‘Now, go impact the world:’ Boulder, Broomfield High seniors graduate in person after pandemic year

Boulder High School seniors were one of two BVSD high school classes that graduated Saturday at Recht Field in Boulder. (Brooklyn Dance / Staff Writer)
Boulder High School seniors were one of two BVSD high school classes that graduated Saturday at Recht Field in Boulder. (Brooklyn Dance / Staff Writer)
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The sun beamed onto Christian Recht Field at Boulder High School as a sea of royal purple caps and gowns filed into the chairs spread out across the turf Saturday morning.

Hours later, the sun was covered with clouds, and the same field swelled with Broomfield High seniors in royal blue caps and gowns.

BOULDER, CO - May 22, 2021: ...
Gabriella Olson runs back to her seat before the Broomfield High School graduation at Christian Recht Field on May 21, 2021.(Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

After a year of distanced learning, quarantines and isolation, seniors from the two high schools graduated Saturday — and even got to walk across the stage to receive their diplomas.

Boulder High Principal James A. Hill acknowledged the Boulder graduation marked his first — and last — opportunity to address the senior class all at once. After consulting with his mother, Hill said he realized there wasn’t anything he could tell the seniors that they hadn’t already learned in the past 17 or 18 years. Still, he left them with four reminders: to be authentic, to believe in your imagination, to do what you’re passionate about and, finally, to be a good person.

“Manners will take you where money won’t,” he told the seniors. “I’ve never been more optimistic about the future of this world as I am with this class.”

Stories of resilience were woven into every speech given by each of the speakers at both graduations.

“I’d like you to know that 2020 was a very difficult year, from emotional losses, from racism spreading in the United states, to the COVID pandemic,” Lane Wilson, one of the four class speakers at the Boulder High graduation said. “But we never gave up.”

Logan Ezra Smith, a Boulder High 2020 graduate, gave the commencement address to the Boulder seniors. He spoke of the challenges in his life after being born with health issues and birth defects. He spoke of giving up on life and on school, but eventually returning to Boulder High and graduating as a fifth-year senior. He spoke of how he chose fight over flight for 58 minutes when a gunman reigned terror on the Table Mesa King Soopers on March 22.

“Every day we wake up is a gift,” he told the seniors. “The only thing you can control is the present, and the only thing you can change is the future.”

Broomfield senior Maria Silver, who presented the summa cum laude address along with senior Benjamin Reifschneider, said the class has overcome countless disappointments and setbacks, but has remained optimistic.

“We can let defeat and loss derail us, or we can learn from our struggles and continue towards our goals,” she said. “Our response to setbacks presented to us this year shows that we can persevere, and we will continue to do so as we continue our lives.”

Broomfield High Principal Ginger Ramsey told the seniors, “mama eagle has a few words to say.” She recited the school motto, “BHS, we live it,” one last time for the graduates.

“Now is the time for you to get ready to leave the nest. Please take flight, and always remember: Once an eagle,” she started.

“Always an eagle,” she and the students said in unison.

More than 450 students graduated from Boulder High and more than 300 graduated from Broomfield High. After each student’s name was read, they walked across the stage and posed for a photo with their respective principal.

Hill closed out his message by emphasizing how proud he was of the senior class.

“Now, go impact the world,” he concluded.

Both ceremonies ended with the graduates turning their tassels and then throwing their caps into the air. At the Broomfield ceremony, “Hooked on a Feeling,” by Blue Swede began playing on the speakers — the senior class’ song.