Sugar Bowl Academy graduates 2011 class | SierraSun.com

Sugar Bowl Academy graduates 2011 class

Special to the Sun

Andy Giordano/Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com

DONNER SUMMIT, Calif. and#8212; On Saturday, June 18, Sugar Bowl Academy held its annual graduation ceremony at the Mount Judah Lodge at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort.

Two of the schooland#8217;s graduating seniors and#8212; Austin Meng and Evan Dion, both Nordic skiers from Truckee and#8212; opened the graduating ceremonies with a flourish, arriving on skis to applause from the assembled SBA families.

In keeping with Sugar Bowl Academy tradition, underclassmen introduced each graduating senior prior to the awarding of the diploma.

The speeches by the underclassmen and#8212; designed to demonstrate the important leadership role seniors play on the SBA campus and#8212; highlighted aspects of each seniorand#8217;s personality and character.

Graduating this year from SBA were Carrie Adams, Jace Bensch, Dylan Brooks, Scott Cooper, Dion, Meng and Ben Stone.

Held on the deck of the Judah Lodge overlooking a snowy Mt. Disney, the ceremonyand#8217;s speakers highlighted the accomplishments of Sugar Bowl Academyand#8217;s unique student body.

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Teacher and Dean of Residential Life Kristen Lew gave the address to the senior class with an admonition to stay true to family, friends, dreams and passions.

Dion, Class of 2011 Valedictorian, spoke about the long-term value of a Sugar Bowl Academy education, and how the perseverance, independence, and character built by students during their time at SBA will enable them to climb the many mountains ahead.

Ann McLane Kuster, a New Hampshire candidate for U.S. Congress in 2010 and former Dartmouth College ski racer, gave the formal commencement address. With personal reflection, Kuster spoke about the ways her experiences as a ski racer and student helped shape her into the person she is today. She challenged the graduates to set realistic yet challenging goals in college and beyond, and to accept that some of lifeand#8217;s challenges will be beyond their control.

Although the Class of 2011 was center stage during the event, the ceremony also included the presentation of awards to other members of the student body for academic achievement, athletic success, and campus leadership.

Meng took top honors in the awards ceremony, earning the SBA Student-Athlete of the Year Award for all around excellence. Dylan Murtha, also a Truckee resident, earned the Williams College Book Award for his leadership on campus. Skiers of the Year were Truckee residents Dylan Brooks and Katrin Larusson, with Riley Plant of Auburn named Most Improved Skier.

A new SBA award, the Harleen Family Citizenship Award, went to South Lake Tahoe resident Cassidy Cichowicz. The award honors the student who best exemplifies positive spirit and campus leadership, and is named after one of SBAand#8217;s and Sugar Bowl Ski Teamand#8217;s most supportive families.

Departmental Awards went to Maya Crosby (math), Plant (science), Adams (Spanish), Dion (English), and Cooper (history).

Addressing the graduating seniors, students, staff and parents assembled at the ceremony, Head of School Tracy Keller urged the graduating seniors to follow the example of Harry Potter as they venture out into the world beyond high school.

and#8220;Making good choices like Harry did and#8230; isnand#8217;t always easy. Temptations, haste, and misinformation cause us to err and make mistakes and#8212; some of which have wide reaching consequences. As Hogwartsand#8217; Headmaster and moral compass, Albus Dumbledore, explains, and#8216;It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.and#8217;and#8221;

Sugar Bowl Academy is an 8-12 grade college preparatory school for Alpine, Nordic, and freeride skiers. Applications are now being accepted for the 2010-2011 academic year. Visit http://www.sbacademy.org.

and#8212; Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com