For those of us who consider Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center as our extended family, we pride ourselves on our independence, our desire to take control of our own lives, and our insistence on marching to the beat of a progressive drummer.
Take, for example, our well-attended high school graduation ceremonies. Yes, we’re using the plural of ceremony because here at Eagle Rock, we have three of them each year. We honor this rite of passage for graduates of our fall, spring and summer trimesters and in this, our fall trimester, we have three incredible individuals who will be walking on stage this afternoon (Friday, Dec. 15) to receive their well-earned high school diplomas.
This latest trimester graduation event — the 73rd since our founding back in the early 1990s — is being broadcasted live, beginning at 4 p.m. Mountain Time, this Friday via our Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/eaglerockschool.
Below is a short biography from each of our three newest graduates where we explain their involvement at Eagle Rock, short and long-term goals, and some sage advice for current and incoming students.
Soren Arvidson (arrived at Eagle Rock in May of 2015) – Soren comes from Boston, Mass., and is a proud member of Lodgepole House. Soren had a rough start here at Eagle Rock, but has evolved to become one of the strongest leaders at the school, gaining the respect of his peers, instructors and staff.
During his years here, Soren was involved in Mag 7, which is a campus group featuring Eagle Rock’s seven most veteran students that focuses on various leadership roles and opportunities. He also earned a blue belt in Aikido (a form of Japanese martial arts), learned how to properly cook chicken wings with the chefs in our kitchen, was a starting player for the school’s basketball team, mentored new students, and served as a Professional Development Ambassador, which are students who lead tours and panels for visitors.
It was while working as an Ambassador that Soren had the opportunity to support the Eagle Rock’s national work by attending two conferences — one in Rhode Island and another in Denver, Colo., for the School Reform Initiative (SRI) organization where he participated with educators from across the country.
Future plans include attending Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, Colo. Beyond that, he’s planning to fulfill a dream that includes exploring the world and learning from different cultures. He might even purchase a boat someday to visit other countries, and once he’s completed enough international exploring, Soren would like to buy a mobile home and live out of this simple vehicle while traveling around the United States.
His advice to new and returning students? Understand that the rules are there for a reason, but you shouldn’t need to be afraid to make mistakes.
Aviv Kirtner (arrived at Eagle Rock in May of 2015) – Aviv is originally from Eugene, Ore., and is a member of Juniper House. She has been a strong leader at the school as she has taken on various commitments throughout her time here.
Some of those commitments were, like Soren, becoming an active part of Mag 7, especially in her final trimester. She is also a founding member of Dangerous Creatures, which is an on-campus self-identified women’s group that hosts discussions on various topics that affect everyday women.
Aviv has been a house leader for two years in Juniper House and a Guardian of Sound, which are student leaders responsible for the care of the Eagle Rock Schoolhouse and all the equipment for student use found within that structure. In addition to her leadership role for the music building, Aviv will be remembered for her amazing musical talents — which were on display in more than one onstage musical performance, where she danced, sang and acted.
Her post-Eagle Rock plans are to head back home and spend a year enjoying time with her family and dog. At the same time, she wants to attend a local community college as she figures out what major she would enjoy pursuing. While she has no long-term plans, she does want to own her own dog and travel the world, potentially doing a stop in Germany where her oldest sister lives.
A piece of advice Aviv would like to give to incoming students: It’s OK not to be 100 percent all the time.
Evan Slavic (arrived at Eagle Rock in September of 2015) – Evan is a Colorado native hailing from Denver and a member of the Pinon House where he was a strong housemate and a great support system for fellow students.
Some of his involvements include Mag 7 and membership in music groups on campus. He also hosted various mindfulness meditations in the Dojo, located within the Human Performance Center. Evan was intramural captain for most of the sports on campus, and started a whimsical Pinon House tradition of having all team members — on cue — pull their gym shorts all the way up during the second half of each intramural sport.
His plans after Eagle Rock include becoming a server at Bonefish Grill in Denver and taking out a loan to buy an Audi A4. Long-term objectives include graduating from the University of Northern Colorado or Colorado State University with a degree in music theater with the goal of performing in theatrical shows on Broadway.
His tip for incoming students is for them to realize that how others see them is irrelevant as long as they are acting in an authentic way and being yourself.
Again, you can catch Friday afternoon’s graduation ceremony on the Eagle Rock Facebook Page, and congratulations to this trimester’s graduates!