Leaders, hard workers created in high school | VailDaily.com

Leaders, hard workers created in high school

Matt Terrell
Vail, CO Colorado
SS BMHS Gratuation 2 DT 5-31-08

VAIL, Colorado ” To Sean Pack, a high school diploma is just a “passport” to the rest of his life.

“Now I can study what I want to study, and I can be the person I want to be,” Pack said just moments after graduating from Battle Mountain High School at Ford Amphitheater in Vail on Saturday.

Self-realization is how Pack sums up the entire high school experience. He said teachers, other students and the administration taught him how to love life and how to do it modestly.

According to seniors, parents and teachers on graduation day, high school really is when students become the person they’ll be the rest of their lives. It’s where leaders, thinkers, scholars and hard workers come alive, stand out and make themselves known.

“Learning about yourself is probably the coolest thing about the high school education,” Principal Brian Hester said. “You learn what they can do, what they are going to be.”

Cecilia Garcia, who was named Outstanding Senior Girl, saw that she could be a leader in the Hispanic community and help other students who struggled like she once did.

Garcia started learning English only in sixth grade but has since learned the language well, excelled in track, joined the National Honor Society and became a member of the Hispanic Mentors program, which was created to tutor other Spanish-speaking students who may be failing class and reach out to their families.

To Garcia, graduating Summa Cum Laude is just another task to check off her big list in life. Next up is learning business at Mesa State College.

“It’s just another step ” now I’ll be going to college to find a career,” Garcia said. “I’m doing all this for my mom.”

Senior Barrett Chow also saw high school as a place where he could step up and be a leader. He was active in student council, and was the student body vice president. He oversaw and planned a lot of school events like dances. He’ll be attending CU Boulder, where he’ll study business.

“It’s a big part of my life ” I like to be involved with decisions and have my voice be heard,” Chow said.

The class of 2008 is especially ripe with talent, and is unparalleled with its scholastic and athletic achievements, Hester says.

The list of accomplishments is a bit staggering ” and a testament to their leadership.

“The Class of 2008 successfully completed more Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment college courses than any previous group of Battle Mountain graduates,” Hester said.

When this group of seniors were juniors, they attained the highest average score on the ACT, a college preparation test, exceeding state and district scores, Hester said.

And while reaching great heights in academics, they’re also did well in athletics and other activities. There were two state championships in boys cross country, state hockey runner-ups, state Pro-Start champs, three national Future Business Leaders of America qualifiers, and three Speech and Debate state champions and national qualifiers.

They also won the first 4A boys regional track meet in the school’s history and the first state 4A event championship, Hester says.

Then there are the service leaders, like the tutors in the National Honor Society and the Hispanic Mentors program, who put in hours and hours of their time to help other students do better in class.

“You look at their accomplishments ” they combined the academics and athletics as well as any class we’ve had in the last several years,” Hester said. “This group, distinctively, was active in so many different endeavors. It’s a very versatile group of seniors.”

Staff Writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 970-748-2955 or mterrell@vaildaily.com.

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