Miles F. Porter IV
Special to the Daily

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May 9, 2014
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Hey, Spike! catches up with young man Dan Marion

Summit High School’s annual graduation signals a big wave of senior class parties and ceremonies capping our local kids’ prep-educational careers — with most going to college.

Graduation on The Summit offers a good time to learn about what other Tigers are doing today.

Six years ago it was Dan Marion, now 24, receiving his diploma and heading off to college, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a minor in Spanish at the prestigious private Colorado College in Colorado Springs.

Realizing high school graduation is on people’s minds right now, Dan offers this:

“My advice to future graduates: Actively cultivate your passions and keep an eye out for injustice. New York Times columnist David Brooks gives a TED (technology, entertainment, design) talk about whether you should live for your résumé or for your eulogy. I think we often focus on and worry about the former, but nobody’s tombstone has ever had their career engraved on it. We’re remembered by whom we choose to be, not what we choose to do.”

Dan’s thoughts on his local education and teachers go like this:

“I recognize that where I am today is less due to any personal traits, and more a product of my parentage and patronage growing up. I feel very fortunate to have had amazing support from friends, family, friends’ families, local organizations and the teachers at Summit High. I actively stay in touch with many of them, including Ms. Ryer, Ms. McClain and Mr. Blake, along with many teachers who have become mentors even without teaching me themselves, including Ms. Reinking, Mr. Lambrecht and Mr. Hollingsworth.”

And Dan’s education is not over.

In September, he’ll start a master’s program in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University, with an emphasis in education policy and management.

What’s this smart path leading to for Dan?

“The people who realize their passions early on and have long-term goals are the lucky ones, although luck probably has little to do with it. The rest of us, myself included, are trying to cross a river on a stone path. We’re not sure what’s on the other bank, but we hop from stone to stone working hard and hoping for the best. For me, as beautiful as the world is, I think it has some problems — inequality, climate change, political corruption and unemployment, especially among veterans. I think improving education and influencing the way the world’s future leaders think, will help improve them all. That’s my goal, although I’m not sure what career that looks like,” he explains.

The Marion family — mom Gail, dad Rick and sister Hannah — moved here from Scottsdale, Ariz., in 1997, when they bought Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Keystone.

Hannah, a 2010 graduate of Summit High, is graduating from Colorado State University next week with magna cum laude honors.

Brother Dan started second grade at Summit Cove Elementary and continued through Summit schools until graduating Summit High in 2008.

Active in high school, Dan played varsity soccer and basketball, was a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society, worked on the yearbook, and took numerous honors classes.

When not in class or sports, Dan worked at the Chocolate Factory, as a referee for High Country Soccer Association and at the Nike Factory Store in Silverthorne.

Dan graduated fourth in his class and was the very fortunate 2008 recipient of the prestigious Summit Foundation four-year scholarship, among several other smaller scholarships.

He chose to attend CC, a small liberal arts school on the “block” academic system, where students study a subject for an intense three and a half weeks.

In his freshman year, Dan took a class focusing on the poetry and literature of Chile during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, and the class went to Santiago, to study.

Similarly, during the summer after his junior year, he was a participant in a class that traveled to Greece and followed the travels Homer wrote of in “The Odyssey.”

In his junior year, Dan was a student on the Semester at Sea classroom ship, which sailed around the world in four months.

Outside classes, Dan assisted in prospective-student campus orientations, in new freshman student week and was co-president for several years of the local Hillel chapter. He was chosen by his peers to be the student speaker at graduation in May 2012, led the graduates in and out of the venue and directed the tassel turning.

Not one to rest on his laurels, immediately after graduation Dan and two friends took a 1,200-mile bike ride from Philadelphia, Pa., to Orlando, Fla., for charity, raising money for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

He then worked as a fellow in the president’s office of CC during the 2012-13 academic year and spent last summer as an intern at YES! Magazine on Bainbridge Island, Wash.

Of that YES! stint, Dan says:

“YES! is a much-needed voice in media today. I think most news entities — despite saying otherwise — are partisan, heavily influenced by money, overwhelmingly negative and ineffective and have ceded their responsibility as society’s watchdogs to provide cheap entertainment. Conversely, YES! frames society’s toughest problems in terms of their solutions, reminding people that change is possible, and people are making it happen.”

Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed “Spike,” a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former Climax miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social info to milesfporteriv@aol.com


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The Summit Daily Updated May 9, 2014 10:02AM Published May 9, 2014 10:02AM Copyright 2014 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.