The Summit Daily profiles seven exceptional Summit High School seniors before they graduate |

The Summit Daily profiles seven exceptional Summit High School seniors before they graduate

Summit High School graduate Donovan Rubio. Rubio, who wants to be a police officer, will be attending Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.
Hugh Carey /

Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Summit High School, Breckenridge, Colorado.

Summit High School’s all-star Breakfast Club gathers in a classroom after school. These are young adults who excel in everything they do. Whether it’s sports, academics, the arts or just being exceptionally good people — they are the standard bearers of the Summit High Class of 2018.

After they graduate on Saturday, they will move across the state and country while keeping the mountains in their hearts. The Summit Daily brought these exceptional young people together to talk about their achievements and where they plan to take their talents next.

Sarah Day

Sarah Day, from Summit Cove, has been stage manager for the high school’s theater department for the past two years and was a theater tech for all four years.

“I joined the theater group because I enjoyed it, I find it interesting, and because we’re like a big family,” Day said.

Day has worked six full-scale productions at the school, as well as numerous talent shows. As stage manager, Day has to be the “sergeant” on the front lines who makes sure that everything that could go wrong behind the scenes does not. That means acting as a liaison between the director and the talent, writing down notes for stage directions and making sure they’re followed, coordinating the technical crew and fixing any little problem that comes along.

“Actors have to rely on techs for guidance, light techs have to rely on the stage manager, and I have to rely on the director,” Day said. “We all depend on each other for things to go smoothly.”

Day intends to use the management and teamwork skills she’s used on the stage to pursue a business degree at CMC Breckenridge, eventually hoping to manage her family’s business. Even though she’s going to go right down the street, Day said she’ll miss the friends she made at Summit High and the close relationships she forged with them.

“Community is everything,” Day said. “It’s what shapes who we are and makes us, us.”

Cassidy Bargell

Cassidy Bargell, from Wildernest, is an athletic and academic phenom. She has run track and played rugby, volleyball and basketball, while also earning a International Baccalaureate Diploma Program diploma, which involves community service and taking six advanced college-level courses, as well as receiving a Seal of Biliteracy diploma after mastering Spanish through the school’s dual-language program. But for the past four years, Bargell’s true passion has been rugby — a rough and tumble sport that relies on teamwork and extreme dedication.

“I started playing my freshman year and absolutely fell in love with it,” Bargell said. “It’s an amazing team culture, and coach Karl Barth has been a big part of that.”

Playing the positions of scrum-half, hooker and center, Bargell’s rugby skills are so exceptional that she was invited to play with the national women’s rugby squad in an unofficial tournament match against the world’s best team, Australia. Bargell has also competed in tournaments around the world, including in Canada and France. Her achievements on and off the field will have Bargell wearing crimson when she plays for Harvard’s women’s rugby club in the fall. Even though she’s excited to go to Boston and attend the nation’s best college, Bargell said she’s still going to miss the people and scenery that make Summit special.

“I’ll miss the sports scene in Summit, there’s such a great active community here,” Bargell said. “I’ll miss the mountains, and I’ll appreciate them all the more after I leave.”

Ryan Snell

Ryan Snell, of Dillon Valley, considers himself “an outstanding, all-rounded citizen.” And he has the accolades to back that up. Snell is the No. 1 student in the Class of 2018 who attained the full IBDP program diploma, the Seal of Biliteracy for mastery of Spanish while playing trumpet in the Summit Concert band and playing varsity soccer. Snell managed all of that while working toward the ultimate goal he’s had since he was a kid: to be a district wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

“I’ve known that I’ve wanted to be a wildlife manager since I was in fifth grade,” Snell said. “One day I went on a ride-along with a district wildlife manager and did sage grouse counts, and that was the day I realized I wanted to do what he did.”

Snell said that being a wildlife manager is the perfect career combining his passion of hunting, fishing and playing outdoors with his love of learning about biology and ecology. To cement his road toward that goal, Snell will be attending Colorado State University in the fall for their fish, wildlife and conservation biology program. While he’s not moving too far away, Snell said he’s going to miss the year-round joy of living in Summit.

“I am thankful for so many things in Summit, especially how there’s something to do year-round,” Snell said. “Spring and summer is beautiful, great for hiking and swimming. Fall is hunting and soccer season. Winter is all about skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing. That all-year activity is definitely something unique about this place.”

Priya Subberwal

Priya Subberwal, of Frisco, moved to Summit County from Dubai when she was 3 years old. Since then, Subberwahl has been unstoppable in her pursuit of learning about and zealously advocating for civil rights, social justice and giving voice to the voiceless. Subberwal is president of the SHS speech and debate club, and also worked with the ACLU to start a People Power club, the school’s first student group dedicated to political and social activism. Subberwal and the rest of the People Power club were the main organizers of the student protest against gun violence back in March, and she strongly believes that young people need to be motivated to speak out and act in the age we live in.

“With our current political and social climate, we don’t have the luxury of indifference,” Subberwal said. “Young people need to self-actualize and understand the power we have with our voice. The school didn’t have a politically active club, and so I started one with full support from administration.”

On top of her accomplishments as a leader and activist at SHS, Subberwal managed to be the No. 2 student in the Class of 2018, get a full IBDP diploma and also performed in the theater program. Subberwal will be taking her talents to New York City, where she will attend NYU in the fall with sights on law school in the future. Subberwal said she was particularly interested in practicing environmental law, a passion influenced by her life in Summit County.

“This was the best place to grow up,” Subberwal said. “We are so lucky to have a community here that has such a close relationship with the environment. I will bring that dedication to environmentalism with me when I go to Manhattan.”

Misael Molina

Misael Molina, of Breckenridge, is a gentleman through and through. In fact, Molina was even given a Gentleman’s Award by his peers in the pre-collegiate program.

“People say I’m kind, caring, that I tend not to get into fights,” Molina said. “That I focus on helping others and not myself.”

Molina participated in the school’s pre-collegiate program, which prepares selected students for college by acclimating them to college life, teaching them how to make decisions on where to go to school and what career tracks they want to pursue. Molina will be the first member of his family to attend an American college when he attends the University of Northern Colorado this fall. Molina had some personal challenges on his way to graduation, but he overcame them and he’s very proud of what he managed to accomplish.

“It really means a lot to me that I excelled in school,” Molina said. “I want to make my family proud and I think I’ve done that.”

Molina is first and foremost a kind, decent person. He said he is driven by a solid moral compass and is a true believer in fairness and justice. That drive is why Molina wants to pursue law enforcement as a career.

“I want to become a police officer, mainly just to help and protect people,” Molina said. “I want to try and make a difference in my community.”

To learn more about being a police officer, Molina participated in the Explorer program, which was started by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office to help introduce young people to the world of law enforcement. Molina will continue his education and path to becoming a police officer when he studies criminal justice at UNC. Molina was also on the school wrestling team for two years before he had to quit to work to help support his family. Managing academics, sports and work can be challenging to any high school student, but Molina managed to tough it out with the help of very special people in his life — his mother, Isabel Cordova, and his resource teacher, Kate Garvert.

“Mom has always been that special person who made me proud of being who I am and pushed me to keep going when I felt like quitting,” Molina said. “Ms. Garvert made learning fun for three years, and I can’t thank her enough. I wouldn’t have been able to get where I’m going without their encouragement and support.”

Isabel Serrano

Isabel Serrano, of Silverthorne, came to Summit from Mexico when she was 3 years old. Serrano is graduating with a full IBDP diploma, the Seal of Biliteracy and participated in the pre-collegiate program. Serrano will be the first member of her family to go to college when she goes to Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, which she called her “dream school.”

“It’s always been my dream school,” Serrano said. “It’s a private Christian school with a good medical program. The only thing I’ll have to get used to is the weather.”

Serrano said she wants to become a forensic doctor or a blood transplant nurse.

“I want to be a forensic doctor to help solve crime scenes, it really intrigues me and I want to be a part of that,” Serrano said. “But I would also want to be a blood transplant nurse and continue research into stem cell therapies.”

To reach that goal, Serrano said she becoming a certified nursing assistant nurse, something that she was inspired to do after participating in the high school’s own CNA program. Through that program, Serrano was able to get practical experience in nursing by visiting rehab centers and hospitals, where she helped nurse patients with a variety of ailments such as blindness and immobility. Serrano also participated in public health screenings and a program called “Head-First” which taught children about the importance of brain safety and wearing a helmet while skiing. Serrano was on the SHS Nordic skiing team for three years as well as the track-and-field team. She also played violin in the school orchestra.

Because of all she achieved in high school, Serrano received several scholarships, including a full four-year college scholarship from The Summit Foundation. She said that none of her achievements would have been possible without help from the most special people in her life — her parents.

“I’m thankful for my parents, Miguel and Maribel Serrano,” she said. “They made me a better version of myself, and I dedicate all my hard work to them.”

Donovan Rubio

Donovan Rubio, of Silverthorne, is all about helping people. Whether it’s through the Sheriff Office’s Explorer program, where he learned the practical skills to help fight crime, or through a suicide awareness and prevention program he helped present to Summit middle schoolers, Rubio is on a quest to do as much as he can to help protect and uplift the people around him.

Rubio wants to be a police officer, and to pursue that goal he will be attending Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction for their law enforcement program.

“It’s not just about arresting people and all the other hands-on things that cops do,” Rubio said. “It’s also about character building. I’m a lover, but I can be a fighter when necessary.”

The Signs of Suicide prevention program Rubio helped present delves into the “loving” aspect of his character. That program evolved into a weekly peer counseling group where Rubio helps guide fellow students through the oft-troubled waters of adolescence.

“I never dealt with much myself, but I always want to help other people get through their tough times,” Rubio said. “It’s really rewarding when people come up and say, ‘Thank you, you really helped me get me out of a difficult place.’”

To bolster his efforts to help people, Rubio plans to also enter an emergency medical responder program at Colorado Mesa.

“I love doing the emergency medical stuff,” Rubio said. “Usually, cops are the first to respond to an emergency situation. I want to be able to clear an area, and jump in and help save someone when EMS arrive.”

Rubio believes that living in Summit County has really instilled that generous spirit in him. He will miss the people here when he moves out west.

“I’ve met a lot of people throughout the different towns and Summit County, and I’m definitely going to miss them and my family,” Rubio said. “There’s a lot of diversity between different types of people and personalities here. It’s a great place to grow up and prepare a person to go out and help people in the real world.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User