Battle Mountain senior class takes a bow |

Battle Mountain senior class takes a bow

Graduating seniors of Battle Mountain High School sport decorated hats during graduation, Saturday, at Ford Amphitheater in Vail. Decorated hats are a popular tradition with seniors at BMHS.
Chris Dillmann | Special to the Daily |

VAIL — Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater was filled with promise as graduating Battle Mountain High School seniors walked across the stage Saturday afternoon during the school’s 56th commencement ceremony.

“Graduation is a time to reflect on yesterday, appreciate today and look to the future,” Dr. Lourra Barthuly, school principal, told the graduates and the packed venue overflowed onto the sunny lawn.

The list of seniors with 4.0 grade point averages was so long that it had to be read twice, and it was a testament to this unique graduating class.

Phil Qualman, the principal for the class’ first three years at Battle Mountain, was the guest speaker and spoke of a “new paradigm of opportunity” that comes with a diverse school like Battle Mountain.

“You leave Battle Mountain with an enlightened sense of respect for diversity,” Qualman told the graduates. “You have learned that students from incredibly diverse backgrounds can work and play together. You leave with a global view of how cultures can and should interact.”

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Qualman told the students to recognize that they have been a part of a new model of education and that parents should feel safe sending their children off into the world.

“Your kids leave Battle Mountain prepared to lead a global society,” he said.


The ceremony brought out hundreds of family members and friends in support of the graduates, and the Battle Mountain choir performed a rendition of Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” in the Rocky Mountains.

Qualman told the graduates to take tolerance and respect with them wherever they go, and care for one another.

“Be smart. Be kind. That’s all,” he said.

Graduate Sienna Miller sent the Class of 2016 off with an inspiring message before “Don’t You Forget About Be” by Simple Minds concluded the ceremony.

“Let your integrity guide you,” she said.

Don’t worry, Class of 2016, we won’t forget you.

Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.

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