Highlands Ranch High School graduation: Ready to follow their hearts


Don't be afraid of failure. Understand life will give you trials. Seize opportunities when they come to you. Stay humble.

Those were some of the messages seniors at Highlands Ranch High School heard during their commencement ceremony May 22 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

“I have never heard of success without failure,” said Grace Ventreck in her graduate address, as she encouraged classmates not to fear failure.

Valedictorian JiaWei Yu told seniors to remember the people who helped them reach where they are and to thank those who supported them. He urged them to the follow their heart's and soul's ambitions, regardless of their post-graduate plans.

“Where we're going in the future doesn't necessarily dictate our worth,” he said.

Brian Domokos, who gave the faculty address, shared the emotional story of experiencing a miscarriage with his wife. The loss left him grieving and fearful during their next pregnancy. His message, he said, was that life can be painful and scary, but “learning how to deal with fear” is one of life's most important tools.

Principal Christopher Page told seniors to remember three lessons as they go into the world: be courageous, seize opportunities and stay humble.


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