This graduation season extra special for Board of Education President
HIGHLANDS RANCH – Every year, graduation season is a bit like Christmas morning for Douglas County Board of Education President Kevin Larsen. It is something that he looks forward to all year long.
“The ultimate thing you're trying to do as a Board member is to get those kids their diplomas and have them ready to go on to college, get a job or be a productive part of the community,” Larsen said. “That ceremony is a huge part of acknowledging what they've accomplished.”
“For all of the tough decisions and the other things that go with the job, this is one of the best moments to see those kids cross the stage and shake their hand and wish them well,” he added. “It's great because some of the kids are going into an Ivy League school, some are going into the Army, somebody else is going to community college here in Colorado – the whole variety of things that kids are going to do.”
Larsen attends as many graduation ceremonies as he can and enjoys how each of the 13 ceremonies varies.
“Every school does their ceremony a little different. They do their own thing,” Larsen said.
Over the years he has even found ways he can contribute. After winning a bid to conduct the Chaparral High School orchestra, students learned that Larsen can play the French horn and invited him to play with them during graduation.
After playing in several ceremonies in past years, an opportunity opened for Larsen to sing along with the Mountain Vista Golden Tones, during their 2014 commencement exercises.
While he says that these opportunities have been a dream come true – this year was very special.
As the president of the Board, he had the opportunity to be the first to congratulate his daughter, Claire, when she received her high school diploma from Highlands Ranch High School at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
“This is an extra special sweet moment. It is pretty rare when a board member gets to give his or her own child a diploma. It will be pretty emotional for me,” Larsen said.
He, however, wanted to make sure that this moment was about her.
“While it is pretty extra special as a dad to be able to give your daughter her diploma. It is her moment and I don't want to take away from that,” Larsen said.
“And all of her life, she'll be stuck with my signature on it,” he added with a laugh.
He and the rest of the Board of Education wish to congratulate the Douglas County School District Class of 2014.