Celebrating Our Students’ Spirit

by Jennifer Ogilby

The CRMS Community Award is the highest recognition the school community can bestow on a student. Those who receive the award embody the enduring values that have been at the core of the school since its beginning – respect, responsibility, and excellence. The award recognizes individuals for their responsibility beyond themselves, for their willingness to work for the benefit of all, and for the legacy, through example, that endures in the memories of everyone.

This year’s Community Award recipients are: Aden Berry ’22, Bryn Peterson ’21, Luke Penton ’20 and Sophia Jacober ’19. The remarks below were written by each award winner’s advisor.

Freshman Community Award

When I think about this year’s freshman community award winner, the first thing that comes to mind is their smile. This smile is a window to the reservoir of warmth and kindness that fills their being. To anyone in need of a friend, a teammate, or some good conversation, that smile says, “yes, I am happy to oblige.” Does anyone want to guess who I’m talking about? This student has received perfect rec scores through every quarter in every class and on every trip with the exception of one single score… (which was probably an error on the part of this student’s instructor). This student is relentless in their dedication to excellence in all that they do. Across the board, this student’s teachers and coaches have commented on their unceasing enthusiasm, dedication, cooperation, and tenacity for tackling whatever the task at hand may be. On his report card, his teachers regularly thank him for the way he conducts himself in class and the example he sets for his peers. To top it off, he gets everything done before 9 PM to ensure he is well rested and ready to go the next day. It’s no wonder, Matt Norddin, who had this student in class during A period drama, thanked him for being the “Monday morning spark” that got his week going. Whether it is pushing himself and others on the single-track, the ski slopes, the river, in the classroom, or even dancing at the band concert, this is someone you want to have as your friend and teammate. We are excited to see what this young oyster has in store for us in the next few years. This year’s freshman community award goes to…Aden Berry.

Sophomore Community Award

This person is everywhere. Sometimes you find yourself wondering if they live in a secret apartment in the basement of the Bar Fork.

From dusk to dawn, there they are- springing from the shadows of the Bar Fork, ready to challenge you to another game of ping pong or simply to sit down with you and catch up. They’ve always got time for you and they recall everything you say. And if you watch, they do this with everyone, casually moving from table to table, to young and old alike. One person said, “the whole school is his friend” and no truer words were ever spoken. At CRMS, this person has more energy than Matt Norrdin has facial hair. With that energy, he brings people together in the most positive of ways. If he is not zinging around the bar fork or precariously zig-zagging around on his crazy detached sideways bike, he makes his way over to the beginning of Spanish I class just to check in and stay a while -even though he already took the class last year- or he goes quickly to the Biology lab every week during his free period to take the quiz – just to see if he still remembers the material from last year. Needless to say, the freshmen don’t quite know what to make of him, but in this passing time, they see what he is- hardworking, always excited, always engaged, intrinsically motivated and inclusive.  His enthusiasm for all things CRMS never dies. This fall this person experienced a setback. They had trained all summer for the Bike Team and rode for one week during the pre-season bike program, even doing quite well in his first race. The day before real school started, he fell off a slackline and broke his arm, injuring his growth plate. Biking was out. Because this person has the energy of a Great Dane puppy, we needed to find him something else to do before he ended up laying around chewing stuff bored out of his mind. “Do you like to run?” I asked.

“Sure,” he said, without giving it too much thought.

We cleared running with his doctor that afternoon and within a week, he was fully integrated into the cross-country team, making it to States by the end of the season. Never once did he feel sorry for himself or feel total dejection after his dream of being on bike team was crushed. Instead, in true community award material fashion, he embraced this new adventure – getting to bond with new people and gracing his new team with positivity, sheer goofiness, and the commitment that he is known for. This same spirit also landed him the Avery Mathieu Award for his dedication to Nordic skiing two years in a row.

He is reliable, fun, up for anything and available for you. You just need to ask. He is the type of person you would ask to get your kid at the bus stop when you can’t make it. He’ll remember. He’ll be on time. He will be kind to her when she gets off, and they will have a blast the whole walk home.

In closing, here’s all I have to say: This year’s community award, with good reason,
Goes to Pina Colada man – Bry Peterson

Junior Community Award

A few quotes from this year’s recipient:

October 26th: “One of my goals for the year is to spend more time with more different people…I also hope to strike a balance between schoolwork and play”.

April 16th: “I want to bring positive energy and thrill to our group… I believe that if everybody is comfortable with each other, motivated, and excited for the upcoming trip, then our overall experience will be that much better.”

May 22nd: When asked “are you looking forward to skiing this weekend?”, he answered “Yeah! I am totally stoked… I can’t wait to get out and ski some more!”

In her article titled “The 10-traits of a Positive Community”, Stephanie Diepering identifies the quality of a community as correlating with the happiness and degree of engagement that individuals within that community exhibit as a result of positive community interactions. She notes that “Positive communities are groups that inspire their members in ways that promote a sense of self-discovery and group connection, encouraging members to express their beliefs and values, as well as build relationships with others.”

So much of promoting a strong and healthy community is creating a sense of belonging. A sense that you can relax, take chances and be yourself while at the same time aspire to make contributions based on the example of those around you. This speaks to the importance of effective, motivated role models.

This year as in past years, the Junior class Community Award celebrates such a role model. A student whose authenticity stems from a thoughtful and engaged approach to their roles at CRMS. Through their actions, we strive to be more inclusive and engaged with the people around us. Through their example, we aspire to be better athletes and to bring humility to our accomplishments. Based on their success in facilitating a positive community, we are motivated to make our own positive contributions.

This year’s junior class Community Award recipient exhibits grace whether on snow, in the air, or through his honest and heartfelt contributions as a dorm head, trip assistant, and recent Braj recipient. The words of tribute he shared when passing on the Braj award to a close and admired friend stand as an example of his character and selflessness.

“Since the first All-School-Meeting I went to, I wanted to earn the Braj only so that I could give it [away].”

Thank you Luke Penton for sharing your love and enthusiasm for this place and the people that make it what it is; your example inspires all of us to step up and offer our very best.

Senior Community Award

The stunning sparkle of sunlight on a high mountain stream. The pure and pungent perfume of sage. The comfort of a crackling campfire. The tantalizing twang of a banjo. The quenching taste of a cold, crystal creek. These images evoke the true and delightful qualities that only begin to define this year’s nominee for the community award.

This native Coloradan, like a high alpine lake, is sustained and inspired by a number of sources – family being number one. The love and respect this person has for family is boundless. Many family adventures, on foot and on horseback, established the roots for this student’s passion for the natural world and for simple pleasures such as fly fishing or a cold plunge in an alpine lake. This student’s style is modest, deliberate and brave – their identity so stable, with an internal compass so true, they have no need to shout from the mountain tops.

As the alpine lake overtops and begins its course downstream, so too did this student’s journey to CRMS begin. Destined to be on this campus, this student never took it for granted. Appreciative of the opportunity, ever engaged and devoted to giving back. This Alcatraz swimmer never toots their own horn, but quietly goes about the work of being a stellar student, an exceptional athlete, a generous community member and an all-around great human being.

This student is a scholar and takes a conscientious, dutiful approach to her academic studies – AP Environmental Science, in particular, captured her fascination and inspired her to spearhead a CRMS cattle watering project through the Healthy Rivers and Streams Fund. This nominee also took the initiative with a fellow student to reinstate Meatless Mondays. As is her trademark and always equipped with knowledge, she shared in a balanced and respectful way the natural tension between cattle ranching, which is near and dear to her, and protecting the environment.

Competent, strong and selfless, this student shines on the Telemark Team taking it upon herself to mentor younger skiers; on the Soccer Team as a co-captain this year; and on the Bike Team supporting fellow riders as well as accomplishing impressive results. Underscoring all of this is that this young woman has always understood that the noble ideal of a team is to support and be supported while giving of oneself completely for the end goal of a shared experience well earned.

This mountain woman completed a NOLS course in Wyoming last summer and then served as a Wilderness Assistant Volunteer this year welcoming new students and befriending them throughout the year. Consistently on the Oystermeister podium, she has become one of the head chef’s tasked with preparing the much anticipated Rocky Mountain oysters. A compassionate student member of the Discipline Committee for two years, she dedicates herself to the growth of her peers, driven by her conviction that when a student feels supported, they start to believe in themselves. Her classmates wrote in her senior tribute, “You achieve with a humility that makes the achievements all the greater”.

Her waters are gathering, and like a deep current, this student has the power to affect her world with her gifts of intellect, passion, and kindness. She may sometimes be described as shy and quiet, but let’s set that myth to rest. She is so much more. She is bold and brave. She is outspoken and open-minded. She has voice and volume. She has given so much to CRMS over the past four years and we are better for it. She will take her talents to Colorado College to pursue Environmental Science next year. As a school community, we couldn’t be more pleased to give this year’s community award to Sophia Starr Jacober.

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Community, Student

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