32 graduate from The Lowell Whiteman School today

Students earn more than $180,000 in 1st-year financial aid

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If you go

What: The Lowell Whiteman School graduation

When: 2 p.m. today

Where: The Lowell Whiteman School gymnasium, 42605 Routt County Road 36

Call: The school at 879-1350 for more information

— The growth experienced by The Lowell Whiteman School in recent years will be on full display today when the school graduates 32 seniors.

Only once before has the private high school graduated as many students in a single class, Head of School Walt Daub said. And never have so many graduates - 19 - attended Lowell Whiteman all four years of high school.

"They are all going off to colleges and universities suited to them," said Daub, who noted some students will be deferring college to train athletically or take a gap year. "We really work hard to match them up with an undergraduate institution that's a good match."

Daub said 21 of the graduates have received financial aid awards for their first years in college to the tune of more than $180,000.

Several awards, from academic to athletic, will be handed out at today's ceremony, which begins at 2 p.m. in the school's gymnasium. The school's "ranking scholar" has not yet been determined because students still were taking final exams as recently as Thursday.

Lynne Thurston Drogosz, the school's coordinator of parent relations, said this year's ceremony will not feature a keynote graduation speaker. Each student is individually recognized in a short speech by a faculty member of his or her choosing.

Daub said the absence of a keynote speaker shouldn't be cause for disappointment, because the teachers' speeches about their students usually are the highlight of the ceremony.

"That's the part of graduation everybody looks forward to the most," he said.

Daub said the speeches tend to be funny, poignant and insightful. For people who are unfamiliar with The Lowell Whiteman School's intimate nature, Daub said the speeches illustrate how well the students and teachers know one another.

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