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Alpine Bank and School District 51 honor high school and middle school students at CMU

Organizations work with CMU to keep community-minded students in the community

More than a decade ago CMU President Tim Foster and Alpine Bank Regional President Norm Franke joined efforts to reward local high school and middle school students who work hard, and who are well rounded. The reward took the form of a guaranteed scholarship to CMU. More than ten years later, the original program then outlined by the two presidents remains strong. On Tuesday, December 17, Alpine Bank employees joined CMU leaders, and School District 51 educators, honoring the official winners of the fall, 2019 Students of the Quarter.

The ceremony honored students from each high school senior class as well as an 8th grade student from each area middle school.

"The program is simple but powerful," said Foster. "Educators at each local school select a student of the quarter. Those students are honored during a celebratory lunch at CMU. The students are then given a campus tour and are offered a CMU scholarship of $500 from Alpine Bank. The program allows young people to see that the work they do now has benefits in the future when."

Not only does Apline Bank's generosity reward students, the Student of the Quarter program also rewards the community. Each scholarship offered is another way to encourage Mesa County's most community-minded local students to remain in the Grand Valley.

The program works.

According to CMU Director of Financial Aid Curt Martin the partnership between the school district, bank and university has a track record of success.

"Of the 208 Student of the Quarter award winners from 2016-2017, 59 selected CMU as their university of choice," said Martin. "This means nearly 30% of those offered the scholarship accepted the award. These young people get the full university experience while staying in western Colorado. Managing this program is truly one of the more rewarding components of my job."

Around one hundred people attended Tuesday's ceremony. Attendees included students from each school in the valley, their parents and community leaders. Among the community leaders was School District 51 Superintendent Diana Sirko who addressed the students and parents during lunch. Her remarks praised the program as well as D51 staff for their support of students. Sirko also noted how many transcript credits some of the award winners had brought to CMU which amounted to 7300 transcript credits.

Each student was provided a chance to speak and voice their appreciation for the award as well as their plans for the future.

Alpine Bank officials were in attendance congratulating students and encouraging them for the future. 

“He’s fearless and as an 8th grader it’s is easy to fail and give up. But not Benjamin. He tackles anything in his path. He puts himself out there." — SD51 educator speaking about 8th grader Benjamin Brown.

“He spreads kindness to everyone. He’s the type of person you want to be like. Grant is a hardworking young man who only knows how to give 100%. We need more Grants in this world.” — SD51 educator speaking about student Grant Balzer.

“Hanna knows how to make things ordinary extraordinary.” — SD51 educator speaking about student Hanna Kasnoff.

“Samantha makes it safe for other students to know that it’s okay to not know. She wants to be a teacher. [She's] well on [her] way to achieve [her] goal.” — SD51 educator speaking about Samantha Delorenzo.

"Elliott is a rockstar. He models for his peers. Elliot's curiosity to learn inspires me and everyone in the classroom to learn.” — SD51 educator speaking about Elliott Johnston.


Written by David Ludlam