Steamboat Springs High School seniors shout out their class of 2014 chant at last Wednesday's scholarship night, where more than $817,000 in merit and local scholarships were awarded to the students' first year of college.

Photo by Ben Ingersoll

Steamboat Springs High School seniors shout out their class of 2014 chant at last Wednesday's scholarship night, where more than $817,000 in merit and local scholarships were awarded to the students' first year of college.

SSHS graduates collect big dollars toward college expenses

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— This fall, Steamboat Springs High School’s graduates will be well represented at colleges from coast to coast, and they won’t be going with empty pockets.

SSHS college and merit scholarships

Student, college, scholarship

■ Marissa Pyle, CMC, $1,000

■ Emily Puffett, CU Colorado Springs, $1,000

■ Ashley Spitellie, CSU, $1,000

■ Hunter Anderson, CSU, $1,000

■ Kelbi Lynn Rodgers, Cal Poly, $2,000

■ Katie Huselton, Colorado Mesa, $2,000

■ Marley Jo Loomis, CU, $2,500

■ Rachel Pierce, School of Mines, $2,500

■ Mikaila Jegtvig, Laramie County CC, $3,500

■ Alice Holmquist, CSU, $3,500

■ Joe Dobell, Western Washington, $4,000

■ Kelly Limberg, Western State, $4,400

■ Ryan Walker, CU, $5,000

■ Mackenzie Holmberg, Wyoming, $5,500

■ Katherine Moos, Colorado Mesa, $5,500

■ Ariel Gorham, Southern Illinois, $6,000

■ Ben Wharton, CU, $7,000

■ Andrew Hitchcock, Montana State, $7,500

■ Daniel Kramer, CU, $7,500

■ Max Parsons, Western Washington, $8,000

■ Ellie Becker, Sterling College, $10,000

■ Tanner Visnick, Montana State, $11,000

■ Erik Sobeck, Montana State, $11,500

■ Zach Sperry, Montana State, $11,500

■ Elizabeth Mumm, Quest University, $13,000

■ Charles Toye, Arizona State, $14,000

■ Danielle Haxton, CSU, $14,650

■ Tari Weekslynn, Pratt Institute, $15,000

■ Kaleb VanArsdale, DePauw, $15,000

■ Sara Stout, Lewis & Clark, $15,000

■ Anala Sokolowski, CSU, $15,650

■ Ty Coghlan, Northeastern, $16,000

■ Kelly Borgerding, Gonzaga, $16,000

■ Zach Dunklin, Nebraska Wesleyan, $16,000

■ Connor Glynn, New Mexico, $16,538

■ Quinn Cain, San Diego, $17,000

■ Corbin Diehl, Seattle Pacific, $17,000

■ Carter Kounovsky, Lake Forest, $18,000

■ Casey Weston, Puget Sound, $18,000

■ Hope Nelson, College of Wooster, $18,750

■ Maggie Crouch, Elmhurst, $20,000

■ Grant Verploeg, George Washington, $20,000

■ Emma Schmidt, Puget Sound, $20,000

■ Gretchen Burkholder, Montana State, $21,686

■ Peter White, DePauw, $25,000

■ Kestral Johnston, Northeastern, $25,700

■ Alexandra Josfan, Lewis & Clark, $25,721

■ Christine Krentz, DU, $36,620

■ Malia Fraioli, Furman, $40,509

■ Maddie Ruppel, West Point, $63,000

On June 4, the school’s senior counselor Danica Moss reeled through the names of soon-to-be college students — with help from local donors — and the list was as long as it has ever been, with the scholarship money deeper than Steamboat Springs has seen in quite some time.

In all, Sailors graduates received 466 college acceptance letters, $180,075 was awarded in local scholarships alone, and the seniors earned $637,574 in merit scholarships to go toward their first year of college, worth more than $2 million over their collegiate careers.

It’s an annual night that goes well beyond putting money in graduates’ pockets and sending them on their respective ways, Moss said. And for her, it’s one of the most rewarding experiences of her career to call out the students’ names — one by one.

“Every year, I feel like it’s the Super Bowl,” Moss said. “That’s exactly what it feels like. You build all year and talk to them about it, and in the end to have it be that amazing, it’s hard to even describe it any other way.”

It’s not a competition, the counselor says, but the class of 2014 hauled in around $200,000 more than last year's class with 90 percent of the 2014 graduates planning to attend college in the near future.

Thousands of dollars were awarded to students from their respective universities, like Malia Fraioli, who accepted the Bell Tower Scholarship from Furman University, worth more than $40,500 toward her freshman year. Or Christine Krentz, whose Chancellor Scholarhsip to the University of Denver totaled $36,620 for year one.

One of Moss’ points of pride, however, came from the fact that every Hispanic senior at Steamboat Springs High School applied and received enough money to cover at least two years’ worth of tuition to Colorado Mountain College.

“It didn’t matter their GPA or whatever,” Moss said. “Every single one got that. That was a huge milestone for our class.”

And Moss continues to be floored by the number of donors who call her each year, or even drop in to her college flag-filled office in the high school’s library. Some were on hand last Wednesday to personally hand out scholarships, and others wished to have their name left out all together, but each one helped make book costs, living expenses or tuition possible for college-bound Sailors.

“Every year there are new donors who literally walk through the door and just say, ‘Here’s a check for $2,000. I want to give a local scholarship for this or that,’” Moss said. “It’s so generous.”

This year’s Steamboat Springs High School class will study in 21 different states and four different countries as part of their higher education learning. And as the group readies for the next level, Moss knows the local dollars will be put to good use.

“You know they are going good places that they want to go to, and they are very deserving of it,” she said.

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

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