Centaurus High School graduate Alex Silver doesn’t like public speaking.
But Silver boldly faced 360 peers clad in blue caps and gowns and hundreds of their family and friends who packed the stadium seats of the 1stBank Center in Broomfield for Centaurus High School’s Friday graduation.
“I’m still scared of public speaking, but I’ve learned an important lesson,” Silver told those gathered. “Being scared means it matters. It means you care. Growing up isn’t about not being afraid. It’s about swallowing your fear … and realizing that your comfort zone could be holding you back.”
Silver was one of dozens of graduates who spoke bravely to a crowd Friday night, as the district celebrated seniors from Broomfield, Monarch and Peak to Peak at the 1stBank Center. The graduation location change was a last-minute response to the sudden wintry weather, which brought chilly temperatures and slushy, wet snowfall to Boulder County.
The original plan was to hold those graduations outside at Boulder’s Recht Field. Boulder Prep seniors also graduated Friday. Roughly 2,575 Boulder Valley School District Students are graduating as the Class of 2022.
From the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history to the continuation of the global coronavirus pandemic, speakers acknowledged the challenges students faced throughout their high school careers. Despite it all, they persevered — coming out of it stronger and more united.
At Monarch’s ceremony, representatives from the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, Louisville Police, Louisville Fire and Mountain View Fire joined the school board members and school and district staff members on stage.
Monarch Principal Neil Anderson choked up as he introduced those guests and talked about the impact of the Marshall Fire. Over winter break, the fire burned through 6,000 acres in Louisville and Superior, displacing more than 800 students and 50 staff members.
He added that he reserved most of the speaker time for the seniors.
“This is their time, not our time,” he said.
Student speaker Melody Hosseini said the world went crazy in the last couple of years trying to separate her classmates, but they came back together senior year for football games, science lab dissections and multiple gas leaks that evacuated the school. She also thanked teachers, families, the “tremendously underappreciated” security guards and custodial staff, and her fellow graduates.
“We are a firsthand example that nothing is impossible if we work together,” she said.
Another student speaker, Garrett Myers, praised the Class of 2022 for “surviving and advancing” through “the most unconventional four years of high school in modern history.”
“Because of all we have been through, all we have gone through and all we experienced in our four short years together, I’m confident that whatever life will throw our way, Class of 2022 — we’ve got this,” he said. “It’s all going to be OK. We survived and advanced.”
Graduating senior quadruplets Amanda, McKenna, Ryleigh and Sydney Selby gave a speech together, emphasizing Monarch’s connected community and strong school spirit. They also talked about the year’s challenges, with Ryleigh noting the burned grass near the school is growing back richer and greener than before the fire.
“We too will come back stronger,” she said. “The Class of 2022 is resilient, and we do not give up.”
At Broomfield High’s graduation, Principal Ginger Ramsey reminded the seniors that “once an eagle, always an eagle.”
“Whatever you decide to pursue, I expect you to do the best that you can do, because that’s what eagles do,” she said. Student speaker Caedmon Burgtorf said the story of the graduating class is one of perseverance through online school, balancing homework with a social life and seizing opportunities inside and outside the school.
“We’re here together, and, sure, we may have taken many different paths to get here today, but when you zoom out and look at how all of these paths have crossed and intersected, you really see the true story of the Broomfield High School Class of 2022.”
He said the seniors made the last four years their own.
“Let’s never stop being ourselves, loving what we love,” he said. “Let’s fall in love with the world and everyone in it. Let’s fall in love with the stories we create with those who are closest to us.”
Speaking to Centaurus High School graduates, Boulder Valley School District Deputy Superintendent Lora De La Cruz said when big life changes happen, it can often lead to pondering, “What makes me happy? What’s my purpose?”
She encouraged students to answer those questions by finding “what makes them come alive.”
“What the world needs now is people that have come alive,” De La Cruz said. “People that are living with purpose and making a positive difference. What the world needs now is you.”
For a complete list of graduations, go to bvsd.org.