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CRMS graduates 46 seniors from 49th class

Special to the Post Independent

CARBONDALE – Under hot, hazy skies, 46 seniors graduated June 1 from Colorado Rocky Mountain School, the 49th graduating class.

Graduating senior Megan Haughey, one of two students the class of 2002 selected as commencement speakers, described the bittersweet feeling of leaving a beloved school and friends for the unknown challenges of college and life beyond. Over recent weeks, she felt “as if I was driving a car with the gas pedal floored and the parking brake on, all at once,” she told the assembled students, families, alumni and friends.

Also speaking on the grounds near the historic CRMS Barn were classmate Rhett Tatum, faculty Kayo Ogilby and Jeff Leahy, and Head of School Andrew Menke.

The school has a long tradition of not inviting outside speakers, but instead allowing the graduating class to choose speakers from among their classmates and the faculty. Another honored tradition is the announcement of the senior winners of the school’s two Awards of Excellence. Undergraduate award recipients were also announced recently (see story page 6).

In conferring the awards, head of school Menke said, “While grades and achievement are most certainly important here at CRMS, our hope is that students recognize a deeper context for their learning – that their passion for intellectual, physical, spiritual and emotional growth is fueled by something profound within their soul that has been ignited in some significant way during their time here.”

This year’s recipient of the senior Academic Excellence Award is Sami Boyle, a Carbondale resident. Menke said that Boyle has had an outstanding academic record at CRMS, with a work ethic that is tireless as well as fruitful. “On top of that, she personifies what we hope to see in every student – zealous engagement in all aspects of our program,” he said.

Boyle plans to attend the University of California at Santa Cruz next year.

This year’s senior recipient of the Community Award is Lissa Pabst, an Old Snowmass resident. In naming Pabst, Menke said a faculty member once referred to her as “the nicest person on the planet.”

She volunteered multiple times to participate in the school’s recycling and ranch work crews, two of the less glamorous and most physically demanding afternoon jobs students can elect. “This young woman transcends the monotony and discomfort of manual work and focuses on the greater good her actions will provide for the community,” said Menke.

She collected funds on campus to help the families and survivors of the Sept. 11 tragedy, and this year interned one to two days a week at a local doctor’s office. But perhaps her greatest contribution has been in helping to organize the past six Scholarship Work Days, in which students work for people in the community to earn money for their peers receiving CRMS financial aid.

Pabst will attend Edgewood College in Wisconsin in the fall.

The majority of this year’s CRMS graduates – as in other years – are college-bound. Of the total number of graduating seniors, 20 are residents of Carbondale, three are from Glenwood Springs, three from Silt, two from Basalt, one from Aspen, one from Old Snowmass, one from Rifle and the remainder from throughout Colorado, the rest of the United States and four other countries.


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