Top of the class: Moffat County grads humbly accept high-achieving honors
After four years of hard work, members of Moffat County High School’s Class of 2019 are striving to keep going for greatness in the world, and the Bulldogs who took top honors during graduation aren’t just sitting on their laurels.
While the majority of MoCo grads were decked out in decorative cords and sashes signifying membership in teams, clubs and organizations during Saturday’s ceremony, only two of the class had the distinction of top students.
Josh Teeter attained valedictorian status for the class, with Molly Neton salutatorian.
Valedictorian — Josh Teeter
Salutatorian — Molly Neton
Besides boasting the highest grade point average and the medal around his neck that said as much, Teeter’s jumble of cords bespoke his academic pursuits which he has balanced in his senior year with distinctions such as co-captain of the varsity football team.
Though he wasted no time after the ceremony tossing his cap and tassel in favor of a Fox Racing hat, the valedictorian status is one he takes seriously.
“It feels good getting it, and it’s something I’ve been working for since about sixth- or seventh-grade,” he said. “It finally paid off. This whole class accomplished a lot this year. It’s been very competitive.”
Teeter said he originally planned to join the military straight out of high school, though in the past year, his interests led him to studying construction management at Colorado Mesa University this fall.
If Teeter had a lot around his neck, it’s a wonder Neton could walk with the mass of material around her gown, indicating her prowess in many activities, including choir, band, swimming and student council to name a few. A red and white tassel from Colorado Northwestern Community College also complemented her MCHS blue and white for the student who completed her associate’s degree before finishing high school.
The graduation program likewise had nearly a half-page dedicated to the many scholarships she’s received in recent months, including PEO STAR, Colorado County Clerks Association and an abundance of local sources.
The one that stuck out most was an award from Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition she took for writing bird-themed poetry for her entry.
“Everybody’s been making fun of me for that one,” she laughed.
With plans to become a pediatrician starting with pre-med at Regis University, Neton also garnered considerable funding from the college, such as a music scholarship for her proficiency on the oboe.
Neton also was the recipient of Outstanding Senior Girl as presented by teacher Amy Hansen, who greatly detailed her student’s bright future, who in turn felt very humbled heading up to the stage to accept the award.
“There were so many awesome people in this class, and I had no idea I was going to get it,” she said. “I really feel like I got set up well in Moffat County for all that, so I’m really grateful for my school and my teachers for pushing me to be as good as I could.”
For Outstanding Senior Boy, it was AJ Barber taking the honor, with an introduction by Heather Fross that detailed his love for music and sports alike, but also his down-to-earth personality.
Barber said he’s only been a full student at MCHS the past two years, a home-schooled kid before that and part of the Moffat County Shared School program.
“After my mom got a full-time job, I started public school, and I’m so glad I did,” he said.
Barber plans to study music and potentially play club hockey at Western Colorado University, and having already seen different types of classroom environments, he’s expecting a smooth transition.
“Some things will be the same, like schoolwork’s still going to be there when I get to college, but it’ll be a lot of fun meeting new people, living in a new place. Definitely going to miss all friends and family here,” he said.
GOAL Academy High School has been selected by Microsoft as a Microsoft Showcase School for their “excellence in demonstrated student outcomes resulting from their commitment to educational transformation,” according to a news release from the school.