Silverton’s two high school seniors received their diplomas Tuesday night, May 1, in a bittersweet ceremony full of laughter, along with some tears.
In their graduation addresses to fellow students, school staff and the public in a crowded Town Hall assembly room, both Nesbly Amaya and Nikole Aikin recounted how the last few years have been transformative experiences.
“I am really happy to graduate from this school but I am really sad because I won’t get to be with the rest of my friends anymore,” Amaya said in her tearful speech. “I have found many people who pushed me to make better decisions.
“I will leave memories and my heart in Silverton School,” Amaya said. “Sometimes I will be happy, sad or mad, but I know that my future was made there.”
Aikin, who with her family moved to Silverton in 2009, said the town and school “has changed me for the better.”
She arrived as a shy, quiet girl, but found her confidence here.
“Now it seems like I never shut up,” Aikin said.
Aikin plans to attend the University of Colorado- Colorado Springs this fall.
“I feel like I am ready for the challenge.”
Aikin was the recipient of several scholarships, including $500 from the Colorado Sheriff’s Association, $2,000 from San Miguel Power Association, $200 from the Silverton Gunfighters Association, $500 from the Clampers, and $1,500 raised by First Congregational Church and the community, and $150 from KSJC, Silverton Community Radio.
Teacher Katie Shapiro told the audience that both graduates have already faced tremendous challenges in their lives.
“By statistics, neither of these girls should have made it this far,” Shapiro said. And she told the girls that their futures should be bright.
Teacher Kevin DeKay told the graduates that in a way, school is not yet out for them.
“Education is a lifelong journey,” DeKay said. “I hope both of you young ladies remember this community no matter what path you choose to follow.”
Silverton School ended the year with just 60 students, K-12, and a graduating class of two.