Nine to graduate through alternative program |

Nine to graduate through alternative program

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

SILVERTHORNE ” Seventeen-year-old Abi Sundell is one of nine students receiving a Summit High School dibploma today through the Alternative Education Program At Summit.

She’s receiving her diploma a year early and plans to begin pursuit of a college degree in Denver next spring. Sundell said her teachers at the school ” where she enrolled as a sophomore ” inspired her to believe in herself.

“They’ve really made a difference in my life ” like, I love them so much and I owe them a lot,” she said. “I’ll always remember them because they really made me love myself and love everything about me ” and really made me feel comfortable about who I was.”

Lucy Adams, a teacher at the Summit Education Center, said Sundell is the first student she knows of to graduate a year early through the program. ALTAS has been part of the district for three years. The class of 2008 also includes eight students who graduated in January.

The ALTAS commencement begins tonight at the education center with a pot luck at 6:30 p.m. and the ceremony at 7 p.m. Graduates may also walk Saturday with the rest of the Summit High School class.

“We count as a program of Summit High School ” an alternative route to the same place,” Adams said.

Sundell went to the alternative school because she preferred the way it is organized. She said her first year at Summit High school began well but grew difficult the second semester.

“You could just see my grades crash ” and I didn’t really like the way high school is set up, and I kind of found it hard to go sometimes,” she said. “Here I go every day and I’m motivated to do everything at my own pace.”

She said this motivation inspired her to work through the curriculum quickly enough to graduate early. She also said she likes that at the alternative school, “everybody’s cool with each other.”

“I didn’t really like the whole high school life thing very much.”

She’s worked since eighth grade and is now employed at Bamboo Garden in Silverthorne.

Sundell didn’t participate much in extracurricular activities, but has enjoyed earning physical education credits on a snowboard.

She also enjoys writing. Her favorite writer is Nicholas Sparks. Her favorite film is “Fight Club.”

Following a couple years at perhaps a community college in the Denver area, Sundell would like to complete her degree in San Francisco, Calif.

“I just love it there. Like every time I go there I just fall in love with that place. I just think it’s so beautiful.”

She said she’s been considering possible vocations.

“Every day it’s different ” I’m like ” today I want to be a nurse. The next day I want to be a psychologist. It’s crazy right now, I’m trying to figure it out.”

Sundell said she sees herself getting a business degree because she’d like to one day own her own business.

“And also, I’m like the kind of person, like I get bored with things really easily and I want to have a degree where I can do a wide variety of things,” she said.

Her advice to incoming high school freshmen:

“Always be true to yourself. Never forget who you are and don’t change for anybody.”

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