Roaring Fork High School graduates anticipate future
Solana Teitler, Roaring Fork High School class of 2019 valedictorian, has a theory.
“I think our identities are formed like a collage, with layers upon layers of memories, experiences, and lessons learned from each. I like to imagine my life up to this point as a mountain of memories, piled up from the ground,” Teitler said during the graduation ceremony Saturday in Carbondale.
“We all had so many memorable moments in these halls, and if we are all made of memories, that means we all have so much in common,” she said.
Even the terrible memories, lost games, broken bones, can be thrown into the mix of memories and eventually turn into something positive.
“We are all works in progress. The better things are still to come for each of us,” Teitler said.
Most of the 85 graduates are headed to college, and many will be attending school in Colorado, including Teitler, who plans to attend the University of Colorado on a Boettcher scholarship.
The graduates will likely go on to become doctors, lawyers, actors, musicians, community organizers and more, but Brett Stringer, RFHS principal, hopes they have learned “that whatever they do, they do for the betterment of others.
“This is a class that will be remembered for their hearts and their compassion,” Stringer said.
“This class carries a huge potential for greatness. No matter what path you take, the perseverance that we have all cultivated will continue to set us apart from others and push us toward success in every area,” said valedictorian and class co-president Lisa Kelley, who plans to attend Southern Methodist University.
“You all have taught me that being a part of this community goes beyond the classroom,” said Maeve Cassetty, the other co-president and also valedictorian, who is heading to Occidental College.
Aidan Knaus, also a valedictorian, plans to attend Colorado State University, and the fifth valedictorian, Aidan Sloan, will head to the University of Colorado.
Math teacher Lindsay Dunkin, who among other things taught her students that “even if the whole class fails a test, she doesn’t have to curve it,” according to head boy Will Rose, delivered the commencement address.
Dunkin asked the graduates to “please put your cell phones away” and to ”take in beauty around you — not just the mountains, but the people.”
As the graduates depart for various places around the world, Teitler hoped they would maintain the connection with each other.
“Whatever memories and experiences have helped form you these four years, I guarantee that one other person here shared that same moment,” Teitler said.
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Independence Pass opened just before 2 p.m. Friday after closing earlier this week because of a series of snowstorms, a Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman said Friday.