San Juan Hills seniors toss their motarboards in celebration of their June 19 graduation, marking the end of their time in high school and the beginning of a new chapter. Photo: Allison Jarrell
San Juan Hills seniors toss their motarboards in celebration of their June 19 graduation, marking the end of their time in high school and the beginning of a new chapter. Photo: Allison Jarrell

Riding for the Brand

By Allison Jarrell

From the leadership of Principal Tom Ressler to the mettle of each Stallion student, the San Juan Hills High School graduating class of 2015 clearly knows what it means to “ride for the brand.”

During the final speech of San Juan Hills’ poignant, yet uplifting graduation ceremony, Stallion of the Year Allie Biedermann spoke to the character of this year’s group of 501 seniors, who gracefully triumphed through their challenges while relishing every moment—whether that meant rushing the field after losing a game, pulling off a last-minute makeshift wedding as a senior prank, or finally making a comeback at the coveted “Clash of the Classes”—the school’s annual music video competition.

Biedermann thanked Ressler, who recently retired after serving the school for seven years, for establishing the Stallions’ brand and “being a perfect example of what it looks like to care for others.”

“The greatest compliment to the work that we have all done is that it continues to grow and flourish after we leave,” Ressler said during his own address to the graduates.

The Stallion Creed offers guiding principles for students, such as persevering and thriving in adversity and never accepting defeat. The school’s alma mater—which the entire class sang together in honor of Ressler—notes that Stallions share their “triumphs, struggles, joys and tears” while staying “forever strong.” Biedermann reflected those sentiments in her closing remarks.

“Class of 2015, instead of simply being a class full of adults with high school diplomas, let’s be a class full of difference makers,” Biedermann said. “No matter what you become, remember, you were a Stallion and always will be.”

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