Ten years later, West Ranch’s class of ’08 holds its first reunion

Holly Nichols, Justin Rifkin, Samantha Suarez and Brandon Miller shared some laughs at the West Ranch Class of '08 reunion. Ryan Mancini/The Signal
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West Ranch High’s class of ‘08, the school’s first graduating class, reunited at Wolf Creek Brewery on Saturday evening.

The class’ 10-year reunion began after a small group of alumni worked together reaching out to former classmates on Facebook, according to Taylor Kellstrom, organizer and co-chair of the get-together. Over 100 alumni turned out for the event, coming from a small class of more than 300 students.

“We made a Facebook group page and just kept adding a bunch of people from our groups, and that’s kind of how everyone got back in touch with one another,” Kellstrom said.

Although social media helps people stay in touch, having the reunion helped to bring back fond memories and bring back interactions between people after so many years, he added.

The class initially started on Rancho Pico Junior High’s campus, he said, but as the 2008 class moved into 10th grade, it went across the street to the high school along with the incoming freshmen. Kellstrom’s wife, Becca, a 2011 graduate, heard from several of her teachers about how the 2008 class was experimental.

“This class is super important to all of the years, even to the classes that in West Ranch now,” she said. “In some way, they have influenced what they are doing now.”

With a much larger class of around 700 graduates, Becca said there will be more pressure for future reunions.

In addition to the reunion, a group of 14 alumni visited West Ranch and participated in its homecoming rally, which included an appearance from former principal Bob Vincent on Friday. Things had come full circle, Kellstrom said.

“When you’re in high school, you think the world’s not very big and everything is right there,” Taylor Kellstrom said. “Then you graduate, you realize how big the world actually is, and then to come back to your high school and people that you graduated and went to class with, it’s cool, man.”

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