Aspen, Basalt high graduations are scheduled for Saturday |

Aspen, Basalt high graduations are scheduled for Saturday

The Aspen High School 2017 graduates toss their hats in the air at the Benedict Music Tent.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times

When you’re passionate about what you’re writing, the words tend to run freely. For Aspen High School’s Owen Ramberg, this was exactly the case as he wrote his speech to the Class of 2018 for Saturday’s 1 p.m. graduation ceremony inside the Benedict Music Tent.

“It flowed out pretty easily, because these are topics I really care about,” the AHS senior said Friday. “But at the same time, I’ve spent many hours practicing it, making sure I get it in front of my family and friends, so hopefully I’ll do well tomorrow.”

Ramberg is one of two Class of 2018 valedictorians set to deliver a speech during Saturday’s graduation, the other being Sarah Scharlin Ben-Hamoo. All told, 127 Aspen High seniors are expected to walk across the music tent’s stage, with 93 percent of them headed to college in the fall.

Of the graduates, 102 of them received an academic letter, meaning they had a grade-point-average of at least 3.2.

“It’s exciting to show some of the things I’ve done in school have paid off,” Ramberg said of being co-valedictorian. “On the other end of it, so many people in my class are talented in so many different areas. I’m just one of countless people in the Class of 2018 that are deserving. People have so many different talents and I’m happy to be able to represent them during graduation.”

Ramberg will attend the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He is interested in pursuing a career in emergency medicine, as well as entrepreneurship. He hopes to combine the two fields in some form. Ben-Hamoo will attend Tufts University in Massachusetts, where she plans to have a pre-med focus. She will major in child studies and human development.

“Can’t wait. I’m excited to be done,” Ramberg said. “It’s the culmination of all the hard work we put in over the past four years.”

Should he return in time, the commencement speaker is scheduled to be professional skier and 2018 Olympic silver medalist Alex Ferreira, an AHS graduate.

The Basalt High School graduation is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday on the BHS football field, with 81 Longhorns set to walk across the stage. Basalt’s co-valedictorians are William Orben and Andrew Olson. Orben will attend the University of Colorado, while Olson will go to Brown University.

Instead of a keynote speaker, the BHS seniors decided to do a “class address,” with two teachers — choir director Brittany von Stein and science teacher Brent Hayes — having the honors to speak to the Class of 2018.