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STRATTON — Stratton Mountain School, training ground for world champion student athletes, sent forth its next crop of future greats when it held its commencement on June 10.

The ceremony was held in the Greg Needell Gymnasium, with friends, family, faculty and staff watching and taking part in the morning’s events, which began at 10. Established in 1972, the school is now a fully accredited institution of about 150 student-athletes in Alpine, Nordic, free skiing, freestyle and snowboard programs.

Here are the highlights from commencement, as shared by Jim Sullivan, director of admissions at Stratton Mountain School.

School: Stratton Mountain School

About: A U.S. national team development site, the school offers living, education and athletics to students, many of whom go on to join NCAA schools and teams, such as Dartmouth, Williams and Middlebury colleges, as well as Boston College, the University of Vermont and many more. More than 100 alumni have been named to national teams, and more than 46 past students have participated in the Olympics, including three gold medalists, one silver medalist, two bronze medalists and several top-10 finishers.

Towns: National draw, plus international students who make up 5 to 8 percent of student body

Number of graduates: 30

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Valedictorian: Janne Koch

Salutatorian: Jack Lange

Founder’s Award: Highest award at Stratton Mountain School to the person who best represents the essence of the school, pursuit of athletic and academic excellence, while building strong personal values: Eliza Sullivan

Commencement speakers: Cameron MacKugler, Stratton Mountain School Class of 2005; Middlebury College, Class of 2009, competitive Nordic skier, founder of Seedsheets.com and its customizable “roll-out gardens.” He was on ABC’s “Shark Tank” in 2017 and landed a deal to help fund Seedsheets.

Best bit of advice from a key speaker: “Always maintain your goal sheet pyramid,” a skill he learned while a student at SMS, and “always revisit and revise your goals to keep pushing yourself. Do not be complacent.”

Best bit of advice from a graduating student: “Appreciate the individuals, especially the teachers, you encounter in life. Understand their amazing commitment to your individual success, and appreciate how devoted they are to your betterment. Be sure to thank them.” — Janne Koch, valedictorian


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