Here’s to the next chapter: Glenrock seniors prepare to walk the big stage for graduation

Melissa Peterson photos
Soon to be GHS graduate Megan Buettgenback takes one finals walk down the high school track where she has spent numerous hours both competing and practicing for the Herder’s cross country and track teams. 

By: 
Melissa Peterson melissa@glenrockind.com

All the assignments have been completed, the papers have been submitted and finally, the high school seniors feel they can take a deep breath. Just a few days after school though, the nerves and excitement kick in once more as they prepare to place on the purple and white gown before walking across the stage.
Thirty-seven Glenrock High School graduates will gather this Sunday in front of friends, family and teachers as they accept their diploma and head into the next chapter of their lives. Some students express excitement as others feel a sense of fear for what the future holds. For GHS graduate Megan Buettgenback, she feels a combination of both.
Since her move to Glenrock from Nebraska in the seventh grade, Buettgenback has been involved with numerous Herder sports and activities around the town. One of the first organizations the she joined when she first came to Glenrock was FCCLA. She now credits her time spent with the organization as bringing her out of a little box and into the world around her.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been super shy but being the new kid in town was a little different for me, but definitely FCCLA brought me out of my comfort zone,” Buettgenback said.
She admits that when growing up it was hard to imagine life after high school, but from joining FCCLA she was shown how to establish a career and positively affect the community around her, even after high school. Back in sophomore year, she competed nationally with FCCLA in the category of recycling and redesign where she submitted a project on how to reuse old car tires and effectively eliminate the waste associated with tires. 

FROM TRACK TO THE KITCHEN
The drama team, school newspaper and the prom and yearbook committees are just more of the activities Buettgenback smiles back upon. When it comes to looking back on her time in high school, she can instantly say her favorite memories were made with the cross country and track teams. In her words, the cross country team is “one big family of nerds,” who spent hours on the track while listening to the best music the 1970’s had to offer.
After the hours of practice would finish, Buettgenback would change from a track jersey into a chef’s uniform for the Culinary Management Team. From her time spent on the culinary team, she was able to step even more out of her comfort zone and learn how to create a business from the ground-up, along with all the details that are required.
“Not only do we have to create this stuff, but we have to present ourselves in a professional manner to the judges,” she said.
Buettgenback even had the opportunity to travel to Rhode Island for the national competition held in April and is proud to say she was on the team that took 11th place out of the whole country, which is currently the best Wyoming has ever placed.
“I love the organizations I am in, but it is honestly about the relationships that I’ve built within those organizations,” Buettgenback said.

POSITIVE INFLUENCES
Four years of school meant numerous teachers and coaches for Buettgenback and even though she hates to play favorites, two teachers come to mind who influenced her the most - the first being her former teacher Candace Stoll.
“I have never met anybody who sacrifices more for the students,” Buettgenback said. “She is always there night and day, she’ll do anything for you, she has such a big heart.”
The second influence that comes to mind is her former basketball and cross country coach Chris Gray.
“He pushes us to our limit but he is fun to joke around with. You would think he’s just this hard guy, but he’s really just a big ol’ teddy bear,” she said with a laugh.
Buettgenback feels the nerves coming on again when she thinks of leaving all this behind soon, but the feeling of excitement for the future overcomes any fear. Currently, she is still deciding between studying dental hygiene in Sheridan or nursing at BYU Idaho.
Sunday may be the last day Buettgenback will join her fellow classmates at GHS, but all she has learned will go with her through the summer and into the fall as she prepares to leave for college.
“I love my class so much, even though we didn’t bond as much as I would’ve liked to, there is definitely a few of my best friends in that grade,” she said. “They’re good kids and I have faith that they will do good in the world.”

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Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

The Glenrock Independent is located in the Bronco Building

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