The ‘greatest’ class

Lauren Glendenning

Justin McCarty |
Justin Q. McCarty |

EDWARDS — It’s official: The Vail Christian High School class of 2013 is the greatest class in the school’s history.

That’s what teacher Patrick Beaudine declared at the school’s commencement ceremony Saturday morning, and he backed it up with quite a bit of evidence.

The graduating class of just 22 students has accomplished greatness in both athletics and academics during their high school years. The class of 2013’s Advanced Placement scores exceeded the classes before them, as did their cumulative grade point averages and their scores on ACT and SAT exams.

“Is there anything you guys can’t do?” Beaudine asked, adding that the students have proved their “mental toughness” through all of their successes.

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A Faith Based Experience

A big part of the Vail Christian High School ceremony centered around faith — something that has made big impacts on the lives of these students as they not only focused on their school work over the last four years, but also scripture.

Valedictorian Gracen McGuckin referenced that faith and attributed much of the greatness found in her class to Vail Christian High School.

“Vail Christian helped you become who you are,” she said.

The class’ love for their teachers and the special bonds formed over the years meant for some heavy hearts at the ceremony. McGuckin thanked the teachers for being their mentors and friends.

“You will not find a better group of leaders than the ones here,” she said. “We won’t know what to do with ourselves without them.”

There were few handshakes on the stage as the graduates accepted their diplomas: Hugs were the preferred congratulatory form of expression between the class and their teachers. There were also many tears.

The Class of 2013 has a collective $2.4 million in college scholarships. It’s proof that they’ve made their mark on Vail Christian, but also proof that these students are going somewhere, Beaudine said.

“Universities wanted members of this class,” he said.

Onwards and upwards

The 22 graduates are heading to Duke University, Baylor University, University of Southern California and Santa Clara University, to name a few.

Salutatorian Kyra Webb told her class not to be afraid of what’s to come in the next four years.

“It is my hope that you will find your passion over the next four years and that you will hold onto it very tightly,” Webb said. “Let this be a time to become a better you.”

There was more advice from teacher Doug Bruce, including some important words about remaining humble.

“Be strong enough to say ‘I don’t know’ when you don’t know or understand something,” Bruce said. “If you don’t have the answer, say so.”

Bruce went on to quote many sports greats like Michael Jordan and Yogi Berra, as well as successful CEOs and entrepreneurs.

“Let yourself dream,” Bruce said. “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

The ceremony marked a major milestone for these students, one their parents may not have wanted to happen yet.

Head of School Jeremy Lowe told parents that times change whether they like it or not.

He remembered back to 1995, the year most of the graduates were born. The average price of a house was $113,000 and gas was $1.09 a gallon, he said. It was the year of the Oklahoma City bombing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average cracked the 5,000 mark for the first time, and something called a DVD was new to the electronics scene.

While so much has changed in the last 18 or so years, one thing remains for at least this next year: The Vail Christian class of 2013 is the greatest class in school history. The class of 2014 has some big shoes to fill.

Assistant Managing Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at or 970-748-2983.

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