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As restrictions ease, Summit high schools plan for return to in-person graduation ceremonies

Schools will offer students a mountaintop graduation ceremony, or in-person graduation ceremonies held outside or inside, depending on the weather.

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — Last year, The Peak School defied typical graduation standards to provide its students with a mountaintop graduation ceremony.

The experience was so invaluable to its seniors that the school decided to do it again.

The Peak School’s 11 seniors will gather with their families May 27 at the base of Copper Mountain Resort for a brief ceremony, according to Head of School Travis Aldrich.

In pre-pandemic times, The Peak School would use the Colorado Mountain College auditorium for its graduation. But Aldrich said families appreciated the ceremony at Copper last year, as it was one of few schools in the country to hold a ceremony of that kind.

“Our families, they actually really enjoyed the uniqueness of the Copper chairlift graduation (so) we decided to incorporate it into our plans this year because Copper has been so welcoming,” Aldrich said. “We’re a small enough group where this works for us, and again we’re very appreciative to Copper for helping to make it happen.”

Aldrich will give opening remarks before keynote speaker Caroline Santinelli, a former English teacher who seniors voted to bring back for the ceremony, takes the stage. Then, each senior selected a person who played an important role in their lives to speak on their behalf.

After the speeches, each senior will ride the chairlift to the top of the mountain where they will receive their diplomas — the same ceremony The Peak School did for last year’s graduates.

All other Summit County schools will have some form of in-person graduation ceremony with health and safety protocols in place.

Snowy Peaks will hold an in-person ceremony for its 13 graduates at 2 p.m. May 26.

Read the full story at Summit Daily. 

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