Students graduate from Vail summer program |

Students graduate from Vail summer program

Special to the DailyStudents, faculty and staff of SummerQuest's 15th anniversary session.

VAIL, Colorado – Twenty-four sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students from Eagle County public schools graduated from SummerQuest last month at Vail Mountain School, marking the program’s 15th anniversary graduation. Families were transported from their homes to the East Vail school by the program’s staff members to be a part of this celebration of accomplishments and commemoration of the next step into the students’ futures.

SummerQuest is a month-long summer program for Eagle County public school students who have been identified as motivated and in need of additional academic support. In many instances, English is the second language of these students, who have been recommended by their schools to participate in the program. For the past 15 years, local teachers, along with Vail Mountain School students, faculty, and alumni, tutor and mentor these children in mathematics and language arts, and facilitate esteem-building activities and an appreciation for a healthy lifestyle.

SummerQuest is unique in its multi-faceted approach to programming-the curriculum addresses academic areas of weakness, including math and language arts. Teachers work with the whole family, acknowledging and embracing each member’s role in the education of the children. SummerQuest provides families with information about college preparedness and inspires them to envision and invent their futures.

Faculty took the eighth grade students to the University of Colorado, Boulder campus, where a Hispanic student gave them a tour, and a panel of Hispanic under-graduates spoke to the SummerQuest students about their experiences in college. Other experiential learning opportunities this summer included a trip to Ford Amphitheatre to hear the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; team building activities at Maloit Park; rock climbing on Roof Rock; a community service activity at the Eagle Valley Community Fund Rummage Sale; and a field trip to the Denver Art Museum’s exhibit of King Tut.

To celebrate the students’ accomplishments this summer and over the years, Program Director Collins Canada presented several awards at graduation.

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Most Improved in Language Arts: Sixth-grader Arturo Macias and eighth-grader Alma Gurrola

Excellence in Language Arts: Sixth-grader Samantha Miramontes, seventh-graders Diondra Lujan and Daniela Rodriguez

Most Improved in Mathematics: Sixth-grader Luis Mendoza, Eighth-graders Eduardo Garcia and Angel Zamarron

Excellence in Mathematics: Seventh-grader Perla Guerra, eighth-graders Abigail Aguiera and Jose Ovalle

Sportsmanship Award: Seventh-grader Kiara Llerena Cam

Citizenship Award: Sixth-grader Isaiah Calona

SummerQuest Spirit Award: Sixth-grader Cesar Rascon

SummerQuest lead and student teachers awarded the students their diplomas, and also gave them a “yearbook” of photos from the program and a group photo of all of the students and their teachers wearing a SummerQuest 2010 t-shirt. The ceremony concluded with a slide show of memories from the past four weeks, followed by a reception for the students, teachers, and the students’ families.

Funding for SummerQuest is made possible through gifts from corporations, individuals, and foundations, as well as the Vail Mountain School annual Holiday Plant Sale, which takes place October-December. For more information about SummerQuest and/or Wednesday evening graduation, please contact

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