For Vail Christian grads, a year of firsts |

For Vail Christian grads, a year of firsts

Steve Lynn
Vail, CO Colorado
Theo Stroomer/Vail DailyMembers of the Vail Christian class of 2008 toss their hats at the conclusion of their graduation ceremonies in Edwards on Sunday. 24 students graduated.

EDWARDS ” Students of Vail Christian High School’s class of 2008 are in some ways at the forefront of the school’s past graduating classes.

Seniors on the girls’ volleyball team were the first to make it to the state tournament. Other seniors on the boys’ basketball team were the first to end a season with a winning record.

Other students were members of the first dance team to make it to a national competition. Another group put on the first theatrical performances in the school’s theater.

All 24 students were the first to graduate in the school’s new auditorium Sunday in Edwards. The ceremony included singing from students, a video celebrating the milestones students had reached, and speeches from valedictorian Caitlin Mutter and salutatorian Britni Beagley ” and from teachers Nancy Whitley and Doug Bruce.

“No one can ever be the first again,” said Bruce, who teaches calculus and pre-calculus.

“You’ve made it virtually impossible for us to forget you,” Bruce told students. “Thanks for a wonderful four years, and thanks especially for making my first year here at Vail Christian a great one.”

The ceremony was highly personal, with students and teachers telling stories about one another and saying what they enjoyed about each other and the school.

“I love you guys,” Whitley told students at the end of her poignant speech about what she had learned from the seniors.

After the ceremony, some graduates talked about plans for the future.

Laura Orduno plans to go to the University of Colorado at Denver to study to be a child psychologist.

“My passion has always been kids, so hopefully I can make a difference in their lives,” Orduno said.

Jaryd Francis will go to South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, where he plans to study to be an engineer.

His father, Steve Francis, said he was proud that his son will attend the college on a basketball scholarship.

“It’s been an exciting four years,” Steve Francis said.

Nereyda Blanco was excited about her future, but said she will miss her classmates at Vail Christian.

“It’s going to be hard because we’re really close,” she said.

Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at (970) 748-2931 or

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