End of a chapter

Steamboat Springs graduates reflect on time in school


Come rain or shine, the Steamboat Springs High School graduating class of 2005 wouldn't have missed its graduation for the world.

Or a meteor, or 70 feet of snow, or any other catastrophe, valedictorian Justin Krause said.

"In my 13 years here in this school district, do you know how many snow days we've had? None. One raindrop falls from the sky on the Front Range and school is called off," he said. "Nothing was going to keep us from today."

Growing up in Steamboat has made the class of 2005 closer and more fun, passionate and unique, Krause said.

"Graduates in this class have done it all," he said. "Nothing can stand in our way. We grew up in Steamboat Springs, Colorado."

Principal Dave Schmid told the class he is grateful to be graduating with them -- he is retiring as principal this year.

"I am very proud of the class of 2005, and I hope you continue to dream and ask the tough questions," he said.

Saturday's graduation ceremony included a student-written and -performed song, a slideshow and recognition of all the scholarships students received.

Between local and university scholarships, the class of 2005 received more than $810,000. One student, Amanda Toy, was offered the prestigious Boettcher Scholarship but instead decided to follow her dreams of getting an Ivy League education and attend Princeton University.

Toy, one of the school's three salutatorians, said, "We made it, even though it seemed like an eternity."

As each student was called to get his or her diploma, they also received a small bouquet of lilies and firm handshakes and hugs from faculty, staff, friends, parents and fellow graduates.

Graduates Henry Howard, Kelly Larson and Patrick Ayres wrote and performed, along with members of the school's choir, the song "How You've Grown."

"What we were looking for was a culmination of all the years wrapped into one," Howard said. "I think it went well."

Parent Tom Simmins' favorite part of the ceremony was the student slideshow, during which pictures of the seniors were shown to the sounds of nostalgic, sometimes upbeat and sometimes tearful music.

"It was a very nice ceremony, and I really liked seeing the slides of all the kids," Simmins said.

Simmins' daughter, Emily, was his second and last daughter to graduate from the high school.

"It's exciting she's graduating, but I'm also crushed," Simmins said.

After graduation, the students were given notes and letters they had written to themselves and their friends while in eighth grade.

Jennifer Ostwalt thought it was weird to read what she thought was cool four years ago and recall who her friends were when she wrote the letters.

"It made me laugh reading them, because I totally forgot I had ever written them," she said.

Ostwalt was amazed at how young-sounding she was and how so much could change in four years.

As Alicia Belford, another graduate, said, "I am excited to explore what's ahead of me, because I know everyone's going to do great things."

--To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com


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