Outstanding Graduates

Class of 2021 artwork
 

Congratulations to the thousands of Douglas County School District graduates who are well on their way towards a bright future! We recognize your accomplishments and are proud to have been part of your educational journey.

Here is just a small sampling of what lies ahead for some of our graduates. These students are being recognized by their school principals/administrators for their outstanding academic success and personal attributes! As we receive more submissions from our DCSD principals/administrators, we will add to our graduate list below.

Click here to view the 2021 Perseverance Scholarship stories.



2021 Outstanding Graduates:

Brodric Bassett, ThunderRidge High School

Brodric Bassett
ThunderRidge High School

I will attend Davidson College

  • Received the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma

  • Raised $5,000 for computer equipment and provided tutoring to children at the Rays of Grace School in Uganda

  • Captain of the TRHS Boys Soccer team junior year




What memorable moment during the pandemic instilled a key value in you?

“A memorable moment that instilled a key value in me was when after a few weeks of online school, I looked around me and saw my room floor covered with papers and my work space being very messy. At this moment, I realized that I needed to work on my organizational skills. After a couple hours of cleaning I got my work space into a superb condition and restarted my work. Through this experience I learned that with a clean work space I am more motivated to work.”




Kyle Boe, Mountain Vista High School

Kyle Boe
Mountain Vista High School

I will attend the United States Coast Guard Academy

  • Plans to major in Electrical Engineering

  • Graduating summa cum laude, which requires 4.3+ cumulative GPA

  • Member of the cross country team that finished 13th overall in the 2019 Nike Cross Country Nationals




What memorable moment during the pandemic instilled a key value in you?

“I remember when my junior year track season was canceled. Vista was able to compete in a single JV meet before CHSAA had to shut down athletics. As a varsity runner, that meant that I didn’t get to compete at all that year. Even so, we kept running, staying fit to be prepared for a hoped-for cross country season in the fall. The distance runners kept all in communication with one another. Since coaches weren’t able to coordinate or participate in training for several months, it was up to us to manage it ourselves, running in small groups compliant with COVID guidance and regulations. It took perseverance to continue training for an uncertain future season, but we wanted to be ready should we get the chance to compete again. We were rewarded with a short, late cross country season, but the Mountain Vista varsity runners were ready and because of the perseverance we had all shown, we were able to win at States.”




CJ Braccia, Douglas County High School

CJ Braccia
Douglas County High School

I will attend Creighton University

  • Full ride scholarship recipient and accepted into expedited Masters Degree program

  • Served as DECA President, placed in the top ten nationally in DECA and FBLA

  • Created the first Special Needs Speech and Debate team in Colorado




What memorable moment during the pandemic instilled a key value in you?

“The most memorable moments for me were when I was at Angelo's Pizza in Pueblo, while I was there the stay-at-home order was announced. Another memorable one was when my dad was admitted to the hospital for COVID-19. Despite my family following all precautions we all still got COVID. The reason I mention both of these moments is because they reinforce the same idea, to be grateful for what you have in the moment because it may quickly be taken away.”




Colten Brown, Chaparral High School

Colten Brown
Chaparral High School

I will attend the University of Miami

  • Received a full tuition scholarship from the University of Miami

  • Volunteer at Sky Ridge Medical Center

  • Received a varsity letter in track and field




What memorable moment during the pandemic instilled a key value in you?

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the quarantine towards the beginning of 2020 isolated many of us from others, temporarily putting our lives on pause. I think that this pause in our lives instilled this sense of urgency through ambition in me as I saw how little time I have to create my own future.”




Carlos Cuevas, Highlands Ranch High School

Carlos Cuevas
Highlands Ranch High School

I will attend the University of Colorado Denver

  • Student athletic trainer

  • Volunteer at Sky Ridge Medical Center in the NICU

  • Maintained a full-time job, extracurriculars, and a rigorous course load




What memorable moment during the pandemic instilled a key value in you?

“A memorable moment from the COVID-19 pandemic would be how we supported one another during these unprecedented times. We took care of each other physically and mentally and didn’t let our divide narrate our lives. We let empathy foster to help those in need and established tight-knit relationships with our neighbors and strangers nationally and worldwide.”




Peyton Dunn, Legend High School

Peyton Dunn
Legend High School

I will attend the University of Oklahoma



What memorable moment during the pandemic instilled a key value in you?

“While I don't have a specific memory, COVID reminded me how kind people can be and what people will do for each other when faced with a challenge. You never know who is struggling. It never hurts to be kind and reach out to people; even if it is just a text.”




Lauren Fox, Legend High School

Lauren Fox
Legend High School

I will attend Montana State University

  • Plans to double major in Marketing and Political Science

  • Completed a medical internship at Hatch Chiropractic and Wellness

  • President’s Volunteer Service Award recipient with 400+ community service hours



What memorable moment during the pandemic instilled a key value in you?

“I think that the COVID-19 pandemic showed the world that within isolation we can be connected. Very quickly the world made a drastic adjustment to the isolation we were all put in. Friends and family found creative ways to connect with each other. Within isolation we were able to reset ourselves, our minds and our lives. Break old habits and start new ones.”




Timberly Gonzales, Highlands Ranch High School

Timberly Gonzales
Highlands Ranch High School

I will attend Western Colorado Community College

  • Plans to obtain an associates degree in welding

  • First in her family to graduate from high school

  • Focused on academics her junior and senior year to obtain her diploma



What memorable moment during the pandemic instilled a key value in you?

“One thing that was memorable in the Covid pandemic would be being kicked out of a toxic house and moving in with my best friend. It was a really hard change but I was able to get through it. I am a better person since I moved out of that house. I do still see my brothers till I move and my grandmother but I do not live with them.”




Jacob Hall, Castle View High School

Jacob Hall
Castle View High School

I will attend Colorado State University

  • Monfort Scholarship recipient

  • DCSD Student Advisory Group member

  • Plans to double major in Biomedical Engineering and Biochemical Engineering



What memorable moment during the pandemic instilled a key value in you?

“I’m not a big fan of trying to draw positives from the pandemic because it was something that led to so much pain and I don’t like the idea that someone else had to suffer for me to experience growth. Because of this, a key value that Covid instilled in me is that I should always be looking at situations with perspective. Everyone experienced something negative during the pandemic and it’s absolutely ok to feel upset about those negative situations. However, I found it very important to think about the things that I was lucky to have during those times. Moving forward I think that having the skill to see other perspectives will be very important for me.”




Chloe Hansen, Legend High School

Chloe Hansen
Legend High School

I will attend Harvard University

  • Received a full tuition Army ROTC scholarship

  • Plans to study biomedical engineering

  • Served as Junior Class President and was named Miss Legend



What memorable moment during the pandemic instilled a key value in you?

“Quarantine reminded me of how much I value spending time with my family.”




Ellie Hutchings, Castle View High School

Ellie Hutchings
Castle View High School

I will attend Colorado Mesa University

  • Plans to major in Psychology

  • DCSD Perseverance Scholarship recipient

  • Heavily involved in supporting students with learning disabilities




What memorable moment during the pandemic instilled a key value in you?

“A lot in my life has changed drastically during the COVID-19 pandemic. I moved out of my Mother’s house and began a journey of my own independence. Most importantly, I discovered my true passion and purpose. The dream I hold closest to my heart is actually quite simple. All I wish to do in this life is bring as much light as I possibly can to a world that can be so jaded. I hope I can achieve this as a therapist in my future.”





Hannah Johnson, Douglas County High School

Hannah Johnson
Douglas County High School

I received an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy

  • Plans to study Engineering and Biology while representing the Academy as a member of the soccer team

  • As class president her first three years, she helped raise $200,000+ for the Make-a-Wish Foundation

  • Balanced the rigors of the International Baccalaureate Diploma program while competing on a national level soccer team



What memorable moment during the pandemic instilled a key value in you?

“In the midst of the pandemic was probably the first time in my 17 years that I realized how important the bonds with my friends were. It’s so easy with social media these days to hit the heart button, or the dislike, while having no real interactions. I realized by mid-summer 2020 I craved seeing their faces, hearing my friends voices, and overall interacting with them. We started daily group FaceTimes which made a huge difference in my mental health.”




Preston Kilzer

Preston Kilzer
Ponderosa High School

I will attend Purdue University

  • Plans to study Mechanical Engineering

  • Lettered in three sports at PHS

  • Earned a 4.33 GPA by taking 11 AP classes and tests



What memorable moment during the pandemic instilled a key value in you?

“I remember the first few nights where I was hybrid but still had a load of work to do due to me being at home and in 5 AP classes. I had to push through, trust myself, and persevere until it was done, and it taught me a valuable lesson about perseverance and completion.”




Riley Klockner, eDCSD

Riley Klockner
eDCSD

I will attend Arapahoe Community College

  • Graduating a semester early

  • Honor Roll student

  • DCSD Perseverance Scholarship recipient



What memorable moment during the pandemic instilled a key value in you?

“I just remember that most places shut down during the pandemic but the place I work at stayed open. It instilled a value in me to always work hard and push forward.”




Tanner Leonard, Rock Canyon High School

Tanner Leonard
Rock Canyon High School

I will attend the University of Virginia

  • Plans to major in mathematics

  • Helped tutor local elementary school students through Learning Link

  • Independently learned about and worked on projects related to neural networks



What memorable moment during the pandemic instilled a key value in you?

“Near the end of my junior year when the COVID-19 pandemic was just beginning in the U.S., there was a lot of uncertainty about the scope of the pandemic, how long it might last, and what we all needed to do in order to stay safe. Personally, I felt discouraged and disempowered to do much to help. However, I remember reading stories about how other people had found ways to help control the pandemic in their communities, such as by making and donating masks, donating funds and supplies to healthcare workers, combating COVID-19 disinformation, or simply checking up on people who might have been struggling. These stories helped me appreciate the importance of combating discouragement and looking for smaller, more manageable ways to make a difference.”




Rami Maaliki, Eagle Academy

Rami Maaliki
Eagle Academy

I will attend the University of Colorado Denver

  • Awarded with high honor roll last two years of high school

  • Kindness Award and Work Ethic Award recipient at Eagle Academy

  • Graduating on time after falling behind on credits



What memorable moment during the pandemic instilled a key value in you?

“Whilst being in the pandemic, I don’t necessarily have a more memorable moment, but I’ve definitely instilled a way higher amount of perseverance during this time.”




Kirsten Manley, Castle View High School

Kirsten Manley
Castle View High School

I will attend Arapahoe Community College

  • Will complete an eight-week certified nursing program, then join the military

  • 4.0 GPA Senior Year

  • Two-time nominee for the Douglas County Youth Initiative Award



What memorable moment during the pandemic instilled a key value in you?

“One memorable moment that firmly established a key value in me is when the pandemic was at its peak and everyone had to quarantine. I had to do the rest of my junior year online, and now my entire senior year. I have always been a resilient person, but it was still pretty hard to go through that. I have always had respect for others, but after the pandemic that key value really got highlighted for me. I always wear my mask everywhere even outside so I can respect those around me. I give people more than six feet of social distancing just out of respect.”




Noelle Martin, Mountain Vista High School

Noelle Martin
Mountain Vista High School

I will attend Belmont University

  • All-state choir member and main stage Colorado Thespian Conference performer

  • Colorado Continental League member

  • Plans to double major in Music Education and Voice Performance, with an emphasis in Musical Theater



What memorable moment during the pandemic instilled a key value in you?

“During the COVID-19 pandemic I learned the importance of friendships and relationships. I learned that friendships that are valued are essential. The power of friendships and relationships is truly something that I never valued until the pandemic.”





Hannah Olsen, Rock Canyon High School

Hannah Olsen
Rock Canyon High School

I will attend BYU-Idaho

  • President of Key Club

  • Photographer of a full-page photo in the 2020 yearbook

  • Plans to pursue a nursing degree



What memorable moment during the pandemic instilled a key value in you?

“Patience.”





Abbey Telesz, Ponderosa High School

Abbey Telesz
Ponderosa High School

I will attend Juniata College

  • College scholarship recipient to play volleyball at Juniata College

  • First four-year year letter winner in Ponderosa High’s volleyball program

  • Plans to study biology with an emphasis in Pre-med



What memorable moment during the pandemic instilled a key value in you?

“I have always been a self-motivated person that is willing to put in the work without the push from a coach or parent. However, during the first few weeks of the pandemic I began to realize that my self-motivation would be what separated me from others. I began to workout everyday and consistently do wall work to keep my skill level up for volleyball. I couldn't go to my trainer or make it to the gym for privates but through that self-motivation I was able to still hone in on my skill and keep my athletic ability up. I also began to realize when school started again that I would need self-motivation with our hybrid schedule as I would not be in class five days a week and would need to set aside time for school work although I was in an atypical school environment. By having that value instilled in me already and building on it through the pandemic, it will be a key part of my success in college.”




John Williams, Ponderosa High School

John Williams
Ponderosa High School

I will attend Whittier College

  • Recruited by Whittier to play college golf

  • Obtained a 4.0 GPA

  • All-state athlete three years in a row



What memorable moment during the pandemic instilled a key value in you?

“The most memorable moment for me was the change to the academic world. Having to complete all my classes online and on my own helped me prepare for what college learning will be like. Having a new sense of freedom in my academics allowed me to improve my work ethic as well as myself.”




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