Steamboat graduates willing to accept any challenges ahead |

Steamboat graduates willing to accept any challenges ahead

The Steamboat Springs High School senior class endured a lot before finally getting the chance to toss their graduation caps in the air on Saturday, May 28, 2022.
Terri Smith/Courtesy Photo

Addressing her classmates, senior Caroline Henninger pointed out that many of the 190 seniors at Steamboat Springs High School have known each other since they were in kindergarten.

“Since we’ve grown up in this bubble,” she said. “It has made all of us pretty darn close.”

This senior class especially knows what it’s like to live in a bubble, from growing up in a small town to being sent home midway through their sophomore year because of a once-in-a-century pandemic.

“Through all of it, we have grown,” Henninger said.

Henninger recalled when she moved to Steamboat during the third grade, and how her mother was concerned because of how rowdy her grade was, and how her class was known for being tough well into middle school.

“Instead of problem solvers, I would describe you as challenge seekers,” said Steamboat Springs Superintendent Brad Meeks.

Senior Emma Poper surveyed her peers over the course of her senior year, and remarked at how ambitiously compassionate they are.

“Almost every single senior I talked to wants to help people,” Poper said, referring to classmates who are pursuing careers in nursing and social work.

“This class wants to leave the world better than they found it,” Poper said. “The Class of 2022 will change the world.”

And they’re off to a great start.

Two students from this class will be competing in athletics at the collegiate level.

The 2022 class was awarded $540,000 in scholarships, and 86% of graduates are going to either a two-year or four-year college. Seven students have already received associate’s degrees from Colorado Mountain College.

Six seniors graduated summa cum laude with grade point averages over 4.2.

Senior Shane Lambert became recognized as a national merit scholar, a very competitive program which offers the title of merit scholar to only 7,500 finalists of the approximately 1.5 million students who enter the program.

Two students are enrolled in military service. One of them will be attending the United States Military Academy at West Point while the other was offered an Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. scholarship from the University of Wyoming.

“They said they had no mentors before them because of COVID and they didn’t know what to do,” said Principal Richard Elertson, reflecting on a conversation he had with some students from the 2022 class. “I want to say, with 100% certainty that this group of students needs no mentors, you will blaze your own path.”

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