38 Hayden seniors move on; class honored during Sunday event
Student's death cited as a unifying factor for class
May 23, 2011
Class of 2011 scholarships (4 years)
Hayden Blake $32,000
Anna Brown $1,000
Cassidy Bush $6,163
Dusty Davis $500
Brian Hoza $172,500
Kaitlyn Jezo $1,400
Treyben Letlow $5,000
Kali McFadden $47,500
Justin Moon $500
Luke Myers $500
Lindsay Parrott $4,800
Kyra Rolando $1,000
Jake Rosendale $40,000
Chris Skof $500
Angela St. Clair $2,700
Lysa Valora $33,500
Delanie VeDepo $12,750
Ben Williams $3,750
Casey Zabel $700
Source: Hayden Secondary Schools
Hayden Class of 2011 postgraduate plans
Scott Armbruster, Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction
Morgan Bell, Colorado Mesa University
Hayden Blake, University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz.
Anna Brown, Colorado State University in Fort Collins
Cassidy Bush, Fort Lewis College in Durango
Samantha Cless, Front Range Community College in Fort Collins
Dusty Davis, working in the welding industry
Dayton Dowling, Twentymile Coal Co.
Ty Dunckley, Twentymile Coal Co.
Dalton Earle, U.S. Marine Corps
Sierra Ehlers, Northeastern Junior College in Sterling
Brandy Grubbs, working full time
Josh Hines, Western State College in Gunnison
Brian Hoza, Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
Kaitlyn Jezo, Colorado State University
Treyben Letlow, Colorado State University-Pueblo
Kali McFadden, University of Denver
Hannah Meade, Front Range Community College
Graig Medvesk, Colorado Mesa University
Khrystyne Montgomery, Colorado Northwestern Community College in Craig
Justin Moon, Wyoming Technical Institute in Laramie, Wyo.
Sydney Murray, University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss.
Cassi Musslewhite, Aveda Institute in Denver
Luke Myers, Colorado Northwestern Community College
Lindsay Parrott, Colorado Mesa University
Sam Penrose, working part time on a ranch outside Steamboat
Brandon Ray, working full time in the welding industry
Kyra Rolando, Colorado Mesa University
Ryan Romine, Western State College
Jake Rosendale, University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash.
Chris Skof, Wyoming Technical Institute
Angela St. Clair, Colorado State University
Cory Terry, Twentymile Coal Co.
Krista Tomke, Colorado State University
Lysa Valora, University of Wyoming in Laramie
Delanie VeDepo, University of Colorado at Boulder
Ben Williams, undecided, but plans to play baseball in college
Casey Zabel, Colorado Mesa University
Steamboat Springs — All the traditions were observed Sunday afternoon during the Hayden Secondary Schools Class of 2011 graduation ceremony.
A video montage of photographs highlighted the seniors' growth from children to adults. There was the presentation of flowers — mostly orange roses — from the graduates to their families. And the faculty and staff started a silly string war, which quickly became a losing battle, after the class was presented.
But Sunday's ceremony seemed different.
Maybe it was because, as most classes claim, the Class of 2011 is the closest group of friends, Salutatorian Lysa Valora said. She said 28 of the class' 38 graduates had attended school together in Hayden since kindergarten — some earlier than that. She said it was a closeness that only grew after classmate Robert "Bobby" Donelson died in 2008 when they were sophomores.
Valora said the class cried, healed and moved on together while keeping the memory of Donelson close to their hearts. She said his death made them stronger, realize the importance of friendship and understand how blessed they were to live in Hayden.
"We are a big family, and no one can lay a finger on us," Valora said. "I love you guys so much, and I could never in my wildest dreams have asked for a better group of people to grow up with."
Donelson, who died of acute heart failure caused by an undiagnosed genetic defect after collapsing during a walk at school, was recognized several times during the ceremony. While somber during those moments, the event reflected the optimism that lies ahead for the seniors.
Valedictorian Brian Hoza said before Sunday, most choices had been made for the seniors.
"As of today, the choice is now yours," he said. "You can choose whether or not you want to go to college, where you want to live, what job you want to do and what you want to do with your life. How neat is that?"
Of the 38 seniors, 22 will attend four-year colleges or universities, eight will go to two-year or vocational schools, one will join the military and seven will enter the workforce.
Counselor Nicole Dolence said the seniors earned $366,763 for their college educations.
Principal Troy Zabel said the seniors had the highest cumulative grade-point average of any class during his seven-year tenure. He said a majority of the class took advanced placement courses. He said they earned more welding certifications than previous classes.
Zabel said what stood out in his mind about the seniors was their character, class and potential.
"Knowing the potential of this class, I can assure every person in this gymnasium that our future is in good hands," he said. "Now go out there and live like you mean it."
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