Portrait of a Graduate

After six months, 36 community meetings, and more than 6,800 engaged participants, Durango School District 9-R’s Board of Education approved a Portrait of a Graduate plan on May 24, 2022. This vision guides the district as a “north star” to prepare students for life after school. When students graduate, that’s really just the beginning.


“This is a shared vision of what qualities our graduates need to possess in order to be positive contributors to society and have a good quality of life,” said Durango School District 9-R Superintendent Dr. Karen Cheser. “Portrait of a Graduate adapts the traditional model of education to evolve in an ever-changing world.”


An infographic featuring a cairn – a vertical stack of rocks – serves as a visual metaphor for Portrait of a Graduate. Cairns are familiar to hikers navigating local trails, and for students it will represent “a wayfinder to balance skills on the path to success.”