Education – The Pagosa Springs SUN The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Thu, 18 Jun 2020 16:33:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Education – The Pagosa Springs SUN 32 32 Honor student Grant Aucoin nominated for the Congress of Future Medical Leaders Sat, 20 Jun 2020 11:00:01 +0000

Grant Aucoin

National Academy of Future
Physicians and Medical Scientists

Grant Aucoin, a senior at Pagosa Springs High School, is a delegate to the Congress of Future Medical Leaders on June 24-26.

The Congress is an honors-only program for high school students who want to become physicians or go into medical research fields. The purpose of this event is to honor, inspire, motivate and direct the top students in the country interested in these careers to stay true to their dream and, after the event, to provide a path, plan and resources to help them reach their goal.

Aucoin’s nomination was signed by Dr. Mario Capecchi, winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine and the science director of the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists to represent Colorado based on his academic achievement, leadership potential and determination to serve humanity in the field of medicine.

During the three-day congress, Aucoin will join students from across the country and hear Nobel laureates and National Medal of Science Winners talk about leading medical research; be given advice from Ivy League and top medical school deans on what to expect in medical school; witness stories told by patients who are living medical miracles; be inspired by fellow teen medical science prodigies; and learn about cutting-edge advances and the future in medicine and medical technology.

This is a crucial time in America when we need more doctors and medical scientists who are even better prepared for a future that is changing exponentially. Focused, bright and determined students like Aucoin are our future and he deserves all the mentoring and guidance we can give him.

The academy offers free services and programs to students who want to become physicians or go into medical science. Some of the services and programs the academy offers are online social networks through which future doctors and medical scientists can communicate; opportunities for students to be guided and mentored by physicians and medical students; and communications for parents and students on college acceptance and finances, skills acquisition, internships, career guidance and more.

The National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists was founded on the belief that we must identify prospective medical talent at the earliest possible age and help these students acquire the necessary experience and skills to take them to the doorstep of this vital career. Based in Washington, D.C., and with offices in Boston, Mass., the academy was chartered as a nonpartisan, taxpaying institution to help address this crisis by working to identify, encourage and mentor students who wish to devote their lives to the service of humanity as physicians, medical scientists.

Brooke Bowdridge Thu, 11 Jun 2020 21:00:38 +0000 Brooke Bowdridge, of Pagosa Springs, graduated from the University of San Diego for the 2019-2020 school year. 

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

Brooke Hampton Sat, 06 Jun 2020 11:00:17 +0000 The Fort Lewis College School of Arts and Sciences held its annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Symposium virtually on April 23. Student participants were selected by their departments to represent the best undergraduate research and performances done at Fort Lewis College this year. Each department selects two students to give talks, and up to five groups of students to present posters or performances. Many of these students have also presented at professional conferences in their disciplines.

Brooke Hampton, of Pagosa Springs, presented a project titled “Imagination Fuels the Future: The Value of Creative Problem-Solving for K-12 Students” supervised by faculty mentor Dr. Lorien Chambers-Schuldt and Dr. Jillian Wenburg.

Hampton’s major is physics.

Liam Doctor Thu, 04 Jun 2020 21:00:43 +0000 The University of Utah congratulates students who were named to the Spring 2020 Dean’s List, including Liam Doctor, of Pagosa Springs, whose major is listed as biomedical engineering BIO.

Saturday commencement to honor 75 graduates Thu, 28 May 2020 10:59:32 +0000

SUN photo/Randi Pierce
The Pagosa Springs High School class of 2020’s valedictorian, Piedra Goss, films her speech on May 18. The video ceremony will be presented at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 30, for graduates as a drive-in ceremony and will be simulcast online.

By Randi Pierce
Staff Writer

“This wasn’t like ‘High School Musical’ at all.”

The class quote for the Pagosa Springs High School (PSHS) class of 2020 sums it up.

This weekend, the 75 graduates of the class of 2020, along with their families, will draw their high school careers to a close in a way befitting the end of their senior year — socially distanced in cars in the PSHS parking lot, watching their graduation ceremony like a drive-in movie.

“We want to do the best we can to honor them,” PSHS Principal Sean O’Donnell said of the class of 2020 and the drive-in ceremony.

The components of the graduation ceremony were filmed at the high school over the last couple of weeks and will be shown at the high school and online Saturday, May 30, at 4 p.m.

PSHS is guaranteeing one parking space per graduate with their family in the vehicle to watch the ceremony, O’Donnell explained. As space allows, the graduates will be allowed a second vehicle with family members to watch the ceremony from the parking lot.

SUN photo/Randi Pierce
Salutatorian Dillinger Day films his speech for Saturday’s graduation ceremony for Pagosa Springs High School, which will be a drive-in ceremony for graduates and their families and will be simulcast online.

The public is encouraged to watch the ceremony online at the same time, with O’Donnell stating the link to the ceremony will be available on both the PSHS and Archuleta School District websites.

He indicated there are also plans to record the ceremony to make available online in the future.

“Thanks to the people who worked so hard for the last month to put this together for the class of 2020,” O’Donnell said, also thanking the families and graduates for their “understanding and resilience.”

The principal added an appreciation for everything the class of 2020 has contributed.

“They will be missed and remembered forever,” he said.

The class song is “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen and the class flowers are succulents.

Piedra Goss earned the distinction of being the class valedictorian, and Dillinger Day earned the title of salutatorian.

Mason Blakemore is the head boy and Teagan Stretton is the head girl.

The senior class was led by the following class officers: president Bryona Armijo, vice president Elsa Lindner, secretary KC Yeneza, treasurer Halie Severs, student body secretary Emma Happ and student body treasurer Nick Voelker.

For more on the class of 2020, see next week’s issue of The SUN.


Lewis awarded Chase Regester Memorial Scholarship Sat, 16 May 2020 11:00:02 +0000

Photo courtesy Michael Pierce
Taylor Lewis

By Lisa Scott
Special to The SUN

Taylor Lewis has been awarded the Chase Regester Memorial Scholarship and will receive $1,000 for the 2020-2021 academic year.

This scholarship is designed to honor the memory of Charles L. Regester III “Chase” (May 29, 1986-Aug. 2, 2006), who was raised on a ranch and spent his childhood and youth involved in 4-H, rodeos and ranch life. He graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in May 2005 and was pursuing ranching as a career. 

Regester loved animals, the great outdoors, his friends and family and had a great sense of humor and a “whipping and spurring” approach to life. This scholarship was endowed by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Lindner to honor Regester and his family for living and preserving the history and traditions of the American West. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Russell Jr. added to that endowment.

Lewis has been involved with 4-H since 2011 and has raised and shown swine and steer. She has had numerous successes with her animals by placing within the class a number of times and has been awarded showmanship awards in 2015 and 2019. Active in Future Farmers of America (FFA), she has held the president and vice president positions and has represented the local club at state and national convention. 

Writing, “4-H, FFA and rodeo have been a huge part of my involvement, but my interest began from family. My grandparents were ranchers and hay farmers. My parents are ranch managers. To learn the cattle business, my brother and I purchased 12 cows two years ago. It has been tough to keep up, while being in school and sports, but it has been very educational, teaching us responsibility, financing, planning and overcoming obstacles. While it is hard, I also consider it to be fun and inspiring.” 

After she received the prominent Ralph Outcalt Scholarship, a four-year award, Lewis made the choice to attend Adams State University to study agricultural business.

Many may know Lewis as a leader on the basketball and volleyball courts, and she was recently named the Intermountain League Winter Female Athlete of the Year for basketball. Taylor maintains a 3.7 GPA, has saved her 4-H livestock sale proceeds and has worked throughout high school to save money for college. While Lewis thinks she will pursue a career as an agricultural loan officer, she is very excited about her future in the agriculture industry and the opportunities that will be presented within this college degree.

This scholarship is designed to support a student pursuing postsecondary education of any variety which can include university, college, community college, technical, business, vocational, agricultural or ranch training program. The basic requirement for any scholarship applicant is that they have participated in rodeo, 4-H, FFA or have agriculture or ranching background and upbringing during their high school years.


Hailey Griego Thu, 14 May 2020 21:00:51 +0000

Photo courtesy Jacque Aragon

Hailey Griego is a 2020 recipient of the Patty Aragon Green Chile Classic Memorial scholarship. “In my high school career, my team and I have made it to state all four years, but the last one was one of the most shocking things my team and I have been through. After that tragedy happened, me and my team were so upset because we all knew that we could win it all. But after everything that happened, we are all so much closer now. I think that after the disappointment this year at state, it really allowed me to step back and appreciate where I came from. The tradition that I grew up with on the basketball court really has shaped me. Growing up with the same girls and the same goals really allowed me to build a strong, traditional foundation,” Griego wrote in her essay, reminding us to appreciate our roots.

Megan Foster Thu, 14 May 2020 21:00:33 +0000

Photo courtesy Jacque Aragon

Megan Foster is a 2020 recipient of the Patty Aragon Memorial scholarship. “I have a cultural history that has shaped who I am today. It is because of my ancestor’s strength that I live in this beautiful little town. It is because of their bravery that I am able to attend a college that grew from the very heart of Salt Lake City. Every time I see dirty, worn aprons from my days on the trek, my heart swells with pride for what my ancestors accomplished. I want to continue what they started and respect their memory by exploring new horizons, whether that be through research or travel. Remembering them gives me the strength to continue on through anything that my life throws at me,” Foster wrote in her essay, reminding us that cultural history can be a huge part of our future.

Sydney Mitchell Thu, 07 May 2020 21:00:17 +0000

Photo courtesy Dale Johnson

Pagosa Springs High School senior Sydney (Simon) Mitchell seen here in the last rehearsal for “Matilda the Musical,” playing the villainous and tyrannical headmistress Miss Trunchbull before the play was shut down due to coronavirus. Mitchell has been accepted into the prestigious theater department of Rutgers University. Other senior actors and techies in “Matilda” are: Grace Thompson, KC Yeneza, Hunter Swinehart, Emma Happ, Kaden Hessman, Cheyenne Todd, Nick Voelker, Megan Foster and Alanis Sanchez.

Hunter Keplinger Thu, 27 Feb 2020 22:00:58 +0000 The University of Wyoming lists Hunter Keplinger, of Pagosa Springs, on the 2019 fall semester academic dean’s and dean’s freshman honor rolls.