With 566 students earning diplomas, this year's graduating class at Mountain Vista High School was the largest to date.
The weather at the May 22 commencement ceremony at Red Rocks Amphitheatre quickly changed from just cloudy to light rain and brisk temperatures, forcing grads to cover up in clear ponchos. Hundreds of guests seated behind them did the same, many holding umbrellas.
Gray skies didn't put a damper on the ceremony, which was filled with messages of encouragement and advice for success.
Samantha Bowles, the honored senior, thanked her classmates for always treating her with acceptance and kindness. Bowles has special needs.
“It was you who made people feel that their differences, challenges and different traits were accepted in the community at Mountain Vista,” Bowles said. “Continue as you go out into the world… Be a good person.”
Quinn Kamberos, also an honored senior, asked graduates to go home that evening and think about what success looks like for them.
“The idea that there is one definition of success is inherently flawed,” Kamberos said. “What's important to you? What kind of impression, what kind of impact, do you want to make in this world?”
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