Community-Involved Celebration May Become a Trend of the Future
~ by Trevor Phipps ~
Last Thursday, “Round Two” of Teller County’s COVID-friendly graduations took place at the Cripple Creek-Victor High School football field.
Unlike the Woodland Park graduation, the CC/V students were able to have their families join them at the football field due to their significantly smaller class size of less than 20.
The ceremony started with the graduate families’ cars circling the high school’s asphalt track and then parents capped their graduates at their cars before getting called onto the field. During the ceremony speeches were given from the district superintendent Dr. Tory Richey, school board president Mary Bielz, class valedictorian Llewellyn Foulk, and the high school’s Vice Principal Matt Baca.
“As a class I am pretty sure we are all feeling a little screwed over right now,” Foulk said during her speech. “I mean we entered childhood while the world was recovering from 9/11 and now, we are entering adulthood in the midst of a global pandemic. We have been cheated out of prom, senior prank, senior skip day, and a normal graduation. We weren’t however cheated out of graduating or cheated out of our futures and for that we should be thankful.”
During the ceremony, Vice Principal Matt Baca spoke about “Coach Sam” who was a teacher of the school that passed away earlier this year. Coach Sam’s daughter Athena Sampson attended as a guest at the graduation, while the coach’s El Camino was present on the field with an American flag on it as a memorial for him.
After the graduation, the students and their families got a police escort to drive through both the towns of Cripple Creek and Victor. The graduation parade zigzagged through the back roads of Cripple Creek before going down Bennett Ave. and heading on Second St. to Victor.
When the parade got to Cripple Creek’s main strip, a crowd greeted the graduates and their families with signs and cheers. The Aspen Mine Center gave away free snacks and hot dogs to anyone who wanted to come out and cheer on the class of 2020 graduates.
Before the ceremony took place, members of the community were asked to go out on their front porch and give out a cheer. The superintendent praised the post-coronavirus graduation ceremony, especially under the circumstances, and hinted he might have a similar style ceremony in the future. This was the first time that a graduation ceremony occurred in the town, and included other members of the community. Both students and parents commented that this was a good change.