Silverton School’s graduating class of 2013 was honored Thursday, May 23, with a ceremony at the school performing arts center. The two graduates are Kacey Foster and Gerardo Acosta.
“They’ve both been here since kindergarten,” said School Superintendent Kim White. “And it has been a true pleasure to work with both of them. They both learned how to find their balance in life in dealing with life’s hard circumstances.”
Teacher Kelly Habecker said Kacey “has found confidence and a willingness to take on new challenges.”
Gerardo, Habecker said, “shows up for school in a suit even if we’re going for a hike.”
Gerardo was also credited with building the tiny school’s sports programs.
“He was the student who restarted our track team,” said track coach David Emory.
“We can all thank Gerardo for the difference he made to the school,” Emory said.
In her tearful graduation speech, Kacey Foster recounted how she has grown up at Silverton School. At first she dreaded field trips that put her out of her “comfort zone.”
And she struggled to find herself.
“You aren’t going to please everyone,” she advised Silverton students in the audience. “Be open to new ideas.”
Kacey is moving to Colorado Springs to attend the University of Colorado there.
“Thankfully, I’ve been set on the right path.”
Gerardo recalled his adventures at Silverton School, starting with his struggle to learn English.
“Eventually I had no accent,” he said.
He recalled being the school’s “one-man track team in middle school.”
And he recalled the night early last September when he ran for 40 miles at Kendall Mountain. It was just two days after his best friend, Dillon Paxton, died in a pickup crash.
“We were supposed to run it together,” Acosta said. “And we did. He was there in spirit. I will never forget the great times we spent together.”
Acosta said Silverton School has prepared him well for the next chapter in his life, whatever that may be.
He dreams of becoming a wildlands firefighter, a police officer or a nurse.
“Silverton has been a wonderful community to grow up in,” Acosta said. He recalled hard times in Mexico as a young child.
“My family came here in search of a better life and found a home instead,” Acosta said.