Students Collect Thousands of Dollars on Local Scholarship Night

By Cara Pallone

The Telluride High School class of 2019 is one of the largest, if not the largest with 78 students.

For years, local donors have been supporting seniors with financial contributions as they pursue their next chapter of education. This year was no different, but as Principal Sara Kimble explained to the audience at the Palm Theater during the annual Senior Awards Night Wednesday, some students, mostly out of consideration for others, opted not to apply for any scholarship, or to apply for only one or two.

 “We are grateful for these students….”

With Telluride High and Mountain School seniors dressed in their caps and gowns on stage, there was no shortage of emotional moments as donors walked up the mic, congratulated the class of 2019 and introduced their scholarships.


Dozens of certificates were handed out by community organizations and nonprofits, businesses, individuals and families.

Donors ranged from restaurants to hotels to foundations and memorial funds, like the Abel Palmer Memorial Scholarship was awarded by Himay and Cedar Palmer, who lost their son and brother, respectively, in an avalanche two winters ago.

“Abel was a long hauler…”

The Abel Palmer Memorial Scholarship award went to Anna Wright, whose father Gabe Wright, died in a backcountry incident the same winter as Abel. 

Other memorial scholarships were awarded in honor of the late Elaine Fischer, Glider Bob Saunders, Gus Guest, Cody Simonian, Nic Kyle, Kevin Doyle, Jane Miller, Sally Siegel, Hoot Brown and others. Organizations that doled out scholarship funds ranged from Telluride Aids Benefit to True North Youth Program. Mountainfilm to Film Fest, from the Elks Lodge to the Masonic Lodge to Rotary to the Placerville Volunteer Fire Department. The San Miguel Educational Fund, that’s KOTO’s governing board, awarded its own scholarship to Maya Ordonez, who was in radio club her freshman and sophomore years of high school and plans to attend the University of Chicago to study molecular engineering.

The ski resort and San Miguel Power Association awarded scholarships, along with a host of others.

A senior parade will take place around 12:30 Friday on main street. The commencement ceremony for the class of 2019 will follow at 2 p.m. at the Palm Theater. Telluride TV will live stream the event. The keynote speaker is former postman Jim Looney.

The Salutatorian is Wynton Brown. Co-valedictorians are Will Jansen and Spencer Keating.