Vail Mountain School graduates 14 seniors |

Vail Mountain School graduates 14 seniors

Tamara Miller
NWS VMS Grad2 5-21 CS Vail Daily/Coreen Sapp Alexandra Delude holds a rose given to her by the kindergarden class during the Vail Mountain School commencement and awards ceremony Friday evening.

Vail Mountain School bid adieu to the class of 2004 Friday evening in a ceremony that incorporated family, friends and every member of the senior class.The class numbered only 14, yet the audience packed the ballroom at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort and Spa. The supportive atmosphere is characteristic of the school, said Sharon Bernardo, mother of graduate Ray Bernardo.

“It’s such a teacher-supported environment,” Bernardo said. “There’s a sense of community and there are so many great role models for teenagers here.”Parents and siblings were invited to the stage to hand over their graduate’s diploma, while headmaster Peter Abuisi shared stories about each graduate with the audience. Students ranging from kindergarten to the 12th grade attend the private Vail Mountain School together, allowing relationships to develop between the different age groups. Leading by example is the best way to influences others, suggested junior Peter Scanlan. He advised his older peers to continue being role models in their adult lives, while reminding the rest of the school’s students the responsibility they have toward the classes below them.”The way in which we are taught, to a large extent, determines who we will be later in life,” he said. Part of the ceremony was dedicated to extending awards for academic achievement and improvement and certificates of promotion to the fifth and eighth grades. Before handing out awards to the upper grades, Ray Bernardo told his younger classmates to take advantage of the opportunities to excel at the school. “I moved from the middle on upward,” he said.

Alumni scholarship winner Duncan Robinson, who was selected as the recipient of the award as a junior, was able to honor next year’s recipient – his sister, Courtney Robinson.Senior Cassidy DeLine took the audience on a short trip in American history, pointing out the importance dreams play in pushing mankind forward.”Humans are most clearly defined by our needs … and by the capability to fulfill the needs of others,” she said. “Hope, this I think, is the most dire of our needs.”The class of 2004 will be the last senior class to graduate from the school’s current 20,000-square-foot facility. Construction on a new, 90,000-square-foot campus is on-going. Part of that school will be open by the next school year with the entire campus scheduled to be finished by summer 2005.Bernardo said her son, who will study engineering at Montana State University next year, enjoyed his time at Vail Mountain School. “But, he’s ready for what’s next,” she said. Senior Blake Higgins, who will attend the University of San Diego, thanked the audience for supporting the school with its fund-raising potato, pizza and taco lunch sales. He also said he is looking forward to a few changes in the future.”An end to the load of laundry that magically appears in my room,” he said.

Staff writer Tamara Miller can be reached via e-mail at: or by calling 949-0555 ext. 607.Vail Mountain School Class of 2004Ray BernardoBen CopeCassidy DeLineAlexandra Dulude

Sean EnoBlake HigginsChristian NagelDuncan RobinsonJoshua SmithIan TalbotJennifer Thorne

Support Local Journalism

Nicole TrumpowerHoward TuthillLauren Utzig

Support Local Journalism