Memorial Day weekend signals not only the unofficial start of the summer season, but high school graduation season at schools throughout Garfield County as well.
Yampah Mountain High School kicks things off at 10 a.m. today, with graduation ceremonies at the Glenwood Springs Community Center. Also today, at 11 a.m., Coal Ridge High School graduation takes place at the school’s football field.
Following on Saturday will be graduations at Rifle and Grand Valley high schools. Commencement exercises are both slated for 10 a.m. at the respective schools.
Graduations in the Roaring Fork School District Re-1 will take place May 31 at Bridges High School in Carbondale, and June 1 at Glenwood Springs, Roaring Fork and Basalt high schools.
Yampah Mountain High will graduate a class of 50 seniors today, including graduates of the Yampah Teen Parent Program, said Principal Leigh McGown.
Yampah is an alternative high school in Glenwood Springs, operated by the Mountain Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES) and serving students in four area school districts from Aspen to Parachute.
Giving the commencement address this year will be Lon Winston, founding director of the Thunder River Theatre Company in Carbondale and a former Mountain BOCES and Roaring Fork Re-1 school board member.
Yampah has two college scholarship recipients this year. Veronica Mendivil won the Alpine Bank Latino Scholarship, and Serena Kauffman is the recipient of the Glenwood Springs Realtors’ Association and Lions Club scholarships.
Coal Ridge High School will graduate 81 seniors who make up the Class of 2013, according to Garfield Re-2 spokeswoman Theresa Hamilton.
Class valedictorian Ben Harju and salutatorian Morgan Groves will address their fellow classmates. The commencement address will be given by CRHS teacher Mike Mikalakis.
A total of 56 members of the Coal Ridge Class of 2013, or 69 percent, plan to continue on to a two- or four-year college or university, and four are planning to join the military, Hamilton said.
Rifle set to graduate 146
Graduation ceremonies on Saturday morning will see 146 graduates turn their tassels at Rifle High School, while 63 seniors are slated to graduate from Grand Valley High School in Parachute.
Rifle’s valedictorian this year is Kellan Johnson, and the class salutatorian is Taylor Walters. The commencement address will be given by RHS teacher Jonathan Rice. Commencement exercises take place at 10 a.m. Saturday at the RHS football field.
A total of 84 Rifle graduates, or 57 percent of the class, are planning to go on to college, while three intend to join the military, Hamilton said. RHS graduates also garnered $225,260 in scholarships.
Grand Valley valedictorian is Cody Pfau, and the class salutatorian is Paul Gonzalez-Dominguez. The commencement address will be given by Joey Sorensen, principal at Grand Valley Middle School.
According to GVHS spokeswoman Brenda Walck, approximately 54 of the graduates are planning to attend a two- or four-year college or vocational school, and two intend to join the military.