Fruita Monument graduates reminisce about high school during the pandemic

For these graduates, their high school experience came with a unique set of challenges. These graduates spent their sophomore and junior years navigating the Covid-19 pandemic.
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 11:37 PM MDT|Updated: May. 11, 2022 at 12:00 AM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Stocker stadium was decked out in blue Tuesday night. That’s because the Fruita Monument High School class of 2022 walked the stage to receive their diplomas.

For these graduates, their high school experience came with a unique set of challenges. These graduates spent their sophomore and junior years navigating the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fruita Monument graduate Autumn Stenhouse spoke about her experience.

“We did have a pause and we weren’t allowed to interact with each other which is understandable considering everything that had happened,” said Stenhouse. “But then when we finally all got back together and got back to school and had dances together it just felt like old times.”

Autumn went on to say her senior year was great with normal things back, such as prom and bonfires. She will be attending CMU in the fall, studying psychology with a goal to become a forensic psychologist.

Fruita Monument graduate Lillian Price was on student council. She explained the struggle in planning normal high school events like dances.

“It was the end of sophomore year so we didn’t get to have a prom and I’m in student council so we didn’t get to do any of the decorations for prom,” said Price. “We tried to do our best with finding outdoor venues. We ended up doing that our junior year and it worked phenomenal and people ended up loving it. It was an experience for sure but finding the best out of it was the best part.”

Lillian went on to say she feels like her high school experience went by too fast. But she’s grateful for the in-person time she did have.

“The four years and the two years that were kind of weird made it feel so short and made me so grateful for the times I got to be in school and doing the fun stuff like prom and all the dances,” said Price.

Lillian will be studying biochemistry and microbiology at GCU in Arizona with a goal to become a doctor.

Fruita Monument graduate and class body president Tessa Reimer reminisced about her favorite parts of her time in high school. She also explained what it was like beginning her Junior year and how she helped navigate her class through the pandemic as class president.

“I’m part of student council so being online was very tough because we were trying to figure out how to create this school environment but all online,” said Reimer. “So we did a lot of videos for teacher appreciation and trying to get students to submit things and doing a lot over social media. We tried to keep up the spirit. We started off high school being online and that was really rough trying to build spirit within the class. So being able to go back and plan dances and do pep assemblies, that’s been my favorite part.”

Tessa went on to explain that the struggles during the pandemic made her class come out closer on the other side.

“That was the best part is everyone realized how cool it is to be in school with all these people that are your same age and to see them every day,” said Reimer. “So I think coming back from the pandemic it almost made our class bond stronger.”

Tessa will be studying architecture at UC Berkeley in the Fall with a goal to get involved in environmental activism.

The Fruita Monument class of 2022 set a record of being the largest class in the school’s history with 415 graduates. They also set a record for most 4.0 students in the schools history.

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