Poudre School District honored graduating seniors during commencement exercises in May. Enjoy the PSD TV recap video and vignettes below about PSD graduation ceremonies!
Posted in alphabetical order are recaps of ceremonies for Centennial High School, Fort Collins High School, Fossil Ridge High School, Polaris Expeditionary Learning School, Poudre Community Academy, Poudre High School, PSD Global Academy and Rocky Mountain High School.
Centennial High School graduates share significant roses with those who have supported them
A rose for a mother, whose unconditional love and support since birth got her now-grown baby boy to the stage. A rose for a father, whose daughter loves him deeply and unconditionally, despite the recent stains on their relationship. Two roses for two grandmothers, who woke their granddaughter each day and made sure she got to school. Such were the authentic and moving stories shared Thursday night during Centennial High School’s 2019 commencement ceremony at the Lincoln Center. In following tradition, each member of the class of 2019 gave away two roses to people who helped them in their often difficult, winding and sometimes disjointed journeys to earn their high school diploma.
Roses went to family members, significant others, teachers, friends and, in several cases, to the school itself. Centennial High School, Principal Mike Roberts shared, is different by design. He said he is thankful the alternative high school is empowered to “color outside the public school lines” and take a unique approach to caring for and educating its students – many of whom have faced significant heartbreak and hardships throughout their young lives.
“We strive to change the world,” one of the students said during his speech, adding later, “We looked inside ourselves and knew we can be better than we believe we are.” In the words of this class itself, “You are worth high expectations.”
At Fort Collins High School graduation, tradition and inspiration abound
Every single person gathered in Moby Arena Saturday afternoon to celebrate the Fort Collins High School's class of 2019 was an inspiration. They are all to be appreciated. During a ceremony steeped in tradition, graduates took either a yellow or purple rose as they accepted their diplomas, the key to their next steps in life. The graduates, who join more than 31,000 FCHS alumni, took time to mark a special moment in the school's long history: the retirement of Principal Mark Eversole.
"Mr. Eversole, your positivity seemed to make everything okay," a student poem for the beloved principal said. "Your legacy is something that will always matter."
Mr. Eversole told the students with pride that they were capable of anything they set their minds to. – be it more school, working, joining the military or starting a family, "Collins has taught you well," Mr. Eversole said with pride.
Fossil Ridge High School graduates step forward ready to change the world
"Once a SaberCat, always a SaberCat."
Though the Class of 2019 will no longer Grace the halls of Fossil Ridge High School, their collective footsteps, ideas and words have left a lasting impression for generations to come.
Respect, integrity, and kindness will get them through whatever comes next, and we know each student will go forth and change our community for the better.
Polaris graduates highlight adventure and connections as a key part of their experience
As Polaris Expeditionary Learning School graduates spoke of their time in high school, they told stories of adventures, deep learning, and meaningful friendships.
These students spoke about learning the proper use of a comma from the same teacher who worked with them to become certified scuba divers before they set off to restore coral reefs in Florida. On every adventure trip, they watched the sun go down together; and on Thursday, they said they were watching the sun once again dip beneath the horizon on their high school journeys.
“You are indeed our hope for the future,” Polaris Principal Joe Gawronski told the students, as he turned to face them. This class of graduates has climbed mountains, he said, both figuratively and literally as part of their educations. An important distinction, though, was that they made the climb so they could get a better view of the world – not so the world would have a better view of them.
In a time-honored tradition, Polaris teachers spoke about each of the graduates, sometimes through poems or memories of the expeditionary learning and growth they experienced as a crew. At Polaris, the saying “we are crew, not passengers,” guides students, staff and educators. That was never more clear than it was through the memories and lessons shared during the school’s graduation ceremony.
Poudre Community Academy graduates celebrate their diplomas and rising to life challenges
When Poudre Community Academy Principal Troy Krotz spoke to the school’s graduating class, he spoke of the students’ triumph, grit and compassion.
“As you know, life is not easy, and accomplishments like this are worth fighting for,” he said. “Regardless of the reasons you came to PCA, I’m glad that we found one another.” he said. Every person deserves to graduate with a diploma – whether they’re 17 or 27, he told the crowd of beaming graduates, family members and friends.
As a school, as a community, PCA is an opportunity for students from all backgrounds to find success. As part of a time-honored and special PCA tradition, any member of the audience who wished to say a few words Thursday was given a microphone – sometimes more than once. Life hasn’t always been easy, mothers, fathers, grandparents, best friends and kid cousins said, but these students made it. They put in sweat and tears; they leapt out of their comfort zones; they didn’t listen to their own doubts, or those from others; they’re loved; and each has inspirational stories of survival.
All of those feats – and so many more – were celebrated as they walked across the stage, successful and happy, to accept their hard-earned high school diploma.
Poudre High School graduates share messages of gratitude during commencement
In Poudre High School community fashion, the Impala graduates stopped during their commencement ceremony to take part in a "mass expression of gratitude," sending texts to the family and friends who helped them get to this day.
Four years ago, they walked through Poudre's doors as brave 14- and 15-year-olds who knew they would leave a mark. Leave a mark they have, said PHS Principal Kathy Mackay, sharing a long and impressive list of ways the graduates helped others, broke glass ceilings, made their voices heard, and so much more.
"What you did in four years is amazing," she said.
Poudre Global Academy graduates reflect on their journeys
The class of 16 students rose from their seats and turned to face the applauding crowd of parents, grandparents, friends, and family members.
And just like that, the tassels on caps atop PSD Global Academy graduates’ heads moved from right to left, as they received their high school diplomas at a beautiful ceremony Wednesday night. PGA, as it’s affectionately known, offers its students a hybrid learning model that blends the flexibility of online learning with the powerful experience of face-to-face time and relationship building in the classroom.
As the class of 2019 shared their high school reflections with friends and families, they spoke of a small school that’s grown — and a place they’ve grown up alongside. They spoke fondly of school staff members who taught them not just about mitochondria and balancing both sides of an equation but also about being their authentic selves and the world around them.
“I have loved my school, and it has loved me back,” class Valedictorian Courtney Norris said with grace and heart.
Principal Cheryl Fenlason spoke to the graduates about their journeys through school, and passionately encouraged them to pursue their dreams.
“Thanks for being our reasons for coming to work,” she told the graduating class. “We believe in you, and we believe every single one of you will do amazing things to impact your world.”
Rocky Mountain High School graduates focus on the importance of community
Going forward, Rocky Mountain Principal Dr. Craig Woodall told the 2019 graduating class that he wants them to be better than great.
"I want you to be good," he said during the Saturday morning commencement ceremony. Lobos, he said, are just different -- in the way they compete, support one another and hold themselves in the community. That is, after all, the Lobo Way. This class of graduates have suffered great loss but came together, amid it all.
The graduates were left with three messages: Forgive. Be honest. Do things that fill your cup so you are able to share with others.