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Striding into the future

Janice Kurbjun
summit daily news

The Class of 2011 has made its imprint – at least, that’s what Summit High School principal Drew Adkins’ long list of feats shows – and they’ll be celebrating those accomplishments this weekend, graduation weekend.

“This class has had fantastic accomplishments that will forever leave their mark at Summit High School both in academics and co-curriculars,” Adkins said.

Festivities kick off today with a 7:45 a.m. rehearsal, followed by a senior picnic at Dillon Town Park and commemoration at 7 p.m. at the high school. The graduation ceremony is slated for 10 a.m. Saturday.

Students in Summit School District’s two alternative programs, ALTAS and DOR, are also graduating at the end of May. ALTAS recognized students Thursday at the Silverthorne Library, and the DOR graduation is set for 6:30 p.m. May 26 at the library.

Adkins started ticking off accomplishments to be highlighted during Saturday’s ceremony, namely, that there’s a Boettcher Scholar in the midst of the 188 students seated in caps and gowns. English language learners make up 26 of that number and 13 are in special education programs.

Athletics brought in seven state championships during these students’ four years at the high school, Adkins added.

“It’s not just them, but they’ve certainly been a part of it,” he said, explaining that the wins were in girls’ and boys’ skiing and women’s rugby. “A lot of schools are lucky to have one state championship in four years of high school. The amount we have is amazing.”

In addition:

• This class alone has 34 academic all-state awards,

• More than half the class, 103 students, took at least one advanced placement or diploma program class, compared to about 83 last year in approximately the same class size, and

• About 90 students took courses from Colorado Mountain College, compared to more than 100 last year.

“(The Class of 2011) challenged themselves and prepared themselves for post-secondary success,” Adkins said. “You don’t see that at all high schools.”

He added that a few years of hard work in the pre-collegiate program is paying off, as 17 of those students are to be in the crowd Saturday, which is growth over the past two years.

Adkins also credited them with being part of the reduced dropout rate, which has gone down since 2008’s 5.4 percent to the current 1.6 percent.

“They’ve been a part of that because they stayed in school,” Adkins said, adding, “This class has done a lot of stuff.”

To hail their achievements and send the students off with inspiration, Lt. Gov. Joseph Garcia is slated as the keynote speaker.

“As a leader in education reform and as the one who oversees Colorado education, I can think of no one better to deliver words of wisdom and a great personal success story as a Latino gentleman who was raised in New Mexico and has seen a lot of success in Colorado education,” Adkins said.


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