Senior Spotlight: Aspen High School Class of 2020 seniors from Snowmass |

Senior Spotlight: Aspen High School Class of 2020 seniors from Snowmass

This week’s Village Voices is a special “Senior Spotlight” celebrating the 36 Snowmass Village seniors who graduated May 30 from Aspen High School. All of the seniors were asked to submit their plans post-graduation, along with an answer to one of three questions about their high school careers:

Brodie Buchanan

Plans to attend the New York Film Academy for game design

Connor Chesner, 18

Plans to play junior hockey for the Rochester Grizzlies

“My most memorable experience during high school was playing hockey with my teammates because I was able to make so many friendships that will last a lifetime. The bus trips, hotel stays and home games made me enjoy being part of a great team and tight-knit group.”

Eloise Clark, 18

Plans to attend University of Colorado Boulder to study history and political science

“Throughout my high school experience I worked toward my pilot’s license and completed ground school for my private, instrument, commercial and multi-engine licenses. Ultimately, I decided flying had given me a wealth of skills and experience, but it was not my passion. Even though I decided not to pursue aviation, the support from my other teachers and the exposure to the industry taught me that with the right support, I am capable of achieving whatever I put my mind to.”

Christopher De La Torre

Plans to enter the work force

Rachel Devlin

Plans to attend University of Colorado Boulder

Curtis Dick, 18

Plans to attend Drake University to study political science

“Overall I hope I never forget the fun aspects of learning. Throughout high school, the most important thing I learned was how to enjoy new topics. As I get ready to enter the world and contribute to society, I hope I will fondly think back to my time in high school and realize how much I’ve changed as a person.”

Austin Ferguson, 19

Plans to enter the work force

“My most memorable high school experience was playing football and what I want to remember from high school is to never give up on what you love. No matter how strong, tall, short, etc., you should do what you love and what you do best.”

Alexandra Forster

Plans to enter the work force

Lauren Fox, 18

Plans to attend Boston University to study film and international relations

“My most memorable high school experience was waking up super early on the first day of senior year and watching the sunrise at the top of the Maroon Bells with my friends for a ‘senior sunrise.’ Overall, my entire senior year has been super memorable as our grade really came together and has become a lot closer.”

Joshua George

Plans to attend University of California, Los Angeles to study history

Marcus Gerbaz

Plans to serve in the military with the U.S. Marines

Katarina Goralka, 18

Plans to attend University of Michigan to study biophysics

“My most memorable high school experience was during my sophomore year Ex-Ed. While backpacking in the Escalante National Monument region, we made our way through a slot canyon and completed a 75-foot free repel into a pool of water. The panoramic view of the red rocks while descending toward the rest of my group members is an image I will always remember.”

Taylor Gurtman

Plans to attend Syracuse University to study communications

Jack Halferty, 18

Plans to attend University of Wisconsin-Madison to study business

“The most important attribute I learned about myself coming out of high school is my ability to persevere. Although many see this as a fundamental value for this challenging road called ‘life,’ I never saw myself as someone who could push themselves further. In my fantasy-like childhood, I couldn’t imagine the hardships I’d have to go through before leaving high school, although I believe that my challenges formed me into the kind and loving person I am today. These adversities forced me to ‘grow up’ at an early age, but I truly believe that it gave me this perspective and life experience that isn’t typical for an 18-year-old to have.”

Greta Hansen

Plans to attend Western Washington University

Mackenzi Hart, 18

Plans to attend University of British Columbia to study applied biology

“When I am 25 years old, I want myself to remember how being kind to everything is the most important thing. Passing kindness from one person to the next is the most beautiful thing people can do. Saying or doing one nice thing can change that person’s day for the better.”

Hayley Heinecken

Plans to attend Colorado College to study mathematical economics and play lacrosse

Hailey Higdon, 18

Plans to attend University of Colorado Boulder to study biology or environmental engineering

“Something I hope my 25-year-old self remembers from high school is to live in the moment and just try to enjoy all the good things that are going for you rather than focusing on the bad things. This was something that we focused a lot on in my IB English class senior year, and I feel like it’s an important concept to think about because there is so much negativity in the world right now so we have to focus on the positive things that are going on.”

Julia Higdon, 18

Plans to attend Chapman University to study biological sciences

Avery Hirsch, 18

Plans to attend University of Colorado Boulder to study finance or real estate

“I hope that my 25-year-old self doesn’t forget the experiences I got out of high school, such as, the Dance Team competitions or football games, pep rallies, school dances and events. The experiences are what is important for me not to forget about high school.”

Riley Johnson, 18

Plans to attend Miami University in Ohio to study biology and film

“High school has taught me that through hard work you can accomplish anything you set your mind on; and you can have fun doing it. During my four years attending Aspen High School, it is entirely clear that through the dedication of teachers, experiences from Ex-Ed, and sports, the students who graduate have a broad perspective on all life’s potential paths that leave you excited for what’s next.”

Karina Keller

Plans to attend University of Colorado Boulder

Aiden Krause, 17

Plans to attend the University of Northern Colorado to study musical theatre

“I’m a much different person than I was freshman year. The biggest lessons I’ve been taught by these past four years is that I’m allowed to feel certain emotions and that I don’t have to apologize for being human.”

Will Lanter, 18

Plans to attend Louisiana State University to study engineering

“My most memorable high school experience was all of the Ex-Ed courses I did throughout high school. I was given opportunities to make friends with upper classmen and do trips I never would’ve done otherwise.”

Laney Martens, 18

Plans to attend Lawrence University to study pre-med and play ice hockey and softball

“I hope my 25-year-old self never forgets to always push yourself to the goals that you want to achieve, whether that is to try different things or to keep learning; and never quit once you see the finish line. In my last year of high school, instead of taking easy classes to finish up my school year, I decided to take an extra math class to push myself and play on three hockey teams to keep in shape. Even though the morning practices and heavy homework was hard, I pushed myself to the end and I am proud that I did.”

Noah McCuiston

Plans to enter the work force and attend an electrical apprenticeship program

Dillon McDermott, 18

Plans to attend Colorado Mesa University

“My most memorable high school experience would have to be my junior Ex-Ed: ancient medieval history. I got to spend an entire week learning about Viking culture and skills like glassblowing, metal casting and fencing. I’ve always had an interest in medieval culture and this trip allowed me to experience it.”

Taylor McKie, 18

Plans to attend University of Richmond to study business and leadership

“My most memorable experience at Aspen High School is being a part of the girls lacrosse team during our 2019 season where we went undefeated during the regular season and made it to quarterfinals. That’s the furthest the girls lacrosse team has ever made it in AHS history!”

Jack Pevny

Plans to attend University of Oklahoma to study international business and aeronautical engineering

Paige Quist

Plans to attend University of Oregon

Matthew Rigney

Plans to attend Duke University to study environmental engineering

Logan Soderberg

Plans to attend Elon University to study business and marketing

Nellie Tash, 18

Plans to attend George Washington University to study international affairs

“My most memorable high school was Ex-Ed. It is hard to pick just one, but my favorites were the Tetons, San Francisco backpacking, and LA art. I have made so many friends and have gotten to know some of my teachers outside of the classroom. I will never forget the places I have visited and the people I met.”

Madison Thomsen, 18

Plans to attend the University of Colorado Boulder and major in psychology

“Throughout high school I’ve gone through many hardships. I am now able to see that no matter what life gives me, I am able to handle it and focus on the good things. I would never have known this without going through everything I did in high school and for that I am thankful.”

Maximus Thurston

Plans to attend Colorado Mountain College

Hannah Zanin, 17

Plans to attend Syracuse University

“My most memorable high school experience was the last night of my senior year Ex-Ed. We were rafting Cataract Canyon and were all sent out to journal for our final night on the river. As I sat there, I was finally able to think about my high school experience as a whole. I remembered the good and bad, but ultimately I realized just how much the Aspen School District has meant to me. I knew just how special it is to be apart of this community and was just able to sit there and be grateful for the four years I spent at AHS.”

Editor’s Note: This list of Snowmass Village seniors was compiled based on information provided by Aspen High School. If there is a Snowmass senior missing from this list or any incorrect information, please email and we will include any updates in the next issue of the Snowmass Sun on June 10.


See more

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.