A school district in a rural town on the Eastern Plains has a graduating class of one.
Bryan Cordova-Munoz is the only senior at Agate School District #300, a district with 47 students total.
“I'm actually very excited. The only problem is all the stress being the only senior and everything,” Cordova-Munoz said with a laugh. “Other than that, I'm proud that I've made it.”
Being the only senior added some pressure to Bryan’s last semester of high school. He used to attend Adams City High School in Commerce City, where he was one senior out of many. The transfer to Agate meant experiencing the exact opposite.
“It was a little bit scary. I didn’t know how to go about being the only one,” Cordova-Munoz said. “It was kind of difficult just trying to be the role model. I was the only senior they were looking up to, and they had very high hopes for me as well.”
Cordova-Munoz's graduation ceremony is Saturday. There will be special speakers and a video tribute. Agate’s School Board President told 9NEWS the Commissioner of Education sent Cordova-Munoz a message of congratulations.
While it will be a smaller ceremony, it will be no less important for Cordova-Munoz: Having a senior graduate is a big deal for the Agate School District.
The district is made up of just one school, and it almost closed last year, according to the school board. It had grades K-5 and three students. The school board decided to give it another year and open it up to K-12. Forty-seven students enrolled, including Cordova-Munoz.
Cordova-Munoz said he switched schools because he had to drive an hour to get to Adams City High School. The transfer cut his commute down to six minutes. He said the administrators at Agate were supportive in helping him meet the standards he needed.
With those standards met, Cordova-Munoz will go on to study electrical and biomedical engineering at Metro State University of Denver.
“He’s the greatest young man. We can’t wait to watch and see what he does,” said Agate School District #00 School Board President Jenny MacLennan.
Agate District #300 couldn’t be prouder, she added.
“This is a dream come true to have our first senior,” MacLennan said. “Embarking on this process, we were going, 'Okay, we’re going to open K-12 next year and we weren’t really expecting to have a senior.'
Being able to get a senior to come to our school when they’ve been somewhere else for so long is really something we feel wonderful about. We feel he trusted us with his education."
The district now has five freshmen, a sophomore and one junior, according to MacLennan. She added that junior may move out of state, so the district might not have a graduation next year.
MacLennan said they’re looking toward the future. They have 10 kindergartners and are working to start a preschool program next year.
“We’re very excited to watch our little school grow — slowly but surely," she said.
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