Sergio Rodriguez wins Vail Mountain School’s Taft Conlin Scholarship |

Sergio Rodriguez wins Vail Mountain School’s Taft Conlin Scholarship

Daily Staff Report
Sergio Rodriguez is the third winner of Vail Mountain School's Taft Conlin Scholarship. Rodriguez will attend VMS next year as a freshman.
Special to the Daily |

VAIL — An Avon teen will be the third student to be awarded Vail Mountain School’s Taft Conlin Scholarship.

Sergio Rodriguez is an eighth-grader at Homestake Peak School. He will enter upper school at Vail Mountain School as a member of next year’s freshman class.

The scholarship will provide Rodriguez with full tuition each year until graduation from Vail Mountain School.

‘embodies the spirit’

“Sergio stood out among a number of highly qualified and talented students representing schools from Gypsum to Vail and he truly embodies the spirit of the Taft Conlin Scholarship,” said Michael Imperi, Vail Mountain School’s principal. “He has earned top marks at Homestake Peak, and Sergio received some of the best recommendation letters I have seen. In their recommendations, Sergio’s teachers noted that he has been one of their strongest students throughout the last decade. His personality endears him to all, and we’re thrilled that he will be a part of our community.”

Students are chosen for the Taft Conlin Scholarship through an application process based on academic merit and positive impact on their community. Rodriguez follows fellow Taft Conlin Scholars Lauren Dirvonas and Kevin Garcia.

Garcia, the inaugural recipient of the scholarship, will graduate in May. During the last three years, he has distinguished himself both in and out of the classroom at Vail Mountain School through high academic achievement and by serving his community as a member of student government, the school’s Philanthropy Service Group and captain of the soccer team, Imperi said.

captain of the team

“I am excited to become part of the Vail Mountain School community, to work hard and give back in any way that I can.” Rodriguez said. “I believe that attending Vail Mountain School will help me realize my dream of attending college. I hope that I can make my mark by setting high standards and serving as a role model for other students with similar aspirations.”

Among the criteria for the scholarship is a demonstrated desire to serve others. Rodriguez is a go-to mentor for his classmates as a bilingual tutor in math, and also helps smooth the transition for new students arriving from Mexico and South America. He also has a passion for technology and athletics, serving as captain of his football team.

As for his future, Rodriguez said he is inspired by the other Taft Conlin Scholars and hopes to make a lasting impact at Vail Mountain School by contributing to the community. He’s also intently focused on preparing for college and working hard to open as many doors as possible when he graduates.

“The Taft Conlin Scholarship was created to provide opportunities for the best and the brightest,” said Jeremy Thelen, director of admission at Vail Mountain School. “Sergio exceeded all of our expectations and we are confident that he will not only benefit from all of the experiences that Vail Mountain School has to offer, but also that he will take full advantage of these opportunities and leave a lasting impression on the world around him.”

The $1 million endowed scholarship was created in Taft Conlin’s name by his parents, Dr. Louise Ingalls and Dr. Steve Conlin, as well as by significant contributions from the community and other members of Taft Conlin’s family.

“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,” Dr. Ingalls said. “Our goal is to open doors for kids who will take full advantage of the learning and networking opportunities that exist at Vail Mountain School. The school has been a launch pad for countless individuals who not only do well in their careers, but who also do good in service to others. 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.”