July 20, 2024


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A ‘thunderous applause’ for Steamboat Mountain School’s graduates


Steamboat Mountain School graduate Maia Coe gets off the school’s bus to a revolving procession of umbrellas guiding graduates to the tent set up on the school’s lawn on Sunday, May 29, 2022.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

After a high school career that featured the biggest disruption in recent memory, the Class of 2022 at Steamboat Mountain School had no problem dealing with one more.

As praise for the graduates filled a tent set up in the lawn of the school just north of Steamboat Springs on Sunday, May 29, a clap of thunder joined in the celebration creating a literal “thunderous applause.”

That sent the graduates back onto the bus they were brought in on where they played freeze dance while family and friends headed to wait out the rain in their cars. During a break in the weather the school’s bell beckoned everyone back to the tent, and the celebration of the class continued.

“The pandemic was not conjured up as a part of the grand scheme to expand your child’s challenging programming,” joked Head of School Samantha Coyne Donnel. “But seniors, you have certainly endured that long sentence with grace, courage and optimism.”

This year’s 17 graduates from Steamboat Mountain School have plans to go all over the world. Some will attend colleges in Italy and France while others are attending schools from coast to coast. Two graduates plan to dedicate the next year to further pursue competitive skiing.

“From experiencing things ranging from incredible trips and living through COVID, to the little moment consisting of shared smiles in the hallway and complaining over schoolwork, we have become not only a class graduating together, but a family,” said graduate Eliza Bodden, who was selected by her peers to make the senior class address.

Graduate Eliza Bodden was chosen by her classmates to make the class address at their graduation from Steamboat Mountain School on Sunday, May 29, 2022. She told her class it is the beginning of their journey and now they need to “show the world who we are.”
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

“Looking back, I am reminded by all the adventures that made us a family,” Bodden continued. “No matter where any of us go, or how many difficulties life may throw at us, we will always have each other to come back to. It’s only the beginning of our journey… so let’s go show the world who we are.”

Donnel used the adjective fierce to encompass the class. After going through several definitions for the word — “physically ferocious,” “powerful and destructive” — before she settled on “a showing of heartfelt and powerful intensity.”

“Class of 2022, you demonstrate a heartfelt intensity and you walk the world with confidence all while lifting others up along the way,” Donnel said. “Your connections to one another and the school run deep. Cherish the memories, stay in touch, and know that we are always here rooting for you.”

The Steamboat Mountain School Class of 2022 waits for their graduation ceremony to restart after a brief weather delay on Sunday, May 29, 2022.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Steamboat Mountain School graduates hustle back on the bus that brought them to the ceremony after thunder and lightning forced the ceremony to pause on Sunday, May 29, 2022.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Eliana Brown receives a rubber duck from Meg Morse after graduating from Steamboat Mountain School on Sunday, May 29, 2022.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Teacher Cody Heartz talks about graduate Xander Tatar-Brown before he recieves his diploma at Steamboat Mountain School’s graduation on Sunday, May 29, 2022. Tatar-Brown plans to pursue competitive skiing after graduation.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The Class of 2022 at Steamboat Mountain School tosses their caps at the school’s graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 29.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today


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