A ‘thunderous applause’ for Steamboat Mountain School graduates

Maia Coe, a graduate of Steamboat Mountain School, gets off the school bus for a spinning procession of umbrellas guiding graduates to the tent set up on the school lawn on Sunday, May 29, 2022.
Dylan Anderson / Steamboat Pilot and Today

After a high school career that featured the most disruption in recent memory, the Class of 2022 at Steamboat Mountain School had no problem handling one more.

As praise for the graduates filled a tent set up in the school lawn just north of Steamboat Springs on Sunday, May 29, a clap of thunder joined the celebration, literally creating ‘thunderous applause’ .

This sent the graduates back to the bus they were brought in where they played Frozen Dance while family and friends waited in their cars for the rain. During a break in time, the school bell beckoned everyone back to the tent, and the class celebration continued.

“The pandemic was not brought up as part of the grand scheme to expand your child’s nurturing programming,” school principal Samantha Coyne Donnel joked. “But seniors, you have certainly endured this long sentence with grace, courage and optimism.”

This year’s 17 graduates from Steamboat Mountain School plan to go all over the world. Some will attend colleges in Italy and France while others will attend schools from coast to coast. Two graduates plan to spend the next year pursuing ski racing.

“From experiencing things ranging from incredible travel and living through COVID, to the little moment of sharing smiles in the hallway and complaining about schoolwork, we’ve become not just a graduating class together, but a family,” said graduate Eliza Bodden, who was chosen by her peers to deliver the senior class speech.

Graduate Eliza Bodden was chosen by her classmates to give the class speech at their graduation from Steamboat Mountain School on Sunday, May 29, 2022. She told her class it was the start of their journey and now they had to “show the world who we are.”
Dylan Anderson / Steamboat Pilot and Today

“Looking back, I remember all the adventures that made us family,” Bodden continued. “No matter where we go or how hard life may throw at us, we will always have each other to come back to. This is just the beginning of our journey…so let’s show the world who we are.

Donnel used the adjective fierce to encompass class. After going through several definitions of the word – “physically fierce”, “powerful and destructive” – before settling on “a display of heartfelt and powerful intensity”.

“Class of 2022, you show genuine intensity and confidently travel the world while uplifting others along the way,” Donnel said. “Your ties to each other and to the school run deep. Cherish the memories, stay in touch and know that we are always here to support you.

The Steamboat Mountain School Class of 2022 awaits the restart of its graduation ceremony after a brief weather delay on Sunday, May 29, 2022.
Dylan Anderson / Steamboat Pilot and Today
Steamboat Mountain School graduates scramble into the bus that brought them to the ceremony after thunder and lightning forced the ceremony to a halt on Sunday, May 29, 2022.
Dylan Anderson / Steamboat Pilot and Today
Eliana Brown receives a rubber duck from Meg Morse after graduating from Steamboat Mountain School on Sunday, May 29, 2022.
Dylan Anderson / Steamboat Pilot and Today
Teacher Cody Heartz talks about graduate Xander Tatar-Brown before he receives his diploma at Steamboat Mountain School’s graduation on Sunday, May 29, 2022. Tatar-Brown plans to pursue competitive skiing after graduation of his degree.
Dylan Anderson / Steamboat Pilot and Today
Steamboat Mountain School’s class of 2022 throws off their caps at the school’s graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 29.
Dylan Anderson / Steamboat Pilot and Today

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