STEM grads follow own paths

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Josh Leckman left STEM School Highlands Ranch graduates with three lessons: find genuine happiness, be yourself and most importantly, go outside.

“Spend some time in nature,” the teacher said to the largest graduating class to date at the May 18 commencement ceremony. “I think if you take those lessons with you, you are going to be OK, no matter what life throws at you.”

Proud parents and family members beamed as 86 graduates wearing deep blue gowns walked across stage to receive their diplomas in a spacious room at CU South Denver in Lone Tree.

The class of 2018 was the youngest class to attend STEM as sixth-graders in 2011, when the school first opened its doors.

Salutatorian Vivian Duarte reminded her fellow graduates to live in the moment, enjoy life and follow their passions. There is always time to change the road you are on, she said.

“Our whole lives, we have been told to follow the leader. Don't. Follow yourself,” said Duarte. “You are holding the cards to your next hand.”

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