Another Glorious Milestone For Liberty
By: Bob Schaffer, LCHS Principal
This coming Saturday evening,
Ms. Alauna Sutton
(LCHS ’13) will become the very first Liberty Common High School graduate to receive a four-year college diploma. Alauna is graduating from Colorado State University a full semester ahead of her peers.
This is glorious milestone for Liberty Common School. We’re asking all Liberty families – of students from any grade, kindergarten through 12th grade – to consider attending Alauna’s graduation ceremony at 5:00PM in Moby Arena on the CSU campus. Afterwards, we’re heading to the high school for a pizza feast. We have a bus.
Yes, we want to provide Alauna the biggest cheering section in the history of CSU graduations ceremonies. But, the chief reason to attend this splendid event is to reinforce for current Liberty students the importance of academic milestones, and to fully embrace them as guideposts for their own academic journeys.
All Liberty students should see parents, administrators, teachers, classmates, and graduates cheering from the balconies as “one of us” earns an award truly worth celebrating. Winter graduations don’t last that long, so it will be an efficient festivity and a wholesome use of everyone’s time. The pizza will be especially good.
Alauna is earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cultural Anthropology with three minor degrees – geography, Spanish, and linguistics. Her AP classes at LCHS transferred 17 credits to her college transcript before she even set foot in a college classroom.
Her study skills allowed her to tackle 17 credit hours in coursework in her first semester, and to maintain that ambitious pacing. Her college advisor urged her to slow down and take 15 hours like most college freshmen. “You don’t understand,” she told the counselor. “I’m a graduate of Liberty Common High School.”
She aced all of her freshman courses. Liberty’s requirement that all students take four years of math waived her through all of CSU’s basic math requirements and fast-tracked her to an upper-level statistics class needed for her major.
Alauna’s first exposure to Spanish was in Liberty’s 3rd grade. She took a high-school Spanish I course as a Liberty 8th grader. That allowed her to master the highest levels of high-school Spanish including AP Spanish. “I didn’t want to let that accomplishment just sit there,” she told me last week. “So I decided to minor in Spanish at CSU, too.”
The study skills Alauna learned at Liberty were invaluable in college. “Personally, I’m a big procrastinator,” she said. “I think most people are really that way, too, but I was used to Liberty’s homework strategies going back to third grade.” She knew how to manage her homework, economize her time, and stay atop of heavy, college-level assignments. Oh, and she held down a job on the side.
Alauna wasn’t the high-school valedictorian, or salutatorian. She was a solid Liberty student, not much different than any other Liberty kid. She worked hard in high school, participated in extracurricular activities, kept her focus on her academic priorities, and had some fun, too.
She conquered more college coursework than most graduates do, and now finishes college well ahead of schedule, and under budget. Alauna is a perfect example of a Liberty Common School student and a Liberty Common High School graduate. A duplicate original copy of her CSU diploma is being acquired by LCHS and it will be displayed in our hallway forever.
It’s a bonus that Alauna chose to attend college close to home. The CSU campus location allows us all an easy and convenient way to come together this Saturday to celebrate and commemorate this auspicious milestone, and to be roused by one whose academic milestone becomes an inspiring guidepost for the rest of us.
For details about the ceremony, the bus ride from LCHS to CSU (and back), and the post-graduation pizza feast, please see the nearby news item about Alauna’s graduation ceremony.
Go Eagles! Go Rams! Way to go Alauna!