From an old school to new beginnings in the Vail Valley
EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado ” The Battle Mountain High School class of 2009 will do great things because it’s a group that dares to be different.
Debbie Cohen, Battle Mountain’s student body president, told her classmates this and other encouraging words as they settled into their seats on the stage at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater on Saturday.
The class members celebrated all the memories they had together throughout the years. They knew they were moving on and would likely never step foot in their old school again ” Battle Mountain High School moves into its new Edwards campus in the fall, and the future for the old campus is still unknown.
The Class of 2009’s principal, Brian Hester, also was graduating from Battle Mountain ” he announced his retirement earlier this year. Hester started his career at the school four years ago, when the graduates were just freshmen, which is why it was appropriate the students chose him to be the Class of 2009’s charge to the class speaker.
The seniors spent their high school years counting on Hester ” his support of the school’s athletic teams; the donuts he’d bring to student council members; the breakfast he’d buy for students taking big tests ” and Hester was dependable and admired, said graduate Conor Wallace.
Hester told the Class of 2009 he hoped the students had learned something about themselves and could apply it toward their futures.
“You have learned to be collaborative, innovative and flexible,” he said. “Experiencing the diversity at our school and in our community will help you be more understanding and responsive to the needs of others.”
The Battle Mountain graduates weren’t at the end ” they were at a new beginning, said graduate Megan Petrash in her closing-thoughts speech. Many were about to head off to the great unknown, but what was known was that the valuable lessons they had learned at Battle Mountain would help them define their places in the world.
“You will not be defined as just the last class of the old building,” Hester said.
Community Editor Lauren
Glendenning can be reached
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Wildfires have become more numerous, bigger and more destructive in the past 40 years. That’s a big deal in a town surrounded by public land.