Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

River Ridge grads look ahead with a pang of nostalgia

River Ridge senior Hannah Fregger, center, enjoys  a slide show of high school memories Thursday alongside Alessa Solien, right, and  Megan Kahle, foreground, during the annual senior breakfast.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

River Ridge senior Hannah Fregger, center, enjoys  a slide show of high school memories Thursday alongside Alessa Solien, right, and  Megan Kahle, foreground, during the annual senior breakfast.

NEW PORT RICHEY — River Ridge seniors arrived Thursday morning at Spartan Manor for their senior breakfast, sharply dressed and all smiles for their last gathering before graduation.

Then amid the happy din came a small reminder of reality.

"This will be the last time you will have to listen to me," principal Maria Swanson said as she tried to quiet the crowd. "Come Monday, you will wake up, and realize your high school career is over."

For Desirae Snyder, it has not quite sunk in yet.

"Maybe when midsummer rolls around and everybody talks about having to go back to school, and I won't be going back to school, I think then, I will really feel strange," Snyder said.

Zach Thornberry said the end hit him last Friday, when he joined other seniors forming lines in the cafeteria for check-out day. The seniors returned textbooks and paid fees they still owed. In the final line, they picked up their purple caps and gowns.

"After they handed it to me, they just said goodbye, and that was it," he said. "Nothing more, it was just over. It felt like a punch."

Thornberry said he made it all this way thanks to his mom's support. He wants to be a police officer one day, especially after having dedicated his senior project to writing about law enforcement.

Seniors are required to partner up with a mentor and write a report on a career they may want to pursue. Thornberry worked with the school's resource officer, Cpl. Arthur Morrison. Thornberry plans to enroll in St. Petersburg College and wants to major in criminology.

Anthony "Tony" Koubek said he has thought about college since the seventh grade, when he was awarded the Take Stock in Children Scholarship.

This fall, he will study political science at Saint Leo University.

The 18-year-old said he already misses his friends and some of the activities he was involved in. From the chess club to being the football game announcer this year, he said, high school will be unforgettable.

"I am very happy we all have come this far," he said. "Just glad I will be around to visit, or maybe even continue helping with the football games."

Before the senior breakfast wrapped up, the lights were dimmed and all eyes were on the screen where a slideshow flashed memories of some of the students since they first met in the sixth grade.

Laughter and sighs were heard all across the room.

"If I could give some advice, I would say to really work hard freshman through junior year," Snyder said. "If you do that, senior year will be the most fun time you'll ever have."

Jacqueline Baylon can be reached at jbaylon@sptimes.com or at (727) 869-6247.

>>fast facts

River Ridge High

Graduation is at 6 tonight at the school.

Projected number of graduates: 366

School colors: Purple and silver

Mascot: Knights

Top 10 Students: Tyler Lovelle (valedictorian), Adrian Basler (salutatorian), Christine Perez, Theresa Holt, Dagyoung Lee, Taylor LaRoue, Stefani Aguis, James Hayden, Corey Nickels, Kimberly Thompson.

Awards Night scholarship totals:

Pasco Education Fund: $5,000

Take Stock in Children: $45,000

Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative: $42,000

Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point volunteer association: $4,000

Private: $10,000

River Ridge High School Organizations: $14,000

Bright Futures:

29 Academic Scholars

102 Medallion

River Ridge grads look ahead with a pang of nostalgia 05/26/11 [Last modified: Thursday, June 2, 2011 5:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
  2. Diaz, Taddeo win easily in special Miami Senate primaries

    Blogs

    Two Miami state Senate candidates who raised and spent the most in their respective primaries — Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz and Democratic businesswoman Annette Taddeo — notched easy victories in a special election Tuesday night.

    Republican candidate Jose Felix Diaz is surrounded by supporters after he won the primary for Florida’s Senate District 40 race. Democrat Annette Taddeo, right, celebrates her victory with supporter Venus Lovely at BJ’s Restaurant in The Falls.
  3. In live debate, Kriseman and Baker ask St. Pete: Is the city better off?

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Mayoral candidates Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker made their best pitch to voters in front of a live television audience on Tuesday night. The candidates essentially asked this: Is the city better off now than it was four years ago?

    Incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker debate in front of a live television audience during the City of St. Petersburg Mayoral Debate at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg on Tuesday evening. The event was sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times and Bay News 9. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  4. Romano: It all comes down to sewage in this mayoral race

    Local Government

    Well, poop.

    Nothing else really matters, does it?

    Schools, economic development, public safety? Pfft. The Rays stadium, affordable housing, the pier? Ack. When it comes to the St. Petersburg mayoral election, sewage is the yin, the yang and the yuck.

    At Tuesday’s debate, incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman said responsibility lies on him regarding the sewage crisis.
  5. Shooting sends man to hospital in St. Pete

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Police were investigating a shooting that occurred around 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday and sent a man to the hospital.