Christian Heritage School graduating senior John Cutter runs through his speech during a practice ceremony while Principal Alan Weisberg observes Thursday morning at the school west of Steamboat Springs. Fellow graduates, from left, Kerry Timmerman, Nicholai Buccino and Jared Finch are seated in the background.

Photo by John F. Russell

Christian Heritage School graduating senior John Cutter runs through his speech during a practice ceremony while Principal Alan Weisberg observes Thursday morning at the school west of Steamboat Springs. Fellow graduates, from left, Kerry Timmerman, Nicholai Buccino and Jared Finch are seated in the background.

Christian Heritage class of 4 a diverse group

2009 graduating seniors have broad range of interests, talents to explore

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If you go

What: Christian Heritage School graduation When: 3 p.m. today Where: Christian Heritage School, 27285 Brandon Circle

— There are only four graduates this year at Christian Heritage School, but their personalities range as widely as a 400-person class.

Despite the differences, the four boys graduating today said that inside and outside of school, they get along and spend time together regularly. Christian Heritage's graduation begins at 3 p.m. today at the school on Brandon Circle.

John Cutter, class valedictorian, has been at the school for the longest time. Since sixth grade, he has seen classmates come and go from the school, a fluctuation that ended this year with the final four graduates of Cutter, Kerry Timmerman, Jared Finch and Nicolai Buccino.

The classmates' plans after graduation are diverse. Buccino plans to attend Colorado State University to major in music. Finch plans to stay closer to home, attending Colorado Mountain College's Alpine Campus in Steamboat Springs to study social sciences. Timmerman said he is considering attending the San Diego Art Institute, where he hopes to study culinary arts. Cutter said he will go to the University of San Diego to study international relations and theology.

Cutter said he was drawn to the university as a way to pursue his long-term plan of earning a law degree and going into diplomatic work.

"I want to get into an international field," he said. "I don't know if I want to become an attorney necessarily, but another option would be to go into a diplomatic arena, and a law degree would help with that."

Cutter said the prospects of working with people - outside of an office - and resolving conflicts draw him to the idea of diplomacy.

"I would not like to go into a job that involves papers and sitting in a cubicle all day," he said. "I find myself helping out with certain conflicts and things like that. : I'll probably stick more toward First World countries, more like Western Europe."

In school, Cutter served as president of the student council, a position that allowed him to develop management skills he pans to use later in life.

Cutter also worked on skills outside of school, including his cross-country running. He plans to continue running in San Diego.

Although the final graduating class is small, Cutter said the personalized attention and curriculum from teachers helped to focus his studies.

"Definitely the classes were much more personalized. All of us (in the school) are on different planes of learning, just like you'd find in any other class, and because of our size, the teachers were able to individualize the programs," he said. "It's the most amount of education, without feeling like we got lost."

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