To the Estes Park High School Class of 2019, your commencement is nearly here. You will remember this special day and your high school career for the rest of your lives.
Some of the friends you made will be friends forever while others you may not see again, but the memories will always be there. You’ll remember some special people such as your principal, coaches, counselors, club sponsors and others. You will definitely remember those very special teachers who challenged you, who made a difference in your life. The ones who introduced you to Shakespeare, Dickens, London and others and the ones who gave you the tools to express yourself, to analyze and to be a decision maker.
You will soon be the launched on a new and exciting journey in your lives. And it will be a journey, not a guided tour. You’ll have to work harder, be even more responsible and exercise more self-discipline than what you’ve been used to over the past four years. I am convinced that you are up to the task.
Recently I, along with the other Town Trustees had the opportunity to meet with several of the soon-to-be graduates and with several other underclassmen. From my perspective, and I’m sure my colleagues on the board would agree, that if the future of our community, our state and our country rests on their shoulders, then we are indeed in good hands.
I am reticent to offer advice but I feel compelled to ask that you consider two things. One, spend more time listening than talking- you’ll learn more that way. Two, VOTE! Never pass up the opportunity to exercise such a wonderful privilege. Don’t ever think that elected officials can’t have a serious impact on your life and your future. In May 1963 I sat in the auditorium of my high school listening to commencement speeches while President John Kennedy, Vice President Lyndon Johnson-who would become President six months later-along with senators, congressmen and other advisors, were deciding if one day soon they would be sending eighteen-year-olds like myself to a place called Vietnam. In 1963 eighteen-year-olds couldn’t vote. Today you can, so do it.
Congratulations and good luck as you begin this next phase of your life.
Ken Zornes - Town of Estes Park Trustee