Courtesy of KMS
Seven Killington Mountain School graduates stand together in caps and gowns, Saturday, June 6.
KILLINGTON — With the lush, green mountain of Killington as a backdrop and Superstar’s lone snowy patch serving as a reminder of the long winter season, the seven members of Killington Mountain School’s full-term program gathered on campus Saturday, June 6, along with faculty, coaches, staff, family members and friends, to celebrate their graduation from KMS. Bagpipe music played as the graduates processed out onto the front lawn one-by-one, dressed in forrest green caps and gowns.
Head of School Tao Smith spoke to the seniors about the value of their KMS experience, commenting that the unique path they chose now leaves them especially prepared for their college years and for life after academia. He then shared a passage from the school’s most recent summer reading book, one read by the entire KMS Community, Bryce Courtenay’s “The Power of One.” The selection Smith chose discusses plant life in the natural world and features young Peekay’s education about different species of plants by his teacher, Doc. Doc speaks of original thought and ideas and of how often in life “vines” will try to squelch innovative thinking: “The vines are people who are afraid of originality, of new thinking. Most people you encounter will be vines; when you are a young plant they are very dangerous…Always listen to yourself, Peekay. It is better to be wrong than simply to follow convention. If you are wrong, no matter, you have learned something and you grow stronger. If you are right, you have taken another step toward a fulfilling life.”
Smith gave the students the same admonition, to not let the vines hamper their original, powerful individual voices as they make their way in the world beyond the doors of KMS, voices they have already begun to cultivate by virtue of their individualized high school experience.
Senior Ryan Znamierowski then spoke as a student representative, thanking the faculty, coaches, and staff for their guidance and care, and thanking parents for affording him and his classmates the opportunity to attend such a special school, one where they could pursue their passions. Tao Smith and Director of Academics Holly Morse then presented students with their diplomas, after which Mike Hone, president of Killington Mountain School’s Board of Trustees, formally declared the group graduates of Killington Mountain School.
Green caps dotted the bluebird sky as the graduates celebrated, cheered on by the applause of all those in attendance. After the ceremony, KMS senior Spencer Wood’s family graciously hosted an incredible celebration party at their home in Pittsfield, giving the group a perfect send-off as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.