Steamboat Springs Before The Lowell Whiteman School Class of 2010 graduates were handed diplomas Friday, per tradition, a faculty member of their choosing gave a brief speech about each one.
Some of the speeches conveyed heartfelt sentiments. There were stories about student growth, academic achievement, athletic glory and memorable adventures in foreign lands. Others conveyed humorous anecdotes from the seniors’ time at Whiteman.
But each of the speeches about the 24 graduates was unique.
English teacher Sarah Hoffman called Clare Southworth a “magical genius.” Science teacher Gina Wither compared Chloe Banning to Wonder Woman. Technology Director Trenia Sanford repeatedly mentioned the “Kon-randomness” of Konrad Becker.
Wither also gave a speech about Molly Newman, who was given this year’s Whiteman Head of School award. The award honors students who engage in Whiteman’s opportunities while facing its challenges and providing leadership for the school and its students.
Wither mentioned Newman’s academic performance and her athletic achievements; she will join the University of New Hampshire’s Nordic ski team next year. But Wither focused more on Newman’s character, calling her the “princess of polite.” Wither joked about Newman hosting meetings of Steamboat’s “etiquette elite.”
The ceremony began with the Class of 2010 entering the Dariel Henderson Gymnasium, which was crowded with hundreds of the graduates’ family and friends, to the tune of 1982 chart-topper “Electric Avenue.”
Head of School Walt Daub honored the 16 members of the Class of 2010 who spent all four of their high school years at Whiteman. He congratulated the class for earning more than $1.8 million in scholarships for their four-year college educations. It was a number Daub had to repeat.
Of the 24 graduates, a student from Germany plans to attend college in the Netherlands, two will go to Colorado Mountain College’s Alpine Campus and 18 will attend four-year colleges or universities. Three have deferred their college plans for at least a year to pursue their skiing careers.
Commencement speaker Emiko Torito, a 10-year member of the U.S. Ski Team who graduated from Whiteman in 2000, spoke about the school’s academics, its competitive ski and snowboard program and its foreign travel program. But what she focused on were the friendships the students gained through those pursuits.
She told the graduates that their most important lessons wouldn’t come from their accomplishments, but rather from their setbacks. She encouraged them to continue moving forward and to take their friends along for the journey.
“No matter what happens; no matter the fear, the risks, the setbacks and the heartbreaks, just keep going,” Torito said. “Resilience and courage are qualities that all successful, happy people share. … Remember all the while you’ve got friends ahead of you, friends at your back and the whole world at your feet.”
This year’s ceremony was held in honor of 2009 Whiteman graduate Lucy Causley, who died in a January house fire in Gunnison where she was attending Western State College. Near the beginning of the ceremony, Daub asked the audience to observe a moment of silence in Causely’s memory.
Whiteman Board of Trustees Chairwoman Nancy Ventrudo recognized Daub and math teacher Joe Roberts, who are retiring this year. Roberts leaves the school after 42 years, and Daub is stepping down after leading the school for the past dozen years.
To honor Daub’s leadership and success, Ventrudo said the Board of Trustees chose to name the common area in the new boys dorm, which will open in the fall, Daub Lounge.
After the ceremony, Daub said members of the class were especially compassionate, sensitive and supportive of each other, Steamboat and the community’s ideals. Daub said friends have told him in the past week that the Class of 2010 was a great one to go out with.
“I couldn’t agree more,” he said.
Sarah Allan*, University of Colorado, Denver
Chloe Banning*, Colorado College
Konrad Becker, Colorado Mountain College
Phillip Bishop*, Colorado Mountain College
Haley Buchner, University of Colorado at Boulder
Anissa Corser*, Bucknell University
Brant Crossan*, Montana State University
Hannah Fishman*, Mesa State College
Willow Fitzgerald*, Bard College
Matthias Fostvedt*, University of San Diego
Victoria Gorham, Saint Michael’s College
Robert Hardy*, University of Denver
Christopher Hill*, Western State College
Gereon Kanders, Attending college in the Netherlands
Anna Marno*, U.S. Ski Team
Mackenzie Marshall, University of Puget Sound
Shane McLean*, University of Denver
Taylor Miller, University of Wyoming
Katherine “Betsy” Neal, Middlebury College
Molly Newman*, University of New Hampshire
Clare Southworth*, Lewis & Clark College
Dylan Thomas, Northern Arizona University
Hunter Thompson*, Colorado State University
Christine Wolfe*, Harvard University
Deferring college to pursue skiing careers
Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. $2,000
Eleanor Bliss Scholarship $500
Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. $2,000
Steamboat Springs Volunteer Firemen’s Fund $1,500
Doak Walker Memorial Fund $1,500
English: Christine Wolfe*
Math: Christine Wolfe*
Physical Science: Sadie Grossbaum
Life Sciences: Chloe Banning*
Geography: Betsy Neal*
History: Robert Hardy*
French: Charlie Lakin
Spanish: Anissa Corser*
Technology: Brian Alsberg
Visual Arts: Chloe Banning*
Film: Taylor Miller*
Head of School: Molly Newman*
Community Service Award: Anissa Corser*
CU Outstanding Junior: Charlie Von Thaden
Residential Student: Madison Marshall
Competitive Ski/Snowboard: Molly Newman*
Friend to All: Maria Hillenbrand
Dean of Students: Anissa Corser*
Foreign Travel: Bolivia group
Out of the Box: Christopher Hill*
Academic Dean: Mackenzie Marshall*
Colorado School of Mines: Michael DeGrandis