Battle Mountain High School graduates 183, says farewell to beloved teacher David Cope
VAIL — Battle Mountain High School celebrated its 63rd commencement on Saturday, graduating a class of 183 at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater.
The event also represented a farewell to teacher David Cope, who was selected by the class as the commencement speaker.
Cope delivered a light-hearted speech, reminiscing on his own high school graduation, in which he said he was barred from participation for wearing shorts and flip-flops.
“And so ended my illustrious high school career, as I was told I couldn’t participate in the ceremony,” he said. “But to be fair to this particular administrator, my attire might have only been the straw that broke the camel’s back, the rude boys and I may have gotten away with a few less-minor transgressions. The lesson here — look around you, graduates, the biggest renegades, dirtballs and rebels are likely to become the teachers, administrators, cops and lawyers of the future.”
Student Body President Karly Woodbridge presented Cope with the Class of 2023 Educator of the Year award, and Principal Jason Mills saluted Cope for his 28 years of service as a Battle Mountain High School teacher.
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Woodbridge also delivered the charge to class, recognizing her fellow graduates for all they accomplished.
“In this year, we have created a new national English honors society chapter; pioneered the first year of a student-led student council; started our first women’s softball team; created a Tri-M music honor society, science Olympiad team, and so much more,” she said. “We’ve also gone through tremendous heartbreak from losses and tough spots, but we’ve risen from the ashes and continued on.”
Cope shared a few tales suggesting that some of the teachers might not have done the best job educating the graduates, recounting a story in which he asked one student, “What is an example of the aftermath of a revolution?” only to get the response “after math I have lunch.”
But the numbers suggest the opposite — Battle Mountain’s Class of 2023 contained 14 cum laude students, six magna cum laude, and a whopping 24 graduates who received the summa cum laude honors of achieving a grade-point average of 4.0 or higher.
Valedictorian Milaina Almonte said the Battle Mountain Class of 2023 is filled with those who exhibit the characteristics of a leader.
“I’ve learned that not every leader will look the same, but rather has a common purpose — striving for the success of a community,” she said. “Whether this is the success of a team, a club, a production or a family, each of us serve as inspirations and motivators in the lives of others, and have pursued something we care about, including the diplomas we’ve earned here today.”