A few laughs, a few tears | AspenTimes.com

A few laughs, a few tears

Joel Stonington
Mark Fox/The Aspen TImes

The Benedict Music Tent was filled with cheering parents and friends as Aspen High School’s Class of 2006 filed in to graduate on Saturday.

“It is indeed a pleasure to celebrate the accomplishments of the young people you see before you,” said Aspen School District Superintendent Diana Sirko.

And celebrate they did, with awards for leadership, service, academics and various other topics, as well as 97 scholarships totaling more than $250,000.

Commencement speaker Dr. William D. Mitchell, a pediatrician at Aspen Valley Pediatrics, began his speech as one might expect: “Many of you, I’ve known every day of your life,” he said. “Those of you born Caesarian, I got to hold you before your family did.”

Mitchell wore academic regalia to honor education and academia. He spoke about the history of education, noting changes such as the acceptance of women. He also gave students some tangible advice.”For your parents, it’s important that after you get this education, you get a job,” he said, continuing with some hard reality. “How much you get paid is not how much you are valued by society.”

After Mitchell’s address, graduate Ali Zicheck sang “Hero,” by Mariah Carey. That was followed by the Salutory Address by Kelly Bogaert and the Valedictory Address by Brandon Briscoe.”I wish that everyone will carry the faith that the world can be changed for the better,” said Briscoe.

Joel Stonington’s e-mail is jstonington@aspentimes.com

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