Students honor special people in their lives during capping ceremony
by Patty Unruh
Gilpin County High School seniors were awarded scholarships by local organizations at a program on Wednesday evening, May 15 in the school auditorium. Those scholarships were also announced at the students’ commencement ceremony on Saturday morning, May 18, along with additional awards. The total of all scholarships was $244,700.
The Booster Club had provided a banquet prior to the awards program. Following the meal, the seniors and family members adjourned to the auditorium, where Secondary Principal Alexis Donaldson welcomed them and the scholarship presenters.
“Congratulations, 2019 graduates! This is a special weekend to honor you for all your hard work,” she told the young men and women. “Parents, you all have incredible children. The staff loves working with them and values their relationships.”
She recognized the organizations that were providing financial awards.
“The list of students receiving scholarships keeps getting longer and longer. Without your generosity, a lot of them couldn’t go on to do what they will be doing.”
Donaldson also thanked the Booster Club members, who had served at the school for eight nights in a row to prepare for the big graduation weekend.
School counselor Kim Cobb distributed classroom awards for several academic subjects, including financial literacy, science bowl, National Honor Society, physics, advanced placement calculus, and others.
Eagle Honor Roll awards were announced for students earning a grade point average of 3.0-3.49. These went to Cheyenne Cowles, Katelynn Waterman, Alexis Lautrup, Alexander Wilhelm, Blaizun Diamond, and Shania Gonzales. Those earning Principal’s Honor Roll awards (GPA of 3.50-3.99) were Hailey Perryman, Wilhelm Lorenz, Courtney Holmes, Cooper Lindberg, and Kristi Schmidt. The Superintendent’s Honor Roll awards (GPA of 4.00 or higher) went to Anna Yocom, Chad Holmes, Juan Madrigal-Garcia, and Angel Gomez.
Scholarship presenters were Mary McGhee for the Daughters of the American Revolution; Ryan and Hannah Raynes for the Theatre Scholarship; Mike Schick for the Central City Elks Club Scholarship, Colorado Elks Club Scholarship, and Ralph Calabrese Scholarship; Shirley Voorhies for the Lady Elks Scholarship; Kevin Armstrong for the Gilpin County Sheriff’s Scholarship; Volkan Tuzer for the Z Casino’s Scholarship; Cary Ihme for the Tom and Cary Ihme Service Excellence Scholarship; Sandi Oliver for the Gilpin Booster Club Scholarships; Kevin Armstrong for the Alan Green Memorial Foundation; Barbara Thielemann for the Peak to Peak Rotary Scholarship; Barbara Hardt for the Barbara Lawlor Memorial Journalism Scholarship; Craig Holmes for the Gilpin Education Foundation Scholarships; and Melissa Greiner and Alderman Linda Armbright for the City of Black Hawk Scholarships.
Since the City of Black Hawk instituted the educational enhancement tax program in 1994, Black Hawk has given more than $788,000 to graduates of Gilpin County School, including $114,000 to the Class of 2019.
The program’s finale was a capping ceremony. This tradition was begun in 2017 and has proven to be a meaningful addition to the evening. The seniors took the stage one at a time to say a few words about a person who had supported them in their endeavors. Those people accompanied the senior and placed the mortarboard on his or her head. The young men and women honored their dads, moms, brothers, or sisters. Their remarks were special to hear.
“You believed in me.” “You’ve had the biggest impact on my life.” “You made me promise to work hard.” “My brother and I are joining the Army together.” ““You are my rock and strength.” “You took care of me before doing anything for yourself.” “Without you, I wouldn’t be who I am today.”
Gilpin’s 19 seniors received the following awards, to be disbursed over the next four years:
Cheyenne Cowles – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Ralph Calabrese $500; Booster Athletic $500; Gilpin County Education Foundation $1,000. Total – $8,000. Cheyenne will attend Red Rocks Community College, then transfer to the University of Northern Colorado and will work toward her Bachelor of Science in nursing.
Blaizun Diamond – City of Black Hawk $6,000. Blaizun will attend CU Boulder and major in mechanical engineering.
Angel Gomez – City of Black Hawk $6,000; GI Bill $13,000. Total – $19,000. Angel has enlisted in the Army Reserve and will leave for basic training in August. He will attend CU Boulder in the spring, majoring in astronomy.
Shania Gonzales – City of Black Hawk $6,000; CO Grant $2,000; Maybelle Canavel $500; First Generation $4,000; Lady Elks $750; Booster Academic $500; Peak to Peak Rotary $500; County Sheriffs of Colorado $1,000; Gilpin County Sheriff’s Scholarship $500; Gilpin County Education Foundation $1,500; Golden Rotary/WT $1,500; Alan Green Memorial $3,500. Total – $22,250. Shania will attend Mesa University, major in nursing, and work to acquire her paramedic license.
Chance Griffin-Williams – City of Black Hawk $6,000. Chance plans to join the workforce and wishes to pursue twitch streaming.
Chad Holmes – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Mines Merit Pres. $10,000; Central City Elks $1,000; First Generation $4,000; Booster Valedictorian $500; Gilpin County Education Foundation $1,500. Total – $23,000. Chad will attend Colorado School of Mines and major in civil engineering.
Courtney Holmes – City of Black Hawk $6,000; First Generation $4,000; Booster Art $500; Mesa Merit Scholarship $5,000; Gilpin County Education Foundation $1,500; Central City Elks $1,000; Alan Green Memorial $3,500. Total – $21,500. Courtney will attend Mesa University and major in nursing.
Daniel Jewell – City of Black Hawk $6,000. Daniel plans to join the workforce, pursue a career in culinary arts, and join the Army in October.
Alexis Lautrup – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Tom and Cary Ihme Service Excellence $2,500; Lady Elks $500; Gilpin County Education Foundation $500. Total – $9,500. Alexis will attend Red Rocks and then transfer to the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, majoring in nursing.
Cooper Lindberg – City of Black Hawk $6,000; University of South Wales $2,000 (1,500 pounds); Gilpin County Education Foundation $500; Alan Green Memorial $3,500. Total – $12,000. Cooper will attend the University of South Wales and major in forensic investigation.
Wilhelm Lorenz – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Northeastern Vision Sch. $2,000; Central City Elks $500; Booster Athletic Club $500; Gilpin County Education Foundation $1,000; Alan Green Memorial $3,500. Total – $13,500. Wilhelm will attend Northeastern Junior College and major in fire science.
Juan Madrigal-Garcia – City of Black Hawk $6,000. Juan will attend Metro State University and major in biology.
Jaidyn Miller – City of Black Hawk $6,000. Jaidyn will attend Community College and major as a language interpreter.
Kasen Nelson – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Barbara Lawlor Memorial $1,000. Total – $7,000. Kasen will attend Red Rocks and then transfer to Oregon State or UCLA, majoring in business and/or accounting.
Hailey Perryman – City of Black Hawk $6,000; CU Boulder $4,000; Z Casio $1,000. Total – $11,000. Hailey will attend CU Boulder with a potential major in biology.
Kristi Schmidt – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Westminster Public Safety Recognition Foundation $1,000; First Generation $4,000; Gilpin County Education Foundation $1,000. Total – $12,000. Kristi will attend Mesa University and major in nursing.
Katelynn Waterman – City of Black Hawk $6,000. Katelynn will attend Job Corps in the welding program.
Alex Wilhelm – City of Black Hawk $6,000. Alex will attend the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and will major in mass communication and journalism.
Anna Yocom – City of Black Hawk $6,000; United Power $1,000; Gilpin County Theatre $250; DAR Good Citizen award $700; Mines Medal $1,000; Colorado Elks Club $1,000; Booster Salutatorian $500; Peak to Peak Rotary $500; Mines Merit Pres. $10,000; Gilpin County Education Foundation $3,000; Vanguard Community of Scholars $20,000. Total – $43,950. Anna will attend the Colorado School of Mines and major in chemical engineering.