The Cotopaxi High School class of 2019

The Cotopaxi High School class of 2019 gathers on the Cotopaxi bridge over the Arkansas River. The 15-member class graduated at a May 25 ceremony. From left are Kyler Bjornstad, Abigail McNeal, Arlo Garner, Kali Carlson, Levi Barr, Chellis Richards, Thunder Burnham, Aiden Ottmer, Kyle Buss, Steven Tunstall, Dalton Lewis, Brooke Cooper, Samuel Hyde, Hannah Karg and Marshall Dixon.

The 15 members of the Cotopaxi High School senior class of 2019 graduated during a ceremony May 25 at the Cotopaxi School gym.

The Cotopaxi High School band, under the direction of band director Jennifer Giangullio, performed the processional and national anthem.

Kyle Buss, senior class officer and National Honor Society member, gave the benediction.

Senior class President Steven Tunstall welcomed attendees.

Salutatorian Kali Carlson and co-valedictorians Hannah Karg and Chellis Richards were introduced by Principal Ken Eckelberry.

School counselor Mary Christensen presented the graduates and their future goals. Scholarship awards were presented by the representatives of those offering the scholarships.

Levi Barr plans to attend Pueblo Community College to pursue an associate degree. He received the Collins Family Scholarship and the Cotopaxi Faculty and Staff Scholarship totaling $750.

Kyler Bjornstad will work in Colorado Springs and attend classes at Pikes Peak Community College. He is interested in biochemistry.

Thunder Burnham plans to attend college to major in communications or English. He would like to pursue a career in investigative journalism.

Kyle Buss will attend Norwich University in Vermont as a member of the Corps of Cadets and hopes to commission into the U.S. Marine Corps with the goal of becoming a fighter pilot. He received a $2,000 LA Pic Scholarship and more than $41,000 in scholarships from Norwich University.

Kali Carlson will attend the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and major in biology with a long-term goal of becoming a physician’s assistant. She received the LA Pic Scholarship, Brent Carson Memorial Scholarship, Cotopaxi Lions Club Scholarship, Sangre de Cristo Electric Association Scholarship, Eureka Lodge Masonic Scholarship, Ed Tezak Memorial Scholarship and UCCS Chancellors Award of $2,500 renewable for four years. Carlson’s scholarships total $23,000.

Brooke Cooper will head to University of Colorado-Colorado Springs to study preveterinary medicine. She plans to transfer to Colorado State University to study biomedical science later. Scholarships earned include LA Pic, Fremont County Cattlewomen’s, Florence Lions Club and UCCS Chancellor’s Award totaling $14,900.

Marshall Dixon will work with Boys & Girls Clubs following graduation.

Arlo Garner plans to “live life to its fullest” following graduation and has no immediate academic plans.

Sam Hyde will continue working at Dirt Guys and has plans to take courses in business.

Hannah Karg will attend Cedarville University in Ohio to study early childhood education and Bible. The winner of a Daniels Scholarship worth up to $41,000 a year in covering college costs, Karg also received an LA Pic Scholarship and several scholarships from Cedarville University, three of which are renewable for four years.

Karg won the Veterans of Foreign Wars Voice of Democracy essay competition at the state level, earning a $1,000 scholarship, and the corresponding Francis Tallman Memorial Scholarship and Robert A. Stock Memorial Scholarship of $2,000 for coming in 20th at the national level. Karg’s scholarships potentially total up to $221,500.

Dalton Lewis will attend Pueblo Community College to earn an associate degree and plans to transfer to Grand Canyon University in Arizona to study computer science.

Abby McNeal will major in biology at University of Colorado Denver. After attaining her bachelor’s degree she plans to attend medical school to become a specialized pediatric surgeon. Scholarships include the LA Pic, Cotopaxi Faculty and Staff, Sangre de Cristo Electric Association and University of Colorado at Denver Provost Scholarship (renewable for four years), totaling up to $10,500.

Aiden Ottmer will attend Universal Technical Institute in Long Beach, California, to become a certified diesel and automotive mechanic.

Chellis Richards will spend her summer taking a certified nursing assistant course in Salida through Colorado Mountain College to receive her CNA license and plans to pursue her bachelor of nursing degree at University of Colorado- Colorado Springs in the fall. Richards earned up to $51,250 in scholarships.

They include the LA Pic, Sangre de Cristo Electric Association, Pleasant Valley Women’s Club of Howard, Cotopaxi Lions Club, Colorado State Lions Club, John and Mary Dilley Memorial Scholarship, Colorado Masons’ Benevolent Fund and University of Colorado (renewable for four years) and UCCS Chancellors Award (renewable for four years).

Steven Tunstall will attend Pueblo Community College for his associate degree in business. He received the LA Pic and Cañon City Chamber of Commerce scholarships totaling $2,600.

Following the presentation of the graduates and scholarships, Abby McNeal introduced the parents and roses were presented to them.

Cotopaxi School District Superintendent Danielle Van Esseltine and school board members presented the graduates with their diplomas.

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