It could just be the flagship event of awards season at Aspen High School: Senior Awards and the local scholarship ceremony on Monday night recognized the achievements of the Class of 2021 with dozens of honors and funds for the ‘university.
A total of 81 seniors walked away with more than $ 350,000 in college scholarships from nearly 40 local donor groups, according to Susanne Morrison, the administrative coordinator of Aspen High School’s post-secondary counseling department. Students have also won hundreds of thousands of dollars through regional and national awards, some of which include full scholarships for four years of college study (see sidebar).
“Not only did you graduate from Aspen High School, but you also survived COVID, distance learning, and spontaneous quarantine times,” Tana Rinaldi said during the Haley Rinaldi Soccer scholarship presentation. Memorial. “I imagine you will all be very resilient as you try to do your best to move forward.”
The event was the latest in a series of celebrations for Aspen High graduates. The school community has already tipped its hat on participants in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and the National Honor Society earlier this month; a senior sports banquet is being held at Upper Moore Field on Wednesday.
This year’s senior class is filled with high performing students – so many, in fact, that the school awarded 13 Aspen Scholars instead of the usual 10 because the prize based on the highest grade point averages was too close to the call, award presenter Sue Sue O’Bryan.
Aspen researchers have “achieved a near perfect academic record in the most rigorous program at Aspen High School,” according to Aspen High presenter and deputy principal Becky Oliver. The 2021 Cohort class includes Alexander Appleby, Storey Balko, Jack Blocker, Kendall Clark, Macy Hopkinson, Leah Horning, James Kelly, Kylie Kenny, Eva McDonough, Grace Romero, Caprice Seeman, Andrew Seybold and Matilda Swanson.
Appleby also received the Principal’s Award in recognition of his contributions to the school; most Aspen Fellows – and indeed most of the award ceremony attendees – have received multiple accolades.
The winners of the Aspen Elks Lodge Pacesetter Department Awards have formed another group of ambitious students who are leading the way and setting the bar in certain academic fields. The Aspen Elks Lodge sponsored the award for the first time this year, giving each winner a personal check for $ 200.
This year’s pioneers received rave reviews from the award presenters, not only for their academic achievements, but also for their character, passion and desire to help others.
The Pacesetter Cohort includes Katelyn O’Callahan (English), Alexander Martin (Math), Jeremy Martin (Performing Arts), Jack Blocker (Science), Kylie Kenny (Social Studies), Maya Abraham (Visual Arts), Jocelyn Carreno ( languages of the world)), Alsher Fite (Aviation), Macy Hopkinson (Business), Jack Alter (Construction and woodworking) and Tessa Guthrie (Journalism).
The achievements of the 2021 class are no small feat – the product of a community effort, acknowledged award presenter Joe Farrell.
Photos: AHS Prize and scholarship ceremony
“Congratulations to all. Congratulations to your parents, congratulations to the teachers, coaches, counselors and the school board, ”said Farrell during the presentation of the Trashmasters scholarship. “We’ve launched an amazing product here in the school district and I’m very, very proud to be a part of it.”
After a senior year like no other, these achievements are particularly worth celebrating, the presenters said.
This tenacity will help move the class of 2021 forward as they enter the next stage in their lives, said EJ Foerster during the presentation of the Jake Foerster Music Arts Fund / Jazz Aspen Snowmass Fellowship.
“Your resilience this year, to forge and overcome many problems, I think, gives you many tools to overcome whatever challenges you are going to face,” Foerster said. “Change is always inevitable. Make it yours and own it, whatever it is.
For a full list of winners, keep an eye out for a special graduation insert in the June 3 edition of The Aspen Times.