Congratulations, class of 2015
On May 30, 13 Snowmass Village teenagers will take the most important walk of their lives as they set foot on stage at their graduation.
Some of these kids have been together since their days at the Little Red School House. Now seniors at Aspen High School, they’ve played varsity sports, discovered their interests and gone on adventures together.
They’re about to embark on some even bigger adventures as well. Here’s a look at Snowmass graduates’ future plans and fondest memories.
Finding a lifelong passion while a member of the high school Astronomy Club, Dominick Alcorta said his favorite memories are from playing basketball, football and lacrosse.
“I really enjoyed pushing myself in classes and finally loved hanging out with all my friends,” he added.
Alcorta will be attending Lynn University this fall, majoring in international business management/economics with a minor in sports management. He is the recipient of an academic scholarship to Lynn and will play basketball there.
Christy Buchholz played all four years on the girls basketball team and was a varsity letter winner all four years on the girls golf team. This year, Christy was awarded Colorado 3A All Conference First Team for her performance in golf tournaments.
Her most memorable part of high school was her senior ex-ed trip to Lake Tahoe.
She is planning on studying exercise science and kinesiology when she attends Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif., near San Francisco.
Jessica Coxon lettered in both soccer and basketball, both of which she played all four years. Also a heavily involved volunteer, she participated in Read With Me, Town Cleanup Day, Book Club, the Snowmass Rodeo and Kindergarten Readiness Camp at the Snowmass Chapel.
Her favorite memories are from times spent doing fun things with the rest of her schoolmates, like ex-ed trips, Spirit Weeks, Homecoming and attending sporting events.
She is off to Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction to study exercise science and kinesiology. The recipient of two local scholarships, she hopes to continue playing sports in college.
Jack Dresser participated in theater for four years both on and back of the stage. He’s best known for his role as “Man in Chair” in “The Drowsy Chaperone.” Dresser volunteered through the National Honor Society and Booster Club as well as singing with the Aspen High School a capella club. He also participated in Model U.N., traveling to Fort Collins and Chicago for conferences, and was an editor for the school’s Literary Magazine his junior year.
“Some of my favorite memories from high school were the complete feeling of joy after a successful opening night of a show,” Dresser said. “I also loved my ex-ed trips to Los Angeles and the Havasupai reservation.”
Dresser will be attending Fordham University at its Rose Hill Campus in New York City and joining the honors program. He will study political science and pursue a pre-law advising program. Dresser would like to thank the Snowmass Village community for its support, especially the Trashmasters organization and the Aspen Scholars for their scholarships, which he said “will make attending college a reality for him.”
Robert Harry Ferguson
A varsity athlete in football, hockey and lacrosse for all four years of high school, Harry Ferguson also dedicated a lot of his free time to National Honor Society and the Action in Africa club.
“My favorite memory was winning the state championship this year in lacrosse,” Ferguson said. “I will also never forget my experiential education trips, and an all-expense-paid business trip to New York City that I got accepted to junior year.”
Ferguson has been accepted to University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. He plans to major in business administration.
“I plan to play for USC’s club lacrosse team and can’t wait for the beautiful weather in Southern California!” he added.
Ryan Fitzgerald could not be reached for comment. He is attending the University of Notre Dame this fall.
Danielle Forristall played volleyball, basketball and soccer in high school, and her senior year, she started as outside hitter in the first. A member of National Honor Society, she tutored and mentored a sophomore this year and also volunteered her time helping a local resident clean up and remodel their house so they could rent out the basement and pay for their son’s college tuition.
Forristall listed off several favorite memories, including watching her brother playing senior quarterback when she was a freshman at Glenwood Springs High School and “all of the fun bonding experiences I shared with all of my sports teams on the busses at both Aspen and Glenwood. I met so many amazing people along the way.”
She also expressed gratitude for her teacher Elizabeth Stewart-Severy, who not only was a mentor to her but also helped her during her recovery from a sports concussion.
“She was the only teacher who understood what I was going through and the only teacher that believed in me,” Stewart-Severy said. “I cannot thank her enough for her support.”
Forristall is following her older brother to Colorado School of Mines, where she will study mechanical engineering. She is grateful for scholarships from the Aspen Elks and the Aspen Board of Realtors.
Jenna Catherine Freeman
In addition to running cross-country and track throughout high school, Jenna Freeman has volunteered with the Buddy Program, mentoring an elementary school student once a week, and Read With Me, in which she tutored a send grader in reading and English fluency.
“Some of my favorite memories from high school include exploring the desert of Utah and Arizona on my ex-ed trip during the spring of 2014, and I loved kayaking in the San Juan Islands on my ex-ed trip during the fall of 2014,” Freeman said. “I have also enjoyed the many other opportunities Aspen High School has presented to challenge myself socially, physically and, of course, academically.”
This fall, Freeman is attending Colorado Mesa University, where she will study mathematics and special education. She has received scholarships from CMU as well as local support from the Buddy Program and The Esther, Jacqueline, and Remy Pearlstone Scholarship Fund.
Evan Richard Geishart
A varsity basketball player, Evan Geishart also played soccer and participated in the Astronomy Club and National Honor Society during high school.
Like a lot of his peers, his ex-ed trips stand out as his favorite memories. Geishart went to Atlanta and San Francisco on his.
Geishart is attending Creighton University in the fall. The recipient of merit scholarships, university grants and one local scholarhip, Geishart plans to study physical therapy and exercise science.
Christopher Michael Goralka
A clarinet and tenor saxophone player, Chris Goralka was a member of the concert and pep bands and the jazz ensemble and participated in the Engineering Club and Investment Club.
His favorite memories were also from ex-ed trips, which he called “amazing experiences.”
Headed off to Miami University in Ohio, Goralka is studying mechanical engineering with a RedHawk Excellence Scholarship and Aspen Ambassador Scholarship.
Cooper Helm moved to Aspen his junior year of high school, and his favorite memories from high school are all the fly fishing and skiing he got to do once he arrived.
He played tennis both of his years at Aspen High School. Taking a gap year, he has deferred college until fall 2016, when he will attend University of Colorado-Boulder and study environmental design.
A four-sport athlete, Paige Johnson played four years of varsity lacrosse, adding volleyball and hockey her sophomore year. She joined a competitive AA hockey team out of Colorado Springs her junior year, traveling around the country for tournaments and making it to nationals in Buffalo, New York, finishing fifth. To keep up her training, she practiced during the week with the Aspen High School boys hockey team. And in the fall, she ran cross country.
In addition to her athletic succes, Johnson got involved with the Outreach Service Club and National Honor Society service events and chaired the Saint Mary’s Blood Drive at the high school her senior year. Pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian, Johnson shadowed at the Aspen Animal Hospital once a week.
“My favorite memories from high school were my ex-ed trips and meeting new people and faculty and the amazing experience I had on each one,” Johnson said. “Also playing sports and getting so close with my teammates.”
Johnson is taking off for California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo this fall. She will study animal science on a pre-veterinary track and hopes to get involved in the community once again. She wants to stay active “playing club lacrosse and biking, hiking, running and surfing on the side,” she said.
Reece Winslow Johnson
A busy student, Reece Johnson was an athlete in cross-country, basketball, track and field, and lacrosse. In addition, he participated in Future Business Leaders of America, speech and debate, National Honor Society and the Investment Club.
In addition to ex-ed trips, Johnson named winning second place in a state Future Business Leaders of America competition and taking home first in regional cross-country tournament among his favorite memories.
Johnson will attend the University of Arizona and study business with an emphasis in finance. He hopes to participate in many school clubs and intramural sports.
Christopher Michael McNamara
Chris McNamara discovered a unique interest in high school, becoming president of the Ukulele Club this year.
Sea kayaking in Florida with one of his favorite teachers, David Fregly, is his favorite memory from high school. Still in love with the water, he is attending Maine Maritime Academy this fall to study vessel operations and technology.
He was awarded the George Nakashima carpentry and drafting scholarship and award, the Harley Baldwin Scholarship, and the Buddy Program scholarship.
Jake Edward Orzech
A lacrosse, tennis and football athlete, Jake Orzech also snowboarded with the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club from seventh grade through his senior year. He competed nationally, taking home bronze at the USASA National Halfpipe competition the past two years. He also traveled the country on the Revolution Tour.
Orzech’s ex-ed trips took him sailing in San Diego, backpacking in the San Francisco area and rafting on the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon in Utah.
“These unbelievable opportunities were the highlight of my high school career — making incredible memories and valued friendships,” Orzech said.
Orzech is studying economics at the University of Colorado-Boulder this fall. He has received scholarships from the Aspen Elks and Stone Harbor Elementary School in New Jersey, where he attended grade school.
Trey Fox Robinson
A varsity athlete in golf, lacrosse and hockey, Trey Robinson also participated in Action in Africa and the National Honor Society.
“My favorite memories from high school are those of which I was given the opportunity to make lifelong friendships through athletics,” Robinson said. “Sports provided me an escape from some of life’s distractions, and the bonds I was able to make through athletics were amazing. The pinnacle of it all was then winning the 4A lacrosse State Championship.”
Robinson is attending the Leeds School of Business at University of Colorado-Boulder but remains undecided on his major. He received two local scholarships, the Neshama Center Ditto Dreman Memorial Fund Scholarship and the Jonathan Wright Memorial Scholarship.
Ever an athlete, Robinson hopes to participate in intramural athletics in college.
Benjamin Throm could not be reached for comment. He is taking a gap year after graduation.
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Trails at Sky Mountain Park are officially closed for the season and a COVID-19 testing center reopens at Town Hall. Plus, winter programming is back in action at The Collective.