Yampah Mountain celebrates class of 2018
Family, friends, educators and many more filled the Orchard Gathering Place in Carbondale to celebrate Yampah Mountain High School’s commencement ceremony Friday.
Yampah’s was the last of the high school graduations in Garfield County and the Roaring Fork Valley for the class of 2018.
Graduates wore colorful cap and gowns and some students’ children accompanied them on stage to celebrate their parents’ milestone accomplishments. Yampah High, an alternative high school serving students from Parachute to Aspen, has a teen parent program that provides day care and parenting classes while students continue their high school studies.
Keynote speaker and recently retired Yampah High School Advisor Mike Podmore delivered a candid, passionate speech to the class of 2018.
Breaking the ice, Podmore noted that during his three decades working at Yampah, you never knew if there “would be cake or police” at the school, which drew laughter from students and the audience.
The former advisor also described how, in an effort to raise money for school trips, teachers and pupils alike would work tirelessly to put on ‘punk rock, thrash metal fundraising concerts,’ which helped fund an educational trip to Mexico. Podmore also emphasized, though, that behind all the tattoos, piercings and purple hair, every single graduate had a beautiful story to tell.
Podmore empowered students to go forth into the world with a “less me and more we,” vision and also referenced President Abraham Lincoln’s famous quote, “When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.”
In addition, graduating senior Bianca Ruiz received the Alpine Bank Hispanic Scholarship for her determination and diligence as a student at Yampah High School. Other graduates like Oliver Trimm performed powerful songs for classmates and their families, as did senior Karina Martinez with her beautiful rendition of Jason Mraz’s song, “I’m Yours.”
With a message of love and patience, Podmore instructed students to go forth and “embrace the adventure, because you just can’t tame this Yampah beast.”