Gilpin H.S. graduates awarded $398,850 in scholarships

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Capping ceremony a new tradition

by Patty Unruh

Gilpin County High School seniors received an estimated $398,850 in scholarships at an awards ceremony on Wednesday evening, May 17. The Booster Club had provided a banquet for the occasion and decorated the auditorium with banners and balloons in the school colors of black and gold.

Alexis Donaldson, the secondary principal, greeted the assembled students, family members, and scholarship presenters. She thanked Superintendent David MacKenzie and all the school staff for their support and acknowledged that parents have mixed emotions when their children reach the graduation milestone.

“It’s been a long time to get to this road, and you have happiness and sadness, too. But they are a great group, and they will all be fine. I’d also like to thank our wonderful community members who are helping with a lot of money and support to take care of the kids. Most of all, thank you, seniors. You have worked hard. We will miss you, but we are excited for your future,” Donaldson said.

School counselor Kim Cobb announced awards for excellence in various academic subjects and for honor roll. The Eagle Honor Roll awards were for those students earning a grade point average of 3.0-3.49. Principal’s Honor Roll awards went to those earning a GPA of 3.50-3.99. The Superintendent’s Honor Roll was for students earning a GPA of 4.0 or higher.

Superintendent’s Honor Roll: Eryk Lorenz, Matthew Immordino, Berkley Davis, Alexis Anderson, Lindsey James, Rachel Schmalz, and Nick Raez.

Principal’s Honor Roll: Annabel Diekman.

Eagle Honor Roll: Sam Snyder, Keely Schmidt, Caleb Ritter, Braedyn Perez, and Breanna Kennedy.

Scholarship presenters included Cary Ihme for the Tom & Cary Ihme Excellence in Service Scholarship, Central City Elks Club Scholarship, Colorado Elks Club Scholarship, and Ralph Calabrese Scholarship; Lloyd Garrett for the Golden Elks Lodge; Rebecca Blondo for the Lady Elks; Sandra Oliver and Kathryn Whitcomb for the Gilpin Booster Club; Rebecca Shirey for the Ben Slinger Honorary Scholarship and the Rotary Arts Award; Kevin Armstrong for the Alan Green Memorial Foundation; Craig Holmes for the Gilpin Education Foundation; Michele Martin and Linda Armbright for the City of Black Hawk; and Kaiser Holbird and Lewis Wagner for the Freemasons of Colorado.

Home educated student Ben Hoppes received a $1,000 scholarship from the Gilpin County Education Foundation.

Following the scholarship presentations, the Freemasons presented a Teacher of the Year Award to Kathy Haley, who has taught early elementary grades at Gilpin for many years. Many of the graduates had her as a teacher. Haley was recognized for her positive influence on the students.

The awards program concluded with a capping ceremony, which was a first for Gilpin High School seniors and may become a tradition. Suggested by the Booster Club, it was a time for the seniors to take the stage one at a time and say a few words about someone who had been special in their lives. Those people accompanied the senior and placed the mortarboard on his or her head – usually followed by a hug. The young men and women chose parents, stepparents, a sister or brother, a grandparent, or a friend. The comments were as special as those giving and receiving them:

“They pushed me to do my best …” “She’s my rock …” “They have always been there for me …” “I have been given nothing but support and love, and I’m sure that will never change …” “He taught me a good work ethic and how to treat others correctly …” “You brought me into this world …” “I love you very much.”

Gilpin’s 20 seniors received the following awards, which will be disbursed over the next four years:

Alexis Anderson – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Central City Elks $500; Alan Green Memorial Foundation $2,000; Gilpin County Foundation $500. Total – $9,000. Alexis will attend the Community College of Denver and Real Estate School and will major in business.

Berkley Davis – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Central City Elks $250; Booster Club athletics $500; Ben Slinger Scholarship $1,000; Gilpin County Foundation $1,000; CU Denver Scholarship $750 per year for four years. Total – $11,750. Berkley will attend CU Denver and major in business.

Annabel Diekman – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Ihme Service Excellence $500; Colorado Elks $500; Gilpin County Foundation $1,000. Total – $8,000. Annabel will attend Metropolitan State University of Denver. She will go abroad to be an au pair in Austria.

Joshua Egan – Plans to work and is considering the military.

Keldon Hutcheson – City of Black Hawk $6,000. Keldon will attend Lone Star College, Texas, and major in applied science.

Matthew Immordino – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Gilpin County Foundation $500. Total – $6,500. Matthew will attend the Business School of CU Denver and major in business.

Lindsey James – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Elks Calabrese $500; Lady Elks $1,500; Gilpin County Foundation $500; Freemasons’ Scholarship $250; Hesston College academic $16,000 per year for two years; Hesston College softball $6,000 per year for two years. Total – $52,750. Lindsey will attend Hesston College, Nebraska, playing softball and majoring in pre-nursing.

Breanna Kennedy – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Colorado Elks $500; Golden Elks Lodge $1,000 per year for four years; Booster Club athletic $500; Alan Green Foundation $2,000; Gilpin Education Foundation $1,000; Regis Blue & Gold Award $10,000 per year for four years. Total – $54,000. Breanna Kennedy will attend Regis University and major in pre-med.

Sabrina Lopez Fonseca – City of Black Hawk $6,000. Sabrina will attend Red Rocks Community College and major in film.

Eryk Lorenz – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Central City Elks $500; Booster Club academic $500; Alan Green Foundation $2,000; Gilpin Education Foundation $1,000. Total – $10,000. Eryk will attend the Colorado School of Mines and major in petroleum engineering.

Eric Miyake-Garcia – City of Black Hawk $6,000. Eric will attend Community College and major in forensics.

Dante Nadeau – City of Black Hawk $6,000. Dante plans to take a gap year. He has earned his Alpine Level I Child Specialist and will work in Loveland as a supervisor.

Braedyn Perez – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Gilpin Education Foundation $500. Braedyn will attend CU Denver and major in computer science.

Nicholas Peterson – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Gilpin Education Foundation $500. Total – $6,500. Nicholas will attend CSU and major in wildlife resource management.

Nicholas Raez – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Gilpin Education Foundation $500; Rotary Arts Award $100; University of Arizona $56,000. Total – $62,600. Nicholas will attend the University of Arizona and major in architecture.

Kaleb Ritter – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Charles E. Stevenson $500. Total – $6,500. Kaleb will attend San Juan Community College, New Mexico, and major in ASE master mechanic.

Rachel Schmalz – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Booster Club academic $500; Alan Green Foundation $2,000; Gilpin Education Foundation $1,500; Freemasons’ Scholarship $250; Hastings Crimson Scholarship $16,000 per year for four years; Trustee Honor Scholarship $7,000 per year for four years; Central City Promise $5,000 per year for four years. Total $122,250. Rachel will attend Hastings College, Nebraska, playing softball and majoring in psychology and pre-law.

Keely Schmidt – City of Black Hawk $6,000. Keely will attend Paul Mitchell The School Denver and major in cosmetology.

Samuel Snyder – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Gilpin Education Foundation $500. Total – $6,500. Samuel will attend CSU and major in natural resource economics and tourism.

Joshua Swan – City of Black Hawk $6,000. Joshua Swan plans to pursue a career in culinary arts.

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