Dear Class of 2017: Words of wisdom

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’Tis the season that high school graduations are taking place. Most of us will never have the opportunity to deliver commencement addresses so I asked friends what words of wisdom they would impart to the Class of 2017 and there were some great answers which I’ll share here. It was interesting that from those who graduated decades ago that kindness and doing the right thing were a predominant theme. The Class of 2017 is the last class whose members were predominantly born in the 1900s so it will be of interest to where the world will take them.

Bobby Wilhelm ’77 — On your graduation night try to speak to all your classmates if you can. Some you might not see again for 20,30,40 years ...or some you might not ever see again. And HUG them all!

Jamie Benner ’84 — Nothing in life is really free. Take your skills and know-how and make a life you can be proud of when you look back many years down the road. Live life with no regrets.

Mary Larson ’79 — When asked to do something, just say yes. The adventures that await you are amazing.

Pat Riley ’88 — You're entitled to what you have earned, be thankful for what you've learned and use every opportunity to interact and communicate in person with the people you deal with. In order to lead, learn how to follow and above all else .... BE NICE.

Marci Clark ’84 — Don't believe the notion that if you do what you love you'll never work a day in your life. Instead, figure out your skill set and how to make a living with it and be adjustable to change, because change is the one constant in life. Because doing what you love while struggling to pay the bills is only fun for a little while.

Lois Wechsler ’71 — Do not let anyone else be in control of your light switch. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Be kindhearted and enthusiastic.

Randy Wells ’70 — Some people make things happen, some people watch things happen and some people wonder what happened. Choose your course. It's up to you and you alone.

Katie Marmon ’92 — Be kind... when you are kind to others, it not only changes you, it changes the world.

Alyssa Perry Stromberg ’87 — You will fall and you will stumble, that's not the end. Keep pushing forward and celebrate even the smallest of successes. Without our small successes we wouldn't achieve our greatness!

LaDonna Beaumont ’88 — You are infinitely more powerful than you know. Don't waste too much time figuring that out!

Kathy Kress White ’68 — Find a therapist, find a spa, find yourself. Remember not to believe anything you hear and only half of what you see. Then keep your rose colored glasses on!

Kristi Rietz ’96 — Some people might be louder and draw more attention but NOBODY is cooler or better or smarter than YOU!

Jay Troy ’70 — I would relate a quote I learned my years ago. Success lies upstream, you can't drift there. Have a dream, believe you can achieve it and then put an action plan in place to get your dream done.

Pat Thyssen ’72 — Get off the devices and interact face to face. A meme can't replace facial expressions!

Scott Livingston ’81 — Forget the term burned out, keep moving forward, never stop. Don't be a whiner. Having dreams and goals is great, don’t give up on those, but to be successful you have to keep moving forward. Be an asset to society not a liability.

Tammy Bray ’77 — Be forward thinking. Make sure you don't sacrifice future goals for immediate satisfaction.

Mary Riffe ’83 — The future is beholden of the unique gifts that you have to offer, however this is the first step on your journey to the top of the mountain. There will be great victories and triumphs, marred with defeat. Let the victories define you while the defeats keep you humble to understand the struggles of others less fortunate than yourself.

Sarah Gondo ’96 — Work hard, be patient, think for yourself, but seek wise counsel. Be kind to everyone you meet. Stay humble.

Jeryl Archer ’85 — At this point in your lives some of you are confident, some are lost, some of you are eager and some are scared. The secret to life is there is no secret — perseverance and adaptability will always carry the day. Say yes to opportunities, say thank you for kindness and assist those in need.

Jennifer Custer ’60 — Be kind and respectful as you move through this 'gift' called life!

Angie Phillips ’94 — Life is not only about what you know but who you know. Stay in touch with friends and above all else, be kind.

Roberta Larsen ’54 — Remember the past but live in the future.

Cynthia Pishner-Raynor ’85 — Put your phone and devices down and have a real conversation with an elder. Really listen and learn from the older, wiser generation, without Google. Hand write all your thank you cards and call a friend or family member far away and visit. You are the future, make it great by learning from the past!

Karla Derton ’85 — Learn how to iron, balance your checkbook and sew.

• • •

Last week I was part of a judging team put together by Mark Jones of the Post Falls School District. Our mission was to visit Mullan Trail, West Ridge, Ponderosa, Greensferry and Prairie View Elementary Schools and Frederick Post Kinder Center to select the most spirited and inclusive demonstration of how the students were engaged in the annual food drive for the Post Falls Food Bank.

Fellow judges Warren Merritt, Leslie Orth, Ryan Davis, Alicia Gonzalez, Kaelyn Hinch and I were dazzled by the creativity, enthusiasm and depth of the students’ knowledge and awareness of nutrition and hunger in our community.

At the end of the day Ponderosa Elementary took top honors in the spirit category and in the number of pounds of food collected. Overall 13,004 pounds of food were collected by the Post Falls K-5 schools. Thanks to all!

• • •

Happy birthday today to Jeffrey (Trey) Barker III (first birthday!), Cindy Wood, Roger Beaulieu, Craig Singer, Lindsay Cantrell, Peggy Suenkel and Meredith Close.

First day of June birthday wishes to Sandy Shopbell, Dave Stutzke, Shannon Coles, Debbie Costa, Patrick Booth, Drake Foster, Mike Alexander, Tresa Brown (40!) and Vicki White.

Sharing June 2 birthdays are Al Williams, Mitch Alexander, Nancy Mueller, Drake Foster, Brenda Walters, Irene Seidler and Nels Jensen.

On Saturday JoAnn Nelson, Mitch Heid, Scott Osburn, Matthew Huthinson, Kathy Larson, Devin Hellman, Sharon Timmons, Susan Mensching and Matt Boseth take another trip around the sun.

On Sunday Natalie Wyant, Lynsie Odd, Jay Sadler (40!), Kirk Dady, Jessica Downs (40!) and Nikki Downs (40!) will celebrate.

Evelyn Bevacqua Howe, Harold Appleby, Jr., Joel Semanko, Helen Elder, Dale Rounsville, Ron Hodge and JaNee Newby have birthdays on Monday.

On Tuesday the partiers will be Dallas Dixon, DeDe Tondee, Don Wilhelm, Kim Normand and Wendy English.

• • •

Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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