Seth Zegelstein reacts after receiving his diploma during The Lowell Whiteman School graduation ceremony Saturday.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Seth Zegelstein reacts after receiving his diploma during The Lowell Whiteman School graduation ceremony Saturday.

The Lowell Whiteman School sends off 19 seniors

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The Lowell Whiteman School Class of 2013 graduates

Logan Banning, Lehigh University

Jamie Bender, St. Michael’s College

Torey Brooks, post grad year for Alpine skiing

George DeGrandis, California Polytechnic State University

Logan Epperson, Texas A&M University

Sydney Finkbohner, University of Redlands

Erin Gaffney, University of Redlands

Jack Griffin, Montana State University

Erika Kipfer, Colorado State University

Vreni Lupear, Colorado State University

Maddie Martin, Quest University

Hunter McLean, University of Colorado Boulder

Annie Ochs, Colorado School of Mines

Nissa Parker, deferring Beloit College for Rotary exchange to Italy

Desta Rabin, Quest University

Jake Sivinski, Lewis & Clark College

Nicole Stanley, Colorado Mountain College Alpine Campus

Lolo Thornton, Montana State University

Seth Zegelstein, University of Colorado

— There were moments when The Lowell Whiteman School graduation Saturday felt like a roast.

From Hunter McLean’s affinity for candy to Jack Griffin’s inability to get snacks in a classroom. Jamie Bender constantly struggled to stay dry in a kayak. Lolo Thornton created her own language called eye flutter. Somehow Desta Rabin’s favorite color is rainbow, sans orange, of course. Jake Sivinski’s flowing locks qualify him for the Renaissance. They’ll likely create a new line of Barbies for Torey Brooks. Logan Epperson broke his own laptop with a magnet. And of all things, Vreni Lupear believes in Big Foot.

As a much as faculty from Lowell Whiteman ribbed the Class of 2013, they also spoke highly about the unique bunch of 19 seniors.

Just as untraditional as the school is, Saturday’s ceremony followed suit. It highlighted what commencement speaker and 2003 Whiteman graduate Emily Colin called “the Whiteman experience.”

Colin, who skied at Colby College and later started her own nonprofit called Pedal for Change, told the Class of 2013 how strong the Whiteman bond is.

For Colin, her time at Whiteman changed her life, she said. It challenged her physically and mentally. It gave her a worldview. It taught her to believe in herself. It showed her to always learn and listen more than talk.

She said in the fabric of Whiteman values, all this year’s seniors have that mentality.

“It does not stop here,” Colin said. “Class of 2013, we’re all Lowell Whiteman graduates. Go give the gift of the Whiteman experience.”

Prior to handing out diplomas, Head of School Meg Morse addressed the standing-room-only crowd in the Dariel Henderson Gymnasium.

The 19 seniors garnered $2 million worth of scholarships for the next four years. Some want to be pharmacists; some want to be veterinarians. She said no matter what the Class of 2013 wants to be, she knows they’ll be successful.

“They’re a study in contrasts,” she said. “They’re stubborn, but they’re willing to listen. They’re competitive but are supportive of each other. They don’t like change, but they want to change the world.”

For instance, Maddie Martin was named the senior scholar for curiosity and ferocious zest for learning. Her curiosity for things, Academic Dean Doc Lasko said, are what success is about.

“If you ask her a question, clear your schedule because you’re in for one heck of a ride,” Lasko said.

McLean spoke on behalf of the students. He talked about Whiteman and how it changed their lives. It opened up opportunities and minds, he said. He also was able to get some shots at the faculty.

They’re dorks, but fun dorks, he said.

And just like Colin had her life shaped by the Whiteman experience, McLean said no doubt this year’s class will, too.

“The Lowell Whiteman School has taught us to appreciate the world we live in,” he said. “We’re all young men and women striving for a cleaner, more efficient world.”

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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