Summit Hight School graduates 203 |

Summit Hight School graduates 203

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado

FRISCO ” The Summit High School Class of 2008 commences this morning as 203 young adults embark upon an array of destinies.

The ceremony begins at 10 a.m.; doors open at 8:30 a.m. Summit County Youth director Phillip Gallagher will give the commencement address. Comments will be made by Summit County School District superintendent Millie Hamner, SHS principal Jim Hesse and student leaders.

Favorite book: “Fight Club” by Chuck Palahniuk

Favorite film: “Harry Potter” films

Advice to incoming SHS freshmen: “Get involved in everything you possibly can. It’s a lot of fun. You get to meet a lot of new people and you become friends with a lot of cool people.”

Christa Smith’s grade-school career began on a tropical island and concludes in a county of snowy mountain peaks.

She lived in St. Mary, Jamaica until she was 13, when she moved to New York then Delaware before her mother got a job with Keystone Resorts.

“It was a huge change because I had never experienced, like, a winter before, and it’s always winter here,” she said.

At SHS, Smith was co-president for the International Club, yearbook editor and played on the varsity soccer team.

This fall she will be attending Colorado State University, where she plans to study psychology and journalism.

She said moving so much during school has helped her learn how to get along with people and take initiative to meet new friends.

“And I think that’s something I can take with me because I’ll be in a new environment with thousands of people I don’t know,” she said.

Among her high school accomplishments, Smith recalls participating in the World Affairs Challenge in Denver, where her International Club group received first place for its category.

“And that’s my favorite memory because that was the first time we’d ever participated in that and we won,” she said.

Smith works at Starbucks and plans to continue there through the summer. She’ll also be taking a rafting trip with her CSU-bound classmates, courtesy of a SHS teacher who’s an alumnus.

Following college, she said she’ll probably move “somewhere warmer.”

Favorite book: “Breakfast of Champions” by Kurt Vonnegut

Favorite film: “Requiem for a Dream”

Advice to incoming SHS freshmen: ” Your grades are important. If you don’t have good grades then it really holds you back. It really takes you away from what you really want ” to do to what you are gonna have to settle for.”

Kiernyn Tarafa likes to make deep, dark motion pictures and pursues a career in film.

His film, “Fades to Black,” produced with fellow senior John O’Connor, was awarded first place at the Summit High School Tigerfest Film Festival. It will be screened the Breckenridge Film Festival in June.

“The films that I’ve been doing more recently are realistic-type films,” Tarafa said.

He said the film that won is “about Russian roulette and love and loss and everything.”

Tarafa said SHS teacher Scott Potter’s video class inspired him to pursue film.

His talents have garnered him a paid internship this summer with the Lake Dillon Theatre Company, where he’ll be involved in productions and working with professionals.

Tarafa will then move to Denver, attending Colorado Film School, studying under a program involving the Community College of Aurora and University of Colorado.

At SHS he was also involved in speech and the debate team, with which he won several awards.

Tarafa said the opportunity to attend SHS came partly through the generosity of Lori and Stu Adams, who provided him a place to live this year.

“They’ve been very generous in taking me in, and that just allows me to go to school here,” he said. “Otherwise, I’d have to move and go to a different school, but I don’t want to do that.”

Tarafa’s mother lives in Nevada and his father lives in Denver. He attended high schools in Nevada and Idaho before coming to Summit County.

Following college he aims to move to the Hollywood area, where he’s already been networking with the film industry.

Favorite book: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

Favorite film: “Blood Diamond”

Advice to incoming SHS freshmen: “Don’t go to school on powder days. You’ll regret it.”

Courtney Krause, born and raised in Breckenridge, will attend the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

“When it came time to decide where I wanna go, I kind of wanted to get out of Colorado but still have really good skiing,” she said.

Krause intends to study human kinetics and possibly sports medicine. She said she looks forward to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, when competitions are to occur on the campus ice rink.

Krause is one of 20 international students to receive the university’s International Leader of Tomorrow scholarship from the university. She said she “had it pretty good” in high school.

“I was busy ” very busy, looking back on it,” she said. “I accomplished a lot in four years. Played a lot of sports. Had a lot of friends. Went a lot of places. Skied a lot ” and still managed to graduate in the top 10.”

Krause doesn’t know anyone in Vancouver, but said she looks forward to the new mountains, new people and life on a peninsula on the Pacific Ocean.

She said it will be a change to be so far from her family and twin brother, Cooper, who will attend Montana State University in Bozeman.

“We both have our first day of class on our birthday, and it’ll be our first birthday apart in 19 years,” she said.

She recalls how she and her brother enjoyed their parents’ enforcement of the 10-inch rule, which got them out of school on powder days.

“If there were 10 inches of new snow on any of the mountains, we were allowed to go ” or they would at least call us in sick. So that was nice, especially this winter.”

Krause enjoyed participating and volunteering with Summit County Youth. She also played soccer, ski-raced and joined the swim and dive team at SHS.

Robert Allen may be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or

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