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Alumni Happenings - June 2006
Grand County High School

Christy and Kimber Parry
by Jeff Richards

Mother-daughter duo Christy and Kimber Parry are both graduates of Grand County High School, 30 years apart (1976 and 2006). Christy, who moved to Moab in the spring of 1975, attended GCHS for the last part of her junior year and her senior year. Except for a stint at college at Utah State University in Logan, Christy has lived here in Moab ever since. Now, three decades later, the single mom is proud to see her only child graduate with honors.

Christy’s parents are Pete and Joyce Parry, who still reside in Moab. Pete spent his career working for the National Park Service. The Parry family lived in Mississippi at the time that Christy was born, and later moved to several locations around the country, including Michigan, Ohio, Nevada, and California. While Christy was in high school, the family moved from Southern California to Washington D.C., and then to Moab.

“Moab was where we finally settled down,” said Christy, adding that her father served as the superintendent of the Canyonlands district (comprising Arches, Canyonlands, and Natural Bridges) for 10 years before retiring from the NPS.

Christy Parry 1976

Although Christy spent just over a year at GCHS, she has fond memories of her days as a Red Devil. She played guard on the basketball team, which made the playoffs her senior year, she recalls. She also liked PE teacher Joyce Victor and English teacher Val Maughan, along with Ray Olsen, who many years later also taught Kimber in chemistry just before retiring a couple of years ago.

“I also really liked Coach Ron Pierce,” added Christy. “I remember the time when I was filling in for a player during volleyball practice, and I jammed my finger on the ball and sprained it badly, and he set it in a splint for me.”

Christy has worked in a variety of jobs in town over the years, including stints at Royce’s Electronics and Tag-A-Long Adventures, then at Central Utah Insurance Agency for five years. She then worked full-time at Technica Pacifica for 10 years beginning in 1995, grading papers and writing course materials for English correspondence courses offered to adults in Japan. She managed the office as the grading supervisor for a couple of years until 2005, when she began working full-time for the U.S. Geological Survey, her current job. She still continues to do part-time contract work for Technica Pacifica.

Although Kimber’s father Ed Forner lives out of state (he’s a park ranger at Death Valley National Park), he has continued to support Kimber throughout her childhood and adolescent years, flying up for regular visits in his Cessna 150 aircraft. He especially enjoys attending drill team performances and other events.

At the beginning of this month, on June 1, Kimber was scheduled to address her fellow seniors as one of two class valedictorians, joining co-valedictorian Lindsay Holyoak, salutatorian Brigitta Graham, and former GCHS teacher Donna Brownell as the featured Class of ’06 commencement speakers.

Kimber Parry 2006

The ever-busy Kimber hadn’t yet written her graduation speech as of May 25, but she didn’t seem overly worried. As a key member of the GCHS debate team for four years, she placed first in the oratory category at the state tournament this March, helping the Red Devils to the state 2A championship. The Red Devil debaters also took state in 2004 and were runners-up in both 2003 and 2005.

This year, the GCHS debate team participated in prestigious invitational tournaments on both coasts (at Stanford and at Harvard) along with one at Arizona State University. Kimber, known for her confidence and speaking skills, has been a major player on the team ever since her freshman year, noted head debate coach Hal Adams.

Kimber has also been active on the drill team throughout high school. She served as president of the Devilettes this year and choreographed many of their dances. Kimber has also been dancing with the local Stars Dance Studio for 14 years, mastering a wide variety of moves and styles. She has also been an instructor for the studio for the past four years.

As Kimber and her fellow Devilettes have taken the playing field for numerous halftime performances during the football and basketball seasons, mom Christy is invariably there to watch (and often videotape) the girls. Christy has also helped with various other aspects of the drill team program, from lining up sponsors to creating dance props such as giant lily pads and even an elaborate camel costume. Kimber was named to the Academic All-State Drill Team a few months ago.

Earlier this year, Kimber was also named Grand County High’s Sterling Scholar in the Science category, and went on to take first place among the Southeastern Utah area Sterling Scholars. She plans to major in exercise biology at UC Davis beginning this fall.

Kimber and Christy recently drove to the UC Davis campus to get Kimber’s registration, housing, and other arrangements taken care of. During that visit, Kimber also tried out for and made the dance team for the school’s Spirit Squad. This coming school year, she and the other Aggie-ettes will be performing during games, just as she has been doing for the past four years at GCHS.

Kimber has been involved in a wide variety of other activities during high school. She went on a trip to Costa Rica in July of 2005 for Ecology Project International, helping sea turtles survive their hatching on the beaches. She also attended an invitational dance camp in Hawaii last year and a conference on medicine and leadership in California in 2004. She was the GCHS Student of the Year in 2004-05 and a member of the 2006 winter homecoming royalty. She also is in the Future Business Leaders of America club, the school’s recycling club, and is president of the local chapter of the National Honor Society.

“I have a lot of favorite teachers, and I can’t narrow them down to just one or two,” commented Kimber as she rattled off several names, including Ed DeFrancia, Steve Hren, Lin Kolb, Ryan Anderson, Traci Thompson, Hal Adams, and Bernie Radcliffe.

“A lot of people think that in a small community, you can’t get a good education, but really it’s up to you (the student),” noted Christy. “If you’re willing to go the extra mile, then the teachers are willing to bend over backwards to help you get there.”

“I’m really glad that Kimber had the opportunity to grow up in one place, and develop lifelong friends and relationships,” added Christy. “And Moab is the perfect community for that.”

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