Edwards student chosen as the next Taft Conlin Scholar

Lauren Dirvonas is this year's Taft Conlin Scholarship winner, a full ride to Vail Mountain School.
Special to the Daily |

VAIL — Lauren Dirvonas, of Edwards, will be the second recipient of the Taft Conlin Scholarship at Vail Mountain School.

Currently an eighth-grader at Eagle County Charter Academy, Dirvonas will enter upper school at VMS as a member of next year’s freshman class. The endowed scholarship will provide Dirvonas with full tuition each year until graduation from Vail Mountain School.

“I am so honored to be chosen as the recipient of the Taft Conlin Scholarship, and I’m excited to spend my next four years at VMS,” Dirvonas said. “When I went for a tour of VMS, I was impressed by the quality work, the camaraderie of students passing by, and the level of engagement in the classroom. After spending more time looking at the curriculum and reading more about the mission and opportunities at the school, I decided this was the best high school choice for me.”

Students are chosen for the Taft Conlin Scholarship through an application process based on academic merit and positive impact in their community. Dirvonas follows Kevin Garcia, who was the inaugural recipient of the scholarship and is a member of the class of 2017.

The endowed scholarship was created in Taft Conlin’s name by his parents, Dr. Louise Ingalls and Dr. Steve Conlin, as well as by contributions from the community and other members of Taft’s family.

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Creating Opportunities

“We established this scholarship to create opportunities for students who truly stand out, young men and women who will thrive in college and probably appear on the cover of Time Magazine someday,” Ingalls said. “For us, this is Taft’s legacy. He will live on through the positive effects that the Taft Conlin Scholars will have on their local and global community.”

Dirvonas stood out among a number of highly qualified and talented students, said Michael Imperi, VMS head of school.

“She has demonstrated a high level of academic achievement and is a true leader in her class. Her accomplishments and potential truly embody the spirit of the Taft Conlin Scholarship,” Imperi said. “In addition to her impeccable, straight-A academic record, the maturity, charisma and poise she demonstrated throughout the interview process impressed every member of the selection committee.”

Among the criteria for the scholarship is a demonstrated desire to serve others, another area of strength for Dirvonas, Imperi said. She has volunteered in the community with the Salvation Army and Roundup River Ranch, and has spent this past year as president of her school’s Student Council, spearheading initiatives such as fundraising for an AED for Eagle County Charter Academy and helping to plan school-wide events.

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