys’ state basketball for the second time in the school’s history in March. The gold reflects beautifully off the same-colored medals of three-time state wrestling champion Chad Stroh and first-time champ Mark Edmonds.

And then there are the gold-medal honors achieved at State FCCLA, FBLA and FFA through the years.

Students have excelled in band, chorus, drama productions, 4-H, dance, academic contests, cheerleading, technology, leadership activities, photography, web design, business ventures and much, much more.

Graduation took on a new level of personal meaning this year as my son finished high school with the HHS Class of 2010. I have watched this class’s success, as well as growing pains and progress with vested interest and solid pride.

As I share the joy of achievements of our youth, I’m also reminded that all that is gold does not glitter.

Gold-medal achievement represents the highest accomplishment through extraordinary effort, dedication and focus.

To that end, I sincerely salute the non-glittering gold medal achievers.

I commend the student who dropped out of school, then made the decision to return. I applaud the cancer survivor who is making a difference by promoting cancer awareness and research.

I laud the student who struggles in school or a particular class, but hangs in there to get the best education possible. I’m in awe of the student who recognizes the value of physical fitness and commits to dedicated workouts.

Praise to the classmates who make those with less talent find some place of recognition on the team. Congrats to those who encourage and inspire.

In this season of graduation, I applaud the high level of gold-medal achievement as the Class of 2010 embarks on the next chapter of life.

Believe in yourself, have confidence in your abilities and strive for the gold­—whether it glitters or not.