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Posted July 31, 2015

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Congrats Summer Grads!

Nearly 240 seniors earned their high school diploma this summer.

The graduating class of 2015 got a little bigger as nearly 240 APS students successfully completed summer school classes and earned their high school diploma.

Most of those students picked up their diplomas at a graduation ceremony on Tuesday, July 28, at the Kiva Auditorium.

Superintendent Dr. Luis Valentino addressed the graduates and their families, congratulating them on their hard work, determination, perseverance and commitment.

"I won’t kid you. Some of these students were not always so serious about school and some may have goofed off early on, but something or someone helped them realize that getting their high school diploma was important," Valentino said.

Students who take a little longer to graduate often are delayed by family tragedy, financial struggles or illness, as was the case of Ashley Cano of Del Norte who spoke during the ceremony about her battle with cancer.

Valentino acknowledged parents, family members, friends, teacher, principals and others who supported these students even when they had doubts about earning their diploma.

He also congratulated the students for having the "ganas" (will) to make their lives better and for recognizing how a diploma can open the door to college, vocational school and careers.

"If you want to get your high school diploma and you are short a half-credit or a full-credit, you need to find a way to earn that credit—take an online class, enroll in an evening class or go to summer school. Figure out some way to get the credit and graduate," Valentino said.

"Go out and make your now the best it can be. Plan and do. You can succeed. You, like the rest of us in this room, also will fail," the superintendent said during his commencement address. "We’ve made mistakes, but hopefully we learned from those mistakes and with the support of our family, friends and co-workers, we moved on and been successful as well."

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