Crestone Charter School graduates three in 2023

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CRESTONE — On the afternoon of May 19, the three Crestone Charter School (CCS) graduates received their diplomas and enjoyed the commencement activities that were dedicated to them.

Thomas Cleary, director of the school, opened the ceremony with words of appreciation, advice, words from Dr. Seuss, comedian Jerry Seinfeld, and these words from Zimbabwean-born and Canadian-based philosopher and writer Matshona Dhliwayo, "If you follow the herd, people may mistake you for a cow."

Cleary implored the graduates to "forge your own pathway and grow as you walk that path and as it has been said before, it is, not the destination, it is the process of getting there."

Teachers, Sam Goering, Lee Eversole, and Fabricio Fernandes each addressed graduates, Ava Guidry, MaKai Toven Clendening, and Kaelen Gregory Hollyer.

In a touching moment Lee Eversole, who teaches science told the graduates, “I love each of you and I want you to have a beautiful future…it will have hardships and life is not easy, but be certain to get up each time. Blessings."

Colin Cole McGee offered a musical performance of "Fires of Mazama," by Michael Sweeney, a work that interprets the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Mazama in Oregon, which created the Crater Lake caldera. A fitting composition for graduates who are bursting onto their world scene.

Since 1996, the CCS has served the needs of Crestone and Saguache County and is part of the Moffat Consolidated School District No. 2.

The school is located on the outskirts of Crestone in a mountain setting, only several miles from 14,000-foot peaks in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Completed in 2012, the school was made possible by a Colorado Department of Education's BEST (Building Excellent Schools Today) capital construction grant.

In 2006, the Crestone Charter School high school program was named one of the top three schools for academic achievement in the state by the Colorado Department of Education. CCS has sustained a program of academic excellence over the past 15 years while developing an expeditionary program that allows rural students a leg up into global citizenship through service learning, academic and cultural studies in Japan, Costa Rica, India, and Mexico. The school serves about 90 students, K-12.