On a beautiful spring day, nearly 600 people celebrated a rite of passage Sunday when 28 seniors graduated in the 36th commencement of The Community School in Sun Valley.
Head of School David Holmes, presiding at his first Community School commencement, said about the graduates, "They are 28 quite different individuals sharing common values and a strong sense of purpose. They are poised for a promising future."
The seniors included the first two graduates from the residential Sun Valley Ski Academy—Margaret Pope from McCall and Jesse Knori from Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Senior speakers during the one-hour and 50-minute ceremony were Katie Dumke and Tom Crosby.
Dumke said, "Some of us have been together 14 years. All of us have been transformed by this place, this school and each other." Crosby described his senior class as close to perfect—"a melting pot of crazy and weird individuals."
The commencement speaker was Dr. Charles MacCormack, a Middlebury College graduate who was president of Save the Children from 1993-2011. It is the world's leading independent non-profit organization serving children in need.
Dr. MacCormack in his 15-minute speech discussed the importance of leadership in an increasingly globalized world.
He said, "You have a first-rate secondary school education and are looking forward to college education. Only 10 percent of all 18-year-olds in the world have that package...But never in human history have we seen the advancements we're seen in the last 50 years.
"Your lives will be spent with people not of the same culture and background. You will need to think globally."
Camille Bourret and Tom Crosby announced the 2012 Yearbook Dedication to longtime Community School college counselor Bob Brock and also to the late Nick Crosby.
Nick Crosby attended the Community School and played ice hockey in Canada before his July 5, 2011 death in an auto accident in British Columbia, Canada. He was 19. His brother Tom said, "Nick had a kindness and humility to rival his size. He was an outstanding man and role model."
As its senior gifts, the Class of 2012 represented by Sophia Carkonen and Tom Crosby presented the school with a sundial and money for local charities and organizations.
Senior reflections spoken by the graduates, both humorous and emotional, included:
- Colin Waycott: "The spirit of the school is shown by the students but galvanized by the teachers."
- Barrett Brown: "I cried at my fifth-grade education so brace yourselves." She cried.
- Morgan Atkinson: "Thanks Mom.....who kept reminding me to put her in my speech."
- Isobel Pollock: "Thank you all for caring about me and the person I've become."
Cutthroat award recipients
This year, all awards and scholarship winners were revealed during Friday's awards program in the school gym.
Colin Waycott received The Beaupre Award, the school's oldest honor. It goes to seniors with high standards of scholarship, leadership, citizenship and athletic achievement.
Morgan Atkinson accepted the Head of School Award.
Earning Senior Project honors were Sophia Carkonen, Katie Dumke, Noe Garing, Morgan Jones, Gabi Perenchio and Margaret Pope. The Bill Benjamin Memorial Scholarship for Senior Project Proposals was given to Noe Garing.
Isobel Pollock received this year's Idaho Mountain Express Award in the amount of $1,000. The award has been given since 1988 to a graduate likely to contribute to the community.
The 21st Tom Johnson Memorial Awards for excellence in performing arts went to Camille Bourret and Cassidy Carson. Jesse Knori accepted the Laura S. Flood Memorial Award. And Meredith Pintler collected the 22nd Dixie Grabos Memorial Award for the appreciation of literature/writing.
Katie Dumke accepted the first Murphy-Carson Family Award. Camille Bourret won the Trophy Sagebrush Award for imagination. Morgan Jones and Margaret Pope received the Klingelhofer Senior Speech award. It is given for the best senior speeches of the year.
Reta Flynt and Hailey Rheinschild were graduating winners of the Peggy and Sigi Engl Memorial Achievement Awards. The awards go to students at each grade level who improve through hard work and determination.
Other recipients of the Engl prize at Friday's assembly:
Junior class, Mason Noyes and Connor Smith. Sophomore class, Bobby Corker and Ben Swift. Freshman class, Trenor Gould and Claire Siderman. Eighth grade, Sean Flaherty and Lilly Jenner. Seventh grade, Travis Flynt and Tara Ware. Sixth grade, Prescott Potter and Charlie Stumph.
Memorial scholarships were a big part of school awards.
- Carrie Bashaw Hislaire Memorial Scholarship—Lane Letourneau.
- Karen Wright Cardozo Memorial Scholarship—Max Tanous.
- Greg Allison Memorial Scholarship—Gunnar Ohlson.
- David M. Dorward Memorial—Maddie Caraluzzi.
- Tom Bloomfield Memorial Scholarship—Maranda Stopol.
- Philip B. Detwiler Memorial Scholarship—Ellie Swanson.
- Fredrick Chandler Memorial Scholarship—Cole Caulkins.
- Nick Crosby Athlete of the Year Award—Tom Crosby.
Book awards, special school and local grants included:
Morgan Jones, Meredith Pintler and Isobel Pollock were Dollars for Scholars recipients for 2012. Meredith Pintler received the PEO Chapter AM Local Scholarship Award and the Hailey Rotary Club grant. The Iconoclast Award was presented to Lucy More.
A Ketchum/Sun Valley Rotary Club scholarship was given to Alyssa Corrao-Bal. Barrett Brown earned a Sonja Tarney Scholarship. Receiving Anne Reed Gallery Awards were Sofia DeWolfe, Josie Bunce and Barrett Brown.
National Merit Scholarship awardees were Camille Bourret, Henry Rickbeil, Gray Riedinger and Averell Tian. The winners of Sun Valley Center grants were Emmet Fortuin, Morgan Jones, Arielle Rawlings and Moyo Tian.
Book awards went to Ellie Swanson (Smith College), Maranda Stopol (Williams College and Coll of the Atlantic), Emmet Fortuin (Colby College), Arielle Rawlings (Whitman College) and Zach Lindahl (College of Idaho).
Given for the 29th year, faculty scholarships were awarded to Olivia Ott and Willis Sanchez-duPont. John Weekes, Lilly Jenner and Ben Kanellitsas accepted The Irving Student Achievement Awards.
Winners of Middle School Community Awards were Lilly Jenner (eighth grade), Gavin Blair (seventh grade) and Libby Lindstrom (sixth grade).
Earning Bob Doyle Service Awards were Hannah Conn and Devon Sherrerd. Maranda Stopol earned The Student Senate Green Scholarship.
Merit Awards for Platinum (5 or more courses) went to Hannah Dies, Hannah Conn, Lane Letourneau, Olivia Ott, Katie Peters, Arielle Rawlings, Sara Runkel and Moyo Tian.
Gold Merit Awards (3 or 4 courses) went to Chloe Chrysikopoulos, Brygitte De La Cruz, Katie Feldman, Taylor Figge, Oliver Guy, Sydney Hagenbuch, Erin Hennessy, Lilly Jenner, Libby Lindstrom, Ella Marks, Kiran Merchant, Hayley Murach, Meredith Pintler, Kristina Poydenis, Ben Swift and Kai Younger.
Other community service awards for the Upper and Middle schools were:
-Platinum (100-plus hours): Taylor Adler, Gavin Blair, Sophia Carkonen, Emi Carr, Hannah Conn, Katie Dumke, Whitney Engelmann, Taylor Figge, Jordan Fitzgerald, Noe Garing, Timo Gould, Alex Harten, Erin Hennessy, Nick Krekow, Gabi Perenchio, Isobel Pollock, Arielle Rawlings, Devon Sherrerd, Ellie Swanson and Ben Swift.
-Gold (50-99 hours): Morgan Atkinson, Tara Burchmore, Joyce Chan, Katie Feldman, Oliver Guy, Morgan Jones, Isabel Kirk, Ethan Kjesbo, Zach Lindahl, Madison Milgard, Shayna Moellenberg, Kami Norbom, Olivia Ott, Meredith Pintler, Garrett Rawlings, Logan Shipley, Maranda Stopol, Jack Swanson, Kelsey Syms, Moyo Tian and Keegan Whitelaw.
-Silver (35-49 hours): Trent Avery, Jolie Blair, Isabella Bourret, Pierson Carlsen, Griffin Curtis, Amanda Furtado Sampaio, Ella Marks, Evan Marks, Nate Nasvik, Hailey Rheinschild, Sara Runkel, Max Tanous, Keegan Webber, Sarah Williams and Kingzer Zou.
-Bronze (25-34 hours): Josie Allison, Jackelyn De La Cruz, Dehner Figge, Reta Flynt, Lilly Jenner, Caroline Jones, Ben Kanellitsas and Colin Waycott.