De Beque class of 8 graduates biggest in years

At a school where only one senior might graduate, or where all the graduates could be of a single gender, the class of 2016 stood out as “a good, representative mix,” said Amy Largent, 38, De Beque High School counselor. 

The class was the largest to matriculate since at least 2012, Largent said. In all, eight young men and women took the stage during ceremonies in the school’s pristine gym Tuesday.

Exactly 25 percent of De Beque High School graduates played both volleyball and basketball, preferred volleyball, and learned to be patient, confident and true to themselves despite adversity.

They were Chandra Davis, 18, of Parachute, the class valedictorian, and Barbara Satterfield, 18, of De Beque, both leaders and athletes who worked hard to graduate, Largent said.

Becoming valedictorian was a goal since she started school in De Beque three years ago, Davis said.

Recording the highest marks in the class was a challenge on several levels. Davis spent a lot of money on gas and a lot of time on the road running back and forth from Parachute to achieve all of her goals.

She played her favorite sport, volleyball, since seventh grade and also played on the basketball team this past year. In addition, she edited the high school’s monthly newsletter and was part of the yearbook team as well.

She wasn’t sure if saying goodbye to the class of 2016 would make her cry, but she cracked a little before her speech when thanking her mom and dad and her band director, Miss Wilson — three key people who helped her win music scholarships to study clarinet at Colorado Mesa University starting this fall.

Like Davis, Satterfield also tells a story that shows true De Beque Dragon “grit,” a theme of the class of 2016, Largent said.

“Long story short, both my parents were unable and unfit parents, so me and my brother went and moved in with my grandparents,” Satterfield said. “They stepped up and they’ve been the best mom and dad I’ve ever had.

“This past year, my grandpa got cancer and was terminally ill and he went down to Seattle to get a bone marrow transplant, so he missed quite a bit of my sports and athletics, but my grandma and my grandpa came for my senior night of basketball.

“He’s doing alright. He’s the resilient one,” she said.

Satterfield always pictured the moment of graduation in her mind’s eye, “but today, it’s kind of surreal. It’s right now. It’s in the moment. It’s a big step, but I think I can handle it.”

The record appears to back that up. An athlete, Satterfield played volleyball, her favorite sport, then was seriously injured at the beginning of the basketball season.

Her favorite moment of her volleyball career was the night she recorded 22 kills in a single match against Caprock Academy, she said.

“I’ve definitely had my ups and downs. I think I’m resilient in some ways, but it’s just a funny concept for me to compliment myself in that way.

“My advice to everybody would be (to) not take having less responsibility for granted. You’re going to have to step up someday, no matter what, so why not be a kid while you can?”

Satterfield plans a career in pediatric medicine. She wants to start by studying sports medicine at CMU, hopefully starting in the fall, she said.


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