Yampah Mountain High School’s Graduation jubilation | PostIndependent.com

Yampah Mountain High School’s Graduation jubilation

Tears, laughter and even a few endearing expletives found their way into Yampah Mountain High School’s graduation, Friday morning at The Orchard Gathering Place in Carbondale.

Located in Glenwood Springs, the ‘little school with a big soul that transforms lives’ celebrated 39 students entering the next chapter of their own lives.

Carlos Cortez-Smith looked forward to telling plenty of stories in the movie industry as the graduating senior received a $10,000 Fast Forward Scholarship to attend Colorado Film School in Denver.

“Carlos is a great example of dedication and persistence. He is a thoughtful guy. He thinks really deeply,” Yampah Counselor Donna Holley said of Cortez-Smith. “I just can’t wait to see your new movies.”

Cortez-Smith’s classmate, Helen Jurado who earned a near perfect 97 percent in her Early Childhood Education Program plans on attending Colorado Mountain College, which awarded the graduating senior its Staff Campus Scholarship as well as its Presidential Scholarship.

“I hope one day we can just welcome her on the Yampah Mountain High School staff as a teacher,” Holley said with Jurado standing by her side.

With family and friends in attendance to celebrate the momentous occasion, graduates, themselves, took a moment to thank their loved ones who helped them over the course of their high school careers.

“For my legacy project, I was at Parachute’s graduation … and right before graduates got to get their diplomas they went out and gave flowers to the people that have gotten them to where they are at, graduating, and to thank them,” Yampah Senior Tyler Flores said. “I thought that was something so beautiful and something that we needed to do here.”

Seniors then presented a flower to a loved one that helped them through their own ups and downs on their way to completing high school.

After recognizing their families, friends and teachers for all of their support along the way, it was time for the seniors to receive their hard earned and well-deserved diplomas.

However, instead of simply calling each graduate’s name as they walked across the stage, different teachers awarded each student their diploma with a personalized message.

English Teacher Misty Thompson not only passed out diplomas to her students but also gave them different books and read a quote from each.

“Mireya started her journey at Yampah at the same time I started mine and I have always been impressed by her loving and gentle spirit. She also questions, a lot,” Thompson said with a smile of Senior Mireya Escalante-Fuentes.

Thompson then presented Escalante-Fuentes with “Cry, the Beloved Country” by Alan Paton.

“The quote that I chose for you is, ‘but there is only one thing that has power completely and this is love…’ congratulations,” Thompson said.


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