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Class of 2019

Albuquerque Public Schools Graduation Class of 2019

Albuquerque High School

"Our pasts are behind us, our lives are before us, and our memories are forever within us." —Author Unknown

Albuquerque High Graduation Transcript

AMELIA DUNN: The oldest and proudest public high school in the state of New Mexico.

(applause and cheering)

At this time, please stand for the procession of our platform guests and the class of 2019, immediately following. Pomp and circumstance will be performed by the Albuquerque High School Band and Orchestra, directed by Ms. Elsie Stott and Ms. Drew Austin.

(orchestral music)

Please remain standing as The Albuquerque High School JROTC Color Guard presents the colors and the singing of the national anthem. The national anthem will be sung by AHS Senior, Jacquelinne Olivas.

(applause and cheering)

Gentlemen, please remove your hats and please remain standing until the colors have left the floor.

♪ Oh, say can you see ♪

♪ By the dawn's early light ♪

♪ What so proudly we hailed ♪

♪ At the twilight's last gleaming ♪

♪ Whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪

♪ Through the perilous fight ♪

♪ O'er the ramparts we watched ♪

♪ Were so gallantly streaming ♪

♪ And the rocket's red glare ♪

♪ The bombs bursting in air ♪

♪ Gave proof through the night ♪

♪ That our flag was still there ♪

♪ Oh, say does that star-spangled ♪

♪ Banner yet wave ♪

♪ O'er the land of the free ♪

♪ And the home of the brave ♪

(applause and cheering)

(applause and cheering)

You may be seated. Family, friends, and guests, thank you for joining us as we celebrate and honor Albuquerque High School's class of 2019 for their graduation. It is my honor to introduce to you today our commencement platform guests. Secretary of the APS Board of Education, Ms. Yolanda Montoya Cordova.

(applause)

Member of the APS Board of Education, Ms. Barbara Petersen.

(applause)

APS Associate and Superintendent for Leadership and Learning for Zone One, Dr. Gabriella Blakey.

(applause)

Executive Director of the APS Foundation, Ms. Shannon Barnhill.

(applause)

AHS Principal, Mr. Ryan Homistek.

(applause and cheering)

AHS Assistant Principal, Mr. Herbert Stanley Jr.

(applause and cheering)

AHS Interim Assistant Principal, Ms. Carla Greene.

(applause and cheering)

AHS Assistant Principal, Ms. Anna Laura Rodriguez.

(applause and cheering)

AHS Athletic Director, Mr. Doug Dorame.

(applause and cheering)

AHS Dean of Students, Mr. Vince Baty.

(applause and cheering)

Honored Graduate, Mr. Bert Parnall.

(applause)

Honored Graduate, Dr. Marissa Chacon.

(applause and cheering)

Honored Graduate, Ms. Diandra Barnwell.

(applause)

AHS Valedictorian, Joaquin Madrid-Larrañaga.

(applause and cheering)

AHS Salutatorian, Carmen Ortega.

(applause and cheering)

AHS Student Body President, Fiona Kilgore.

(applause and cheering)

AHS Senior Class President, Yazmin Ramirez.

(applause and cheering)

AHS Honored Junior Escort, Amelia Dunn.

(applause and cheering)

AHS Honored Junior Escort, Rishi Yang.

(applause and cheering)

And I am Stephanie Dunn, the AHS Activities Director.

(applause and cheering)

I am also honored to introduce the principals of the elementary and middle schools that feed AHS. We introduce these educational leaders in recognition of the educational pipeline these students have been a part of and in and out of our communities. Representing Washington Middle School, principal Angela Rodriguez.

(applause and cheering)

Representing Jefferson Middle School, principal Monica Olmsted.

(applause and cheering)

Representing Wilson Middle School, Principal Teise Reiser.

(applause and cheering)

Representing Coronado Elementary School, Nathaniel Kuster.

(applause)

Representing Dolores Gonzales Elementary, Principal Lori Stuit.

(applause and cheering)

Representing Eugene Field Elementary School, Principal Veronica Nolan.

(applause and cheering)

Representing Lew Wallace Elementary school, Principal Anne Strangio and Intern Cassandra Franco.

(applause and cheering)

Representing Longfellow Elementary School, Principal Richard Ulibarri.

(applause and cheering)

Representing Lowell Elementary Middle School, sorry, elementary, Danielle Cavillo.

(applause and cheering)

Representing Monte Vista Elementary School, Principal Leith Page.

(applause and cheering)

Representing Montezuma Elementary School, Mark Woodard.

(applause)

Representing Zia Elementary, Alyssa Agranat.

(applause)

At this time, I have the honor today of introducing to you three distinguished Albuquerque High School alumni. These alumni know the pride, honor and tradition

that go along with the diploma you will receive today. We introduce these alumni because after high school, they went on to become productive citizens in the community. We offer them to you as role models. I am quite certain that in 10, 15, 20 years from now, some of you from the class of 2019, will be sitting on the graduation stage and will be introduced as a distinguished graduate of AHS. 

Our first distinguished graduate is a brand ambassador, social activist, wellness influencer, host, TV personality and entrepreneur. During her time at AHS, she was a cheerleader, bulldoggie, thespian, honor society member and a student senate officer. After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, where she earned her Associates in Fashion Design and her Bachelors in Business and Marketing. She was first introduced to the world through CBS's competition show, The Job, where she beat out thousands of applicants for a coveted job at Cosmopolitan Magazine. After winning her position at the number one women's publication, she quickly rose in the ranks during her five year tenure and specializing in special projects and events. She was a constant fixture in Cosmo magazine in both the print and digital versions, appearing in various beauty, fashion and fitness stories including landing the 2015 peel-off cover in a Dove campaign. 

In 2016, the world got to know her while she co-starred on E! Network docu-series, So Cosmo, which chronicled the personal and professional lives of her and her co-workers. After only one season of So Cosmo, premiering in 140 different countries, she became an instant influencer with over 41,000 followers on her social platforms, prompting her to create a brand of her own. I

n 2017, she made the decision to leave Cosmopolitan Magazine and capitalize on her newfound prominence, by lending her likeness and voice to various lifestyle brands and philanthropic causes. In addition, she became ambassador for non-profits with causes close to her heart such as The Power to Decide, formerly known as The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, The National Down Syndrome Society, The Anti-Defamation League and Brooklyn Youth Sports Club. 

Today, she has taken on the role of host, Director of Consumer Relations for The Model Experience, a production, media and fashion agency for aspiring models and talent. With her new role, she will split her time between New York and Los Angeles. In addition, she also travels all over the country for speaking engagements on the subject of women in business and female entrepreneurship.Next up for she will be launching a beauty brand,  a website and more television. Ladies and gentlemen, from the Class of 2008, Ms. Diandra Barnwell.

(applause and cheering)

Our second distinguished alumni, graduated in the top 20 of her class and received a four-year letter award in academics and basketball. She also participated in student Senate, BEAT, which Bulldogs Educating About Teen Issues, volleyball, and track. She was homecoming princess her senior year and received the senior superlative, Most Athletic for her graduating class. She was also the 2008-2009 Albuquerque High School Student Athlete of the Year and was on the 2008 Albuquerque Metro All-Academic Team. Her senior year, she organized Albuquerque High's first charity event at the Old Albuquerque High School, which helped increase awareness about domestic violence. 

After high school, she attended the University of New Mexico and completed her pre-pharmacy requisites. She was accepted into the University of New Mexico, College of Pharmacy program and began pharmacy school in August of 2013. In pharmacy school, she was a member of the UNM American Society of Health System Pharmacists, Student Societies Health System Pharmacy, Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity and was the Operation Self-Care Chair where she organized health fairs at different middle and high schools and taught children the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. She was also a pharmacy intern at Walgreens Pharmacy and Presbyterian Hospital and volunteered at the Albuquerque Opportunity Center Clinic for the Homeless where she collaborated with interdisciplinary groups of students to provide healthcare for homeless patients.

She graduated pharmacy school in May of 2017 and is currently employed as a staff pharmacist at Presbyterian Hospital. In July, she will be transitioning to a postgraduate year one residency at Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces where she will receive more specialized training as a clinical pharmacist. After that, she hopes to become a pharmacist clinician, where she can collaborate closely with physicians to provide primary care and specialty services to New Mexico patients. Ladies and gentlemen, from the class of 2009, Dr. Marissa Chacón.

(applause and cheering)

Our third distinguished alumni grew up in Albuquerque and was the salutatorian of his class. He was co-captain of the district football champion Bulldogs. He also lettered in wrestling, swimming, diving and track. Among many others Albuquerque High teachers who influenced him and with whom he is still in contact today, are Carol Lovato and Jim Owens as well as his football coach, Tom Ryan and wrestling coach, Herbert Stanley. He earned his undergraduate degree from Rice University in 1993 with a double major in History and French. He returned to New Mexico for law school where he graduated on the Honor Roll and passed the bar in 1997. After internships at Legal Aid and the US District Court for New Mexico, he served as a Senior Trial Prosecutor until 2004. In 2005, he began his personal injury practice to help victims of negligence and crime. He now leads a law firm of 40 people, including eight lawyers, helping thousands of victims recover damages for serious injuries.

He proposed to Marta Strzyzewski, Miss New Mexico 2001, two weeks after having met. Happily, she accepted and they make their home in Albuquerque, together with their four children, one of whom attend Albuquerque High. He is or has been a member of the following community organizations among others, Rotary Club of Albuquerque, board member and president, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, board member, UNM Law Alumni, board member, Popejoy, board member, New Mexico Judo, president, Valencia County Bar, past president, New Mexico Trial Lawyers, board member. He and his law firm also sponsor trips for children through Make-A-Wish.

Ladies and gentlemen, from the Class of 1988, Mr. Bert Parnall.

(applause and cheering)

BERT PARNALL: Thank you so much (mumbles).

AMELIA DUNN: Ladies and Gentlemen, oh, congratulations distinguished alumni. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the AHS Valedictorian, Joaquin Madrid Larrañaga, who will deliver the senior farewell address to the class of 2019.

(applause and cheering)

JOAQUIN MADRID LARRAÑGUA: Congratulations class of 2019.

(applause and cheering)

What if I told you that the past twelve years of schooling was unnecessary, that everything we have learned thus far has no bearing on our future lives. Now, you might be thinking, Oh Joaquin, we know this already, we know that we aren't gonna use calculus, sorry Mr. Phillips. We're never gonna use physics again and we're never going to annotate another essay. While this might be true for some of us, all of our core curriculum does serve a purpose, to make us all educated, well-rounded people, who can hold an intelligent conversation.

But I'm not talking about that type of education. I'm talking about life skills. What if I told you that everything we need to know in life, we learned in kindergarten.

(laughter)

Author, Robert Fulghum, details the following lessons we learned in kindergarten in his book, All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Number one, don't hit people because they might hit back. In today's world, it is so easy to take a jab at someone through social media, but I think most of us have figured out that insults work both ways. And as a result, I have seen you all recognize that friendships and community are more important than any prideful comment that any one person can make. In kindergarten, we learned to put things back where we found them because otherwise we may never find them again. 

Moving through high school, I almost lost myself to the person I felt like I wanted to be by trying to emulate others who I thought were popular. Each and every day, I am continually amazed by your commitment to your beliefs. Throughout our four years at Albuquerque High, there have been several organized demonstrations like the one last month to demand new legislation for climate change. This class is not afraid to stand up for what it believes in and I am truly proud of this quality.

(applause and cheering)

In kindergarten, we learned to wash our hands before we ate, I don't think I need to explain that one. We learned to clean up our own messes because that's our responsibility. Many of us had rough freshman and sophomore years academically, but even more of us were able to bounce back and finish out strong. Personal accountability and dedication is one of our strengths as a class and I am confident in our ability to be accountable for our actions. Another lesson is not to take things that aren't ours because that's theft and clearly, theft is illegal. We learned to say we're sorry when we hurt someone because that's the right thing to do.

Earlier, I talked about the destructive power of prideful and hurtful comments, but sincere apologies are the next best thing to a time machine. Never let your pride get in the way of a meaningful friendship. Flush, that's a given. Live a balanced life, learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day. Over our four years at AHS, many of us were able to balance academics with music, art, dance, sports, jobs and community service. 

As a result, our marching band, placed the highest they have ever placed at any marching band festival.

(applause and cheering)

Our award-winning drama department consistently placed at festivals and competitions across the state.

(applause and cheering)

Our boys cross country team, placed the highest they have placed in 50 years.

(applause)

And our girls cross country team, placed the highest they have ever placed.

(applause)

50 students earned the bilingual seal this year.

(applause and cheering)

And we had five National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists and one finalist.

(applause)

These records and more, are testament to the hard work and dedication that I know each and every person puts into the activities they are passionate about. 

Lastly, Fulghum reminds us that when we go out into the world, we need to watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together. One of my favorite things about Albuquerque High is our ability to stick together, our sense of community. This past year, we lost three important members of our school. But we are healing together. Community is about lending a helping hand to someone you don't know. Community is being willing to take the first step and make a difference in somebody else's life. Community is being a friendly face to those who need it. We are a community.

(applause and cheering)

Community is perhaps the most important thing that I learned in kindergarten. For most of us, kindergarten was the first time that we were thrust into a new scary environment away from our parents, but we figured it out together and created our first community. In a couple of months, many of us will be going off to college and will once again be forced to stick together and create another community. To that, I say good luck, you've got a lot of late nights ahead of you. Others of us will be joining the ranks of our military, ready to serve our country and for that, I commend you.

(applause)

Still others will be going directly to the workforce to provide for themselves, their families and their communities. I applaud your leap into adulthood.

(applause)

No matter what you end up doing, I encourage you to keep the sense of community that we have fostered and to bring it with you into the world as you begin a new chapter in your life. Remember, community is not something that you accidentally happen upon, it is carefully crafted by the selfless actions of people just like you.

Thank you.

(applause and cheering)

AMELIA DUNN: Thank you Joaquin. The AHS Concert Choir is a 30 voice advanced ensemble under the direction of Elena Maietta, AHS class of 2005. To honor graduating Seniors, the Concert Choir will be singing, We're All In This Together, from High School Musical written by Matthew Gerrard and Robbie Neville, with arrangement by Alan Billingsley and Elena Maietta.

♪ Double L-D O-G-S ♪

♪ B-U, double L-D O-G-S ♪

♪ Together, together, together everyone ♪

♪ Together, together ♪

♪ Come on let's have some fun ♪

♪ Together, to care for ♪

♪ Each other every time ♪

♪ Together, together ♪

♪ Come on let's sing this time ♪

♪ Here and now it's time for celebration ♪

♪ Finally figured it out ♪

♪ Yeah yeah ♪

♪ That all our dreams have no limitations ♪

♪ That's what it's all about ♪

♪ Everyone is special in their own way ♪

♪ We make each other strong ♪

♪ We make each other strong ♪

♪ We're not the same ♪

♪ We're different in a good way ♪

♪ Together's where we belong. ♪

♪ We're all in this together ♪

♪ Once we know that we are ♪

♪ We're all stars and we see that ♪

♪ We're all in this together ♪

♪ And it shows ♪

♪ when we stand ♪

♪ Hand in hand ♪

♪ Make our dreams come true ♪

♪ Together, together, together everyone ♪

♪ Together, together, ♪

♪ Come on let's have some fun ♪

♪ Together, we're there for each other every time ♪

♪ Together, together ♪

♪ Come on let's do this right ♪

♪ We're all here and speaking out with one voice ♪

♪ We're gonna rock the house ♪

♪ Say yeah ♪

♪ The party's on now everybody make some noise ♪

♪ Come on scream and shout ♪

♪ We've arrived, woo ♪

♪ Because we've stuck together ♪

♪ Champions one and all ♪

♪ We're all in this together ♪

♪ Once we know ♪

♪ That we are ♪

♪ We're all stars ♪

♪ And we see that ♪

♪ We're all in this together ♪

♪ And it shows ♪

♪ When we stand ♪

♪ Hand in hand ♪

♪ Make our dreams come ♪

♪ We're all in this together ♪

♪ When we reach ♪

♪ We can fly ♪

♪ Know inside ♪

♪ We can make it ♪

♪ We're all in this together ♪

♪ Once we see ♪

♪ There's a chance ♪

♪ That we have ♪

♪ And we take it ♪

♪ Bulldogs everywhere ♪

♪ Wave your hands up in the air ♪

♪ Bulldogs everywhere ♪

♪ Everybody sing now ♪

♪ Bulldogs everywhere ♪

♪ Wave your hands up in the air ♪

♪ B-U-L-L-D-O-G ♪

♪ Bulldog city ♪

(singing in foreign language)

♪ We are in this together ♪

♪ Once we know ♪

♪ That we are ♪

♪ We're all stars ♪

♪ And we see that ♪

♪ We're all in this together ♪

♪ And it shows ♪

♪ When we stand ♪

♪ Hand in hand ♪

♪ Make our dreams come ♪

♪ We're all in this together ♪

♪ When we reach ♪

♪ We can fly ♪

♪ Know inside ♪

♪ We can make it ♪

♪ We're all in this together ♪

♪ Once we see ♪

♪ There's a chance ♪

♪ That we have ♪

♪ And we take it ♪

♪ Bulldogs everywhere ♪

♪ Wave your hands up in the air ♪

♪ Bulldogs on the count of three ♪

♪ One, two, three, bulldogs ♪

(Applause and cheering)

AMELIA DUNN: I now introduce to you the AHS Student Body President, Fiona Kilgore.

(applause and cheering)

FIONA KILGORE: I would like to start off by saying congratulations to the class of 2019.

(applause and cheering)

To some, it may seem like only yesterday we were walking through the halls of Albuquerque High for the first time. For others, high school may have been the longest four years of your life. Regardless of how the time passed, I am so glad that we are all here together today, getting ready to enter the next stages of our lives, whatever that may be. There are a lot of things I have enjoyedabout my time at Albuquerque High School, but what stands out to me most is the overwhelming sense of community that exists at our school. We've had some great times together, where our community has come together to celebrate our accomplishments. We have so many amazing programs at AHS, such as our Bilingual Program, that is ranked among the best in the country.

(applause and cheering)

And our Drama and Music Departments, who consistently wins awards at festivals and competitions year after year.

(applause and cheering)

However, our community and more specifically our class, has dealt with loss throughout our four years of high school. With the loss of both Isabel and Karina, we as a class... Our community came together to recognize their legacy and we as a class still remember, cherish and carry them with us wherever we go. I have always seen how people focus on the differences that tear them apart, but at Albuquerque High School, I have seen so many times, how people have looked at similarities to bring us together.

(applause)

I hope that we can take the lessons we have learned at Albuquerque High, good and bad, with us and use them to make the world a better place because I know that every person in the class of 2019 is capable of doing so. Thank you for the time we have shared together and I am so excited to see the change that all of us will inspire in the world. Without further ado, I would like to introduce the principal of Albuquerque High School, Mr. Ryan Homistek.

(applause and cheering)

I listened to Mr. Homistek's interview when he was in the process of being hired and immediately I knew that he would be a great principal if he was chosen. I was correct. Although he has only been in AHS one short year, he has become such an important part of our school community, playing with the drum line at some assemblies, participating in spirit days, supporting programs that are not normally recognized and most importantly, listening to the opinions of students because he knows and believes in our potential to make Albuquerque High a better place. It is my honor and pleasure to introduce our wonderful principal, Mr. Ryan Homistek.

(applause and cheering)

RYAN HOMISTEK: Thank you Fiona, Joaquin and our choir. This just illustrates so many great activities, one amazing school. So thank you for that. Good evening, Albuquerque High community, bulldogs, soon to be graduates and a special shout out to the best cluster in Albuquerque public schools. Thank you all for being here.

(applause and cheering)

I am so proud to be with you all, for 139th commencement of Albuquerque High School graduation. We have much to celebrate with the 344 graduating seniors.

(applause)

During my first year as principal of Albuquerque High School, this class has impressed me with creativity, pride and identity in numerous activities that make Albuquerque High stand out as one of the premier high schools in New Mexico. This class has set a tone to energize the campus and the Bulldog community. The next group of juniors will have a higher level of competition to rise above this group of seniors.

(applause)

This year's senior class produced 80 scholarships, raising eight and a half million dollars in scholarship awards.

(applause)

50 students received the Bilingual Seal, dozens of district and state scholar athletes crossed the stage, state caliber musical talent performed and this is all mixed with a group of stage performing artists that inspired and amazed us all in the spotlight. I wanna give a shout out to James Zamora, Yazmin Ramirez, Fiona Kilgore, Diana Mullen, Thomas Baca, Joaquin Madrid-Larranagam, Jessica Urban and Jessica Newman for inspiring us with the bright lights and big show of Albuquerque High Performing Arts.

(applause and cheering)

Throughout the year, the Bulldog spirit was authentically demonstrated by the leadership of the crowd with the bark of Savion Andrews and the bite of the Mighty Bulldog Marching Band.

(applause and cheering)

We were driven by athletes who starred and led this class of seniors on several teams, Ryan Romero, Liam Heath Kennedy and Alisa Meraz Fishbein were energized by the... Excuse me, so shout out to those athletes. We were energized by spirit assemblies, especially those led by the best Student Senate I have ever seen.

(applause and cheering)

And not to mention this was all anchored by the perfect picture framed by Nick Abeyta.

(applause and cheering)

These are just a few of the many bright spots within this graduating class. So seniors, I hope your year was filled with the opportunity for cohesion with the peers sitting next to you, soon to leave as Albuquerque High alumni. I imagine that you entered Albuquerque High School eager to find your passion, make some new friends and gain the expertise and experience to propel you to the next level of interest, service or education. I am sure there were barriers you all met along the way to this benchmark, some harder to take than others. But you progressed through the usual and some unique challenges of high school, through the sleepless nights, three or more AP tests in just a few days, the rigor of becoming bi-literate and bilingual or rising to become a scholar athlete, performing artist, marketing expert, servicemen or women to protect our country and all along with the excitement to set sail along your career pathway.

Many Bulldog seniors led actively to serve or empower others to stand up for your community. Although this vocation may not be employed by all, it is a skill essential that every youth needs today in every community. I want to applaud those Bulldogs who broke the silence and worked with the adults to look at social issues at school that have not been talked about or deemed important in the past. Thank you to Ronya, Fiona, Dakota and Sophia.

(applause)

As mentioned, this year, bulldog city experienced loss in the Bulldog Family. One, of who, should have been sitting here with us tonight. This reminds us we are given gifts in life, the greatest is the love of a friend and a colleague. It's easy to lose contact with those we have made in high school, but as I found out this year through several venues, both joyful and sorrowful, the alumni of Albuquerque High School and those within strengthen one another as a community, truly Bulldogs forever.

Graduates, you are now advancing to another milestone. Enjoy and celebrate this commencement. I urge you to keep your status as a high school graduate temporary by continuing to climb on to the next level of training, school, college or entrepreneurship. The path ahead may be uncertain, but it always is, no matter what news is reported or what is tweeted. Remember as you move forward to your next test, it will be uncomfortable. As you move on to what is next, you must put emphasis on what is important for your future and discern what may be in the way of this choice.

Athlete Jennifer McCallister and also author of the book, Press On, emphasizes the importance of training to face your steep course of challenge by preparing to fight forward. When a challenge produces paralysis of your pace during your race of life because it is too steep, the skill of knowing when to rely on others is crucial. Class of 2019, do not be too proud or reluctant to leave the best part of high school behind. Keep in touch with the wonderful group of adults and bulldog staff who have helped you along your way to become graduates of Albuquerque High. Reach out to each other when you need another strategy to solve a problem or when you may have the strength to run with an alumnus or peer along their challenge when it's too steep. Remember to take the advantage of going to your family, as they are your best support system. Thank them and do not forget where you started.

Class of 2019, as you press on, recognize that you can't please everyone or be accepted by all. Settle for where you are and what you aspire to be, rather than following something you are not in order to belong. Rather than live to please, keep open opportunities to serve by creating conditions to open blindness by making others think about who you are and what you represent. Dare to be different and use your differences to inspire. Anyone could lead this way no matter if they are in charge or not. Where difference is feared, remember there is an opportunity for education and knowledge to be diffused. This is a skillset that is essential in every collaborative hangout, school, business or leadership team. Also elevated skills are needed for the forthcoming workforce which you are about to join. According to World Economic Forum, computer and mathematical positions are on the rise, architecture and engineering close to follow, information, communication technology positions are now outnumbering those financial services that outgrew in last 10 years. The traditional jobs requiring lower skills such as production or manufacturing, office administrative positions are declining. This is a new challenge that will demand this class to enter the workforce with literacy not only in reading and math, but also augmented literacy through technology and digital citizenship, excuse me. The ability to collaborate remotely or at person are no longer optional, but essential for employability. Class receive this challenge and never stop sharpening your skills to compete for the position or lifestyle that you desire. You all who are standing or sitting on this stage, have an advantage that not everybody is able to have or has the privilege to endure, but you did.

Graduates, I wanna leave you with some final words of wisdom and reflection. It is recognized that all of us did not take the same road to get here today. So remember this as you continue your journey, to those who believed in you and fueled the flame that grew into accomplishment you maybe never knew you had, thank them and share with them the gold you will receive today. To those who challenged you when you were idle to run the race beyond your speed, play the piece your skills never let you play, pass the test your subconscious rehearsed fearfully in late nights, run for the leadership position you never thought you could do, remember their wisdom. To those whose precepts set you below what they felt was above average material or those who told you that you were below their curve, breathe out and smile because you showed that you controlled the outcome and you didn't.

(applause)

Bulldogs always remember, you are your greatest opponent when choosing your identity and your direction in life. Choose to identify in success. Graduates, commence and enjoy this night. You are the Bulldog class of 2019 and we are proud of you.

(applause and cheering) 

Albuquerque High Public School Board Members, this class has met all of the requirements for graduation and we now present, Bulldog class of 2019 to you.

(applause and cheering)

BOARD MEMBER BARBARA PETERSON: So, you are amazing, you truly are. And know that your community really loves you, but more than that, your community needs you. We need your energy and your creativity and your sense of justice. And together you can change the world. So on behalf of the Albuquerque Public School, Board of Education, we are delighted to accept the Albuquerque High graduating class of 2019.

(applause and cheering)

BOARD MEMBER YOLANDA MONTOYA-CORDOVA: (speaking in Spanish)

Congratulations 2019.

(applause and cheering)

AMELIA DUNN: Before we begin the distribution, accepting a memorial cap and gown for Karina Contreras, one of our beloved seniors we lost this year, is a very close family friend, Jovanna Alejandra Barrios.

(applause and cheering)

(applause and cheering)

Thank you.

ANNOUCHER: Joaquin Emilio Madrid Larrañaga.

(audience cheering)

Carmen Ortega.

Fiona Joyce Kilgore.

(audience cheering)

Yazmin L Ramirez.

(audience cheering)

Destiny Michelle Abeyta.

(audience cheering)

Nicholas Antonio Abeyta.

(audience cheering)

Julian L Adame.

(audience cheering)

Alexander Kane Adams.

Isabella M Adams.

Silvia J Aguila.

(audience cheering)

Ariel Aguirre.

Julio Ricardo Alaniz.

(audience cheering)

Jessica R Albanna.

(audience cheering)

Diana A Alcala.

Kenia V Alvarado.

(audience cheering)

Fatima J Alvarez.

(audience cheering)

Marithza Amado.

Savion C Andrews.

(audience cheering)

Mateo Aranda.

Doron J Archuleta.

(audience cheering)

Nayeli Arenivas.

(audience cheering)

Luis Adan Armendariz.

Xavier R Atencio.

(audience cheering)

Xander S Augustson.

(audience cheering)

Alex Lee Baca.

(audience cheering)

Joaquin L Baca.

Simon Patrick Baca.

(audience cheering)

Thomas Ricardo Baca.

(audience cheering)

Willie E Baca.

Mariola Lourdes Balderas.

(audience cheering)

Jade A Baldonado.

(audience cheering)

Gabriella Renee Barela.

(audience cheering)

Elijah J Barela.

(audience cheering)

Zoë J Becker.

(audience cheering)

Maria Victoria Behrend.

(audience cheering)

Daisy Belmares-Ortega.

(audience cheering)

Claire Renee Benton.

(audience cheering)

Mariah A Besse.

(audience cheering)

Abimael Bobadilla.

(audience cheering)

Carlos A Bolivar.

Sophie Brett Brister.

(audience cheering)

Mirabella T Bronk.

(audience cheering)

Dominique G Brown.

(audience cheering)

Khadijah Burke.

(audience cheering)

Ana Laura Cabral Barrera.

Edgar Campos.

(audience cheering)

Carlos Carmona.

(audience cheering)

Tyler Enrique Carranza.

(audience cheering)

Christian S Carreathers.

(audience cheering)

Edgar Carrete.

(audience cheering)

Araceli Elizabeth Casas.

(audience cheering)

Lorenzo D Castaneda.

(audience cheering)

Brisa D Castillo.

(audience cheering)

Lorenzo Castillo Jr.

(audience cheering)

Tristan G Castillo.

(audience cheering)

Jessica E Celarie-Villa.

(audience cheering)

Litzy Cereceres.

(audience cheering)

Niamiah Adeliz Cervantes.

(audience cheering)

Michael A Chatterton.

(audience cheering)

Darly Jesus Chavez Peño.

(audience cheering)

Odalys Chavez.

Mary A Cherino.

Nicholas Santiago Clark.

(audience cheering)

Cody Justin Coffee.

Analicia Lucia Contreras.

(audience cheering)

Magaly Alexandra Contreras Jimenez.

(audience cheering)

Amanda C Cook.

Kimberly Dyanna Corona.

Savannah S Coronel.

Viviana L De Luna.

Moises Delgado.

(audience cheering)

Asael Diaz Hernandez.

(audience cheering)

Nicole G Diaz.

(audience cheering)

Jerusalem Dominguez.

(audience cheering)

Darian Christine Edwards.

(audience cheering)

Isabel Mailin Enriquez.

Uriel O Enriquez.

(audience cheering)

Wendy V Enriquez.

(audience cheering)

Matthew L Espen.

(audience cheering)

Cezar Espinoza.

(audience cheering)

Lillian Violet Estes.

(audience cheering)

Briana A Flores.

(audience cheering)

Danielle Victoria Flores.

Sofia M Gabaldón.

(applause)

Jude Jonah Gable.

Alicia Marie Gallegos.

(audience cheering)

Amethyst L Gallegos.

(audience cheering)

Gabriella A Gallegos.

(audience cheering)

Maryah E Gallegos.

Michael Anthony Gallegos.

Abel R Garcia.

(audience cheering)

Isaac Marcos Garcia.

Rene E Garcia.

(audience cheering)

Sage Isabella Garcia.

(audience cheering)

Trinity G Garcia.

(audience cheering)

Kevin Alan Garcia Moreno.

Nathan R German.

Gabriel Patrick Gomez.

Jandy D Gomez.

(audience cheering)

Nathaniel G Gomez-Valenzuela.

(audience cheering)

Melyssa Gonzales King.

(audience cheering)

Alonso Gonzalez.

(audience cheering)

Geovanni M Gonzalez.

(audience cheering)

Acacia K Good.

(audience cheering)

Natalia Glover.

(audience cheering)

Stephanie N Graham.

(applause)

Arjenis Manuel Grajeda.

(audience cheering)

Mariah E Gray.

(audience cheering)

Andella Elena Griego.

(applause and cheering)

Ariel Jazzmyne Griego.

(audience cheering)

Jeremiah M Griego.

Daniel Guajardo.

Issak Guerrero-Acosta.

(audience cheering)

Emely Gurrola.

(audience cheering)

Xochitl Dayanara Gurrola.

(audience cheering)

Dominic P Gutierrez.

(audience cheering)

Alvaro I Guzman.

(audience cheering)

Henry Bovenkerk Hammel.

(audience cheering)

John Lee Hanson.

(audience cheering)

Paul A Hanson.

(applause)

Henry D Hardwick.

(audience cheering)

Sierra M Harris.

(audience cheering)

Liam A Heath-Kennedy.

(applause)

Abraham Hernandez.

(applause)

Daisy M Hernandez.

(audience cheering)

Mariah Nicole Hernandez.

(audience cheering)

Andria Renee Herrera.

Carolyna L Herrera.

(applause)

Olivia D Herrera.

Delilah J Herron.

(audience cheering)

Alejandra W Holguin.

(audience cheering)

Ozzie D Holguin.

(audience cheering)

Pierce J Holler.

(audience cheering)

Kevin Aaron Huerta.

(audience cheering)

Precious Monique Hutchinson.

(audience cheering)

Celeste A Ibarra.

(audience cheering)

Mason S Irons.

Sophia P Jaramillo.

(audience cheering)

Eduardo Jimenez Castañeda.

(audience cheering)

Gerardo Jimenez.

(applause)

Jessica Nohemi Jimenez.

(applause)

Angelica Jimenez Armenta.

(audience cheering)

Rindra N Josoa.

Isabella R Kamps.

Seth Ryan Killinger.

Jade Priddy Koll.

Rose Lynn Koll.

Sophie Leah Laborwit.

Hailey Elijah-Skye Lemon.

Joseph Weil Levy.

Daniel A Lopez.

Jasmine Lopez.

(audience cheering)

Sara R Lopez.

Victoria M Lopez.

(audience cheering)

Sebastian Lopez.

(audience cheering)

Ayanna Shea Lorenzo.

(audience cheering)

Ana Shukri Love.

(audience cheering)

Kelly Loya.

(audience cheering)

Emiliano Andres Lucero-Wasson.

Karmen N Luevano.

(audience cheering)

Aracelie Esmeralda Lugo.

Maria Del Carmen Lugo.

Dominique Lujan.

(audience cheering)

Isabel Lujan.

Evelyn Lujan Molina.

(audience cheering)

Miles Terrence Madden.

(audience cheering)

ANNOUNCER: Cristian Elias Madrid.

Hamza Manasra.

Jaquelin Anahi Marquez.

(audience cheering)

Jayden M Marquez.

(audience cheering)

Jolyn Rae Marquez.

Azalea Marie Martinez.

Dakota William Martinez.

(audience cheering)

Miguel Angel Martinez.

Monica Del Rocio Martinez.

(audience cheering)

Richard L Martinez.

David Eli Matos-Plata.

(audience cheering)

Ruth Mbala.

Garrett R McGrew-Keller.

Kenna McNeil.

(audience cheering)

Desiree P Medina.

Isamar Medina.

Kenya Medina.

Nydia Anahi Medina.

(audience cheering)

Gilberto Isac Medrano Lopez.

Jacqueline M Mejia.

Adrian H Mendez.

Cesar Mendoza.

Erik Mendoza.

Estefani A Mendoza.

(audience cheering)

Alisa Meraz-Fishbein.

(audience cheering)

Dominic J Mesgale.

Rose Xiao Messec.

Kristian J Mickey.

Abigail Riley Middleton.

Hana J Milani.

Abran Baines Miller.

Ava M Bartlett-Miller.

Analisse Mirabal.

Mary T Montoya.

Richard Montoya.

Julie Ann Mora.

Lidia Moreno.

James E Morris.

Zitlaly M Mota.

(audience cheering)

Diana Lynn Mullen.

Natasha M Murphy.

Marsaya K Namaste.

Angelina Rose Napoleone.

Antonio Jose Navarrete.

Santiago D Navarrete.

Jessica Kathleen Newman.

Nicholas A Northrup.

Jacob Anthony Olaguir.

Jacquelinne A Olivas.

(audience cheering)

Selene A Olivas.

Francisco Ortega.

Jennifer J Ortega.

Jeramiah Che Ortega.

Kevin Reydesel Ortega.

Rowan Miles Ortega.

(audience cheering)

Nemiliztli A Ortega-Trinidad.

Adriana E Pacheco.

Crystal Gabrielle Padilla.

Elijah Ray Padilla.

Jamian J Padilla.

Julian Padilla.

Vanessa Giselle Padilla.

Pablo Javier Paredes.

(audience cheering)

Alexia Jeannette Pattin.

Atticus J Pearl.

Chelsea May Peña-Lopez.

Xavier Santiago Peregrino-Lujan.

Zuany Perez Muenala.

Eva Marie Philips.

(audience cheering)

Jax F Polve.

Ziontay D Powdrell.

Carlo A Prieto.

Walker R Quale.

Brian Miguel Ramirez.

Elizabeth Randolph.

Tessa Marie Rasmussen.

Ana Elena Reyes.

(audience cheering)

Elias Horacio Reyes.

Ramiro Reyes Miramontes.

John Allen Ringer.

(audience cheering)

Lia Nicole Rivera.

ANNOUNCER: Monique Mariah Rivera.

Arturo M Rocha.

Arlette L Rodriguez.

Diego R Rodriguez.

Donovan C Rodriguez.

Saul Rodriguez.

Loan Rodriguez Ruiz.

Michelle Rodriguez-Lopez.

Exodus Q Romero.

(audience cheering)

Ryan T Romero.

(audience cheering)

Bryn L Romig.

Evelyn Romo.

Gabriela Ronquillo.

Zea Alma Rose.

Leticia A Roybal.

Johnny G Rozzi.

(audience cheering)

Anahi Gisselle Ruiz.

(audience cheering)

Anahi Ruby Ruiz.

(audience cheering)

David A Saavedra.

Isabel E Saenz.

Alexus R Saiz.

Michael H Salandre.

(audience cheering)

Esperanza C Salas.

(audience cheering)

Alexis G Salas.

Jesus R Salcido.

Shaili A Samuel.

Briana M Sanchez

Daisy Annette Sanchez.

Sebastian Sanchez.

(audience cheering)

Sofia F Sanchez.

Ameyalli Sapien.

Daniel M Sauzameda.

Kaela Renee Schuette.

Nolan A Seidler.

Devin S Serrano.

Jose M Sevilla.

Haeley Simmons.

Angel Abdiel Sital.

Jalen D Smith.

(audience cheering)

Brayan Solis.

Julian Soto.

(audience cheering)

Ronja M Steinbach.

(audience cheering)

Anthone R Stevens.

Kaitlyn Nicole Stewart.

Liam J Strader-Monaghan.

Amanda R Suazo.

Musfique M Syed.

Tianna Cruz Tapia.

(audience cheering)

Anthony Ray Thompson Jr.

Iris Mercedes Thornton Gonzalez.

Marquise Arturo Torres.

Estevan Isaiah Triana.

Max M Ulibarri.

Jessica P Urban.

Ramon A Urbina.

Diego Lorenzo Valdez.

Tayah Janae Valdivia.

(audience cheering)

Alyssa Monique Vallejos.

(audience cheering)

Yasmine Y Valles.

(audience cheering)

Dante Van Orton.

Avalon Vanis.

Kassandra Varela.

Janette A Vasquez.

Emelin Vazquez Ortega.

Antonio Vega.

(audience cheering)

Raymond A Velasquez.

Jacqueline Ventura.

Sydney C Vernon.

Celina Rose Vigil.

Eduardo Villa-Martinez.

Long C Vong.

Jade L Walker.

(audience cheering)

Chris Walton.

Nicholas David West.

Asia Mone Williams.

Noah Don Wilsey.

Alyssa M Wood.

(audience cheering)

Alexandra Monique Wylie.

Emma A Yakley.

Ana Berenice Yañez.

(audience cheering)

Jaan T Yang.

(audience cheering)

James F Zamora.

(audience cheering)

AMELIA DUNN: Ladies and Gentlemen, the Class of 2019 Senior Class President, Yazmin Ramirez.

(applause and cheering)

Class of 2019 will you please stand.

(applause and cheering)

YAZMIN RAMIREZ: First and foremost, I would like to thank God, my family and my friends. Class of 2019, congratulations. We have passed, yeah. We have passed the standards necessary to earn an AHS diploma. To signify this, please move your tassel to the left-hand side.

(applause and cheering)

Congratulations Bulldogs.

AMELIA DUNN: Thank you for coming this evening, please enjoy your evening.

(audience cheering)

(orchestral music)

Graduates: 2019 List of Graduates (PDF)
Class Flower: Sunflower
Class Song: "We're All in This Together" by The High School Musical cast

Top Students (Listed Alphabetically)

Khadijah Burke, Lorenzo Castaneda, Matthew L. Espen, Lillian Estes, 
Henry B. Hammel, Sophia P. Jaramillo, Ana S. Love, Joaquin Madrid Larrañaga, Alisa Meraz-Fishbein, Kristian J. Mickey, Abran B. Miller, Ava M. Miller, Diana L. Mullen, Carmen Ortega, John A. Ringer, Bryn L. Romig, Shaili A. Samuel, Ronja M. Steinbach, Jessica P. Urban, Alyssa M. Vallejos

Special Thanks:

A special thanks to the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education, Albuquerque High School Administration, and the honored teachers and Junior escorts listed below.

Honored Teachers:

Liz Alvarado, Randi Banach, Lisa Caldwell, Jackie Cole, Calesia Cole, Silvina Farmin, Lisa Gillett, Larry Gorum, Gary Gutierrez, Timothy Johnson, Mary Kelly, Denise Kuberry, Rafael Leckie, Mara Madueña, Oscar Maldonado-Ortiz, Amanda Manning, Bernadette Martinez, Lisa Martinez, Angel Martinez-Garlobo, Victor Ortiz, Jimmy Phillips, Valerie Santacruz, Samantha Thompson, Barbara Timm

Junior Escorts:

Ryan Abeyta, Kaia Bigej-Nunley, Mason Cannon, Amelia Dunn, Savannah Garcia, Josiah Henderson, Malcolm Kellermueller, Mercy Mummert, Alejandro Nevarez, Shaylee Nieto, Santiago Rodriguez, Emily Schoellkopf, Katherine Stratton, Rishi Yang

Atrisco Heritage Academy

Atrisco Heritage Academy Graduation Transcript

("I Lived" by One Republic) ♪ All ♪

♪ I owned every second that this world could give ♪

♪ I saw so many places, the things that I did ♪

♪ Yeah with every broken bone ♪

♪ I swear I lived ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ With every broken bone ♪

♪ I swear I lived ♪

♪ With every broken bone ♪

♪ I swear I, I, I, I ♪

♪ I did it all ♪

♪ I, I, I, I did it all ♪

♪ I owned every second that this world could give ♪

♪ I saw so many places, the things that I did ♪

♪ Yeah with every broken bone ♪

♪ I swear I lived ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ I swear I lived ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh ♪

SHIRLEY PAREO: Good afternoon. The administration, faculty, staff, and students of Atrisco Heritage Academy High School would like to extend a special welcome to loved ones, friends, and community members in attendance today at our 2019 Commencement Ceremony. Audience, please stand to greet our graduates.

(audience cheering) (audience clapping)

Thank you. The Atrisco Heritage Academy Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Ms. Carolyn Hurtado and Mrs. Christina Young, will perform Pomp and Circumstance. Ms. Hurtado and Mrs. Young, you may begin.

("Pomp and Circumstance")

(audience cheering)

(all clapping) (audience cheering)

Please remain standing and silent for the Presentation of Colors.

Gentlemen, including graduates, please remove your hats and caps. The Atrisco Heritage Academy Junior ROTC, under the direction of Major Scott Ukeiley and Gunnery Sergeant Tim Shaner, commanded this afternoon by Cadet Kayla Payan, will present our colors. Our national anthem will be performed by the Atrisco Heritage Academy Concert Choir, directed by Ms. Angelica Facio. Please remain standing at the conclusion of the Anthem.

(Kayla yelling)

("The Star-Spangled Banner") ♪ Oh, say can you see ♪

♪ By the dawn's early light ♪

♪ What so proudly we hailed ♪

♪ At the twilight's last gleaming ♪

♪ Whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪

♪ Through the perilous fight ♪

♪ O'er the ramparts we watched ♪

♪ Were so gallantly streaming ♪

♪ And the rocket's red glare ♪

♪ The bombs bursting in air ♪

♪ Gave proof through the night ♪

♪ That our flag was still there ♪

♪ Oh, say does that star-spangled banner ♪

♪ Yet wave ♪

♪ O'er the land of the free ♪

♪ And the home of the brave ♪

(audience cheering) (audience clapping)

(Kayla yelling)

KAYLA: Two steps back, march.

WOMAN: Professor!

(audience cheering) (audience clapping)

(Kayla yelling)

SHIRLEY PAREO: Class of 2019, you may be seated.

(audience cheering)

Audience you may now be seated as well. 

Good afternoon, my name is Shirley Pareo, Assistant Principal at Atrisco Heritage Academy, and it is my honor to introduce our special guests, administrators, and student leaders seated on the stage. Ms. Candelaria Patterson, APS Board of Education from District 5. (audience clapping)

Ms. Yolanda Montoya-Cordova. (audience cheering) APS Board Member from District 1. 

Dr. Madelyn Serna Marmol, Associate Superintendent of Equity, Instruction and Support. (audience clapping)

Dr. Gabriel Antonio Gonzales, Associate Superintendent for Leadership and Learning for Zone 2. (audience cheering)

Ms. Irene Cisneros, Principal. (audience cheering)

Mrs. Cristina Benitez De Luna, Assistant Principal. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

Mr. Steve Tognoni, Assistant Principal. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

Mr. Kenneth Ballard, Assistant Principal. (audience clapping) (audience cheering)

Mr. Daniel Leyba, Dean of Students. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

Mr. Adrian Ortega, Athletic Director. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

Ms. Mischelle Jurado, Biliteracy Coach. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

Ms. Jessica Cano, Biliteracy Coordinator. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

And Mr. Manuel Burgos, Dean of Data. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

Our students, Ms. Jennifer Dominguez, our Senior Class President. (audience cheering)

Ms. Ashley Apodaca, our, excuse me.

Ms. Mayra Monge, our Student Body President. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

Ms. Ashley Apodaca, our Salutatorian for the Class of 2019. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

Ms. Flor Zavala Rivas, our Valedictorian for the Class of 2019. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

Working with graduates, Ms. Jessica Martinez. (audience cheering) Our Activities Director.

I would like to acknowledge our special guests seated to my left on the floor.

New Mexico State Senator Michael Padilla. (audience clapping) (audience cheering) 

New Mexico State Representative and Atrisco Heritage Academy Teacher, Andres Romero. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

We have with us today the following Atrisco Heritage Academy Feeder Elementary and Middle School Principals.

Judy Touloumis is from Carlos Rey Elementary School. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

Melanie Blea is here from Rudolfo Anaya Elementary School. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

Michele Torres from Truman Middle School. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

And Dr. Phyllis Muhovich from Helen Cordero Primary School. (audience clapping) (audience cheering)

The Class of 2019 also welcomes former teachers, classmates who have come to celebrate with us today.

Finally, we would also like to extend sincere thank you to all the teachers, counselors and staff at Atrisco Heritage Academy who are here this afternoon. (audience clapping)

At this time, please join me in welcoming to the microphone Class of 2019 Valedictorian, Flor Zavala Rivas. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

FLOR ZALVALA RIVAS: Good afternoon, students, staff, teachers, and parents, welcometo Atrisco Heritage Academy 2019 Graduation Ceremony. (speaking in Spanish) 

First and foremost, I want to congratulate every single one of you for this wonderful accomplishment. (repeats in Spanish)

Many of you do not know me, so let me tell you a little about my story. I came to the United States when I was only seven years old, I did not understand English, and I was bullied for that. I was told I was useless in this country, and although I let those words define me at that time, now I know I, along with everyone here, is capable of doing great things. You may not see your potential now, but believe me it is there. (repeats in Spanish)

Lastly, there is one quote from Mahatma Gandhi I would like to share with you. "Be the change you wish to see in this world." Thank you. (audience cheering)

(audience clapping)

SHIRLEY PAREAO: At this time, please join me in welcoming to the microphone the Class of 2019 Salutatorian, Ashley Apodaca. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

ASHLEY APODACA: Good afternoon and welcome Atrisco staff, students, and families. I am honored to be standing here before you today with the opportunity to address the graduating Class of 2019. As I started to write this speech I tried to think of the most important thing we learned while in high school, and I realized the most valuable lessons didn't come from textbooks but rather from our teachers. They have guided us through our ups and downs and I have found their wisdom to be vital. I'm gonna share with you some of the best advice I have received from teachers in the four years I have been at Atrisco, and I hope it changes your perspective like it changed mine.

First, remember where you come from, but always look ahead. Go out and achieve, explore, and experience the world around you but remember to come back and give to the community that gave you so much. Great sailors are not made on calm seas. Life is gonna challenge us, but our response to the adversity is what decides the person we will be. None of us truly know what lies ahead but the adventure is what makes life worth living.

Which leads me to the final piece of wisdom I want to share with you today. Take chances, explore, and try to live a life that leaves a positive impact. You cannot be afraid of taking risks because of the fear of failing. Don't be afraid to chase your dreams and use your new found experiences to leave the world better than it was before you. 

I would like to end by thanking my family and friends for all their love and support. I have been blessed with an amazing family that have given me more than I could ever deserve. To my father, thank you for the sacrifices you have made being a single parent, you have pushed me to succeed and supported me through it all and words cannot express how thankful I am to you.

To my brother Gabe, you have shown me what it means to work hard, and I have seen you work every day to better yourself and our family and I appreciate all that you are.

To my little sister Aliyah, you are the reason I do what I do, I want you to know what is possible and what you are capable of. You are the most wonderful part of my life and I love you so much

And lastly, to my mom. My mother has always been my inspiration. I watched as she battled breast cancer for years, and although she did not win her battle and is not here to see me graduating today, she fought with grace and dignity and I wish to live my life in a way that reflects the woman she was and who she wished for me to be.

The metaphor, standing on the shoulders of giants refers to building upon the knowledge and accomplishments of others. I feel that the entire graduating class agrees with me when I say that our teachers and families are those giants. Their knowledge, dedication, and sacrifices have helped us reach higher than we could have on our own. We cannot thank you all enough. And with that, congratulations Class of 2019, we did it! (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

SHIRLEY PAREAO: At this time, please join me in welcoming to the microphone your Student Body Class President for the Class of 2019, Mayra Monge. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

MAYRA MONGE: Good afternoon teachers, administrators, parents, and most importantly, Class of 2019. I would like to begin by thanking my family for always encouraging me and motivating me to do my best in school, and to thank my parents for coming to the land of opportunity to provide a better future for my siblings and I. (speaking in foreign language)

In life we meet people and experience events that mold us and shape us to who we are today. I'm sure we all started with different people our freshman year and ended the year with new faces who we never expected. Although we may not have certain people in our lives now, we look at the moments we've shared and thank them for the beautiful memories we experienced. As we look around, we see students who we grown up since elementary, some that we met in middle school, and great friendships created in high school. Class of 2019, we made history this year. Let's give it up to our back-to-back state champs, the basketball team. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

First time in history the dance team won State. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

And the cheerleaders took second place for State. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

We built an outstanding outdoor classroom for any teacher to use. We made history and I'm sure we will look back at it and say wow, Class of 2019 is the best class we have ever seen. (repeats in Spanish)

It's those bittersweet moments where we look around and we look back and thank the people who were involved in our lives and help us become a better you and a better me. (repeats in Spanish)

Remember, for every goodbye there's a new hello, just like once we leave Atrisco Heritage we will go onto our next chapters in life and represent the South Valley, the best valley in the state of New Mexico. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

We may all have different paths in our lives, but at the end of the day we sure did leave our mark at Jaguar Nation. (repeats in Spanish)

I wish you all the best of luck in your next chapter, and although it hurt to take off Student Body President off my Instagram bio, I will always be a Jaguar at heart. Thank you Class of 2019 for having me, Mayra Monge, as your Student Body President. (repeats in Spanish)

Now it's a great honor to present to you our very own Principal Ms. Irene Cisneros. (all clapping)

IRENE CISNEROS: Thank you, Mayra. Good afternoon and welcome. Board Members Mrs. Patterson and Mrs. Montoya-Cordova. Associate Superintendents Dr. Gonzales and Dr. Serna Marmol. Senator Michael Padilla. New Mexico Legislator Andres Romero. Our feeder elementary and middle school principals. The administration. The members of the faculty and staff. Parents and guardians, family members and friends. Former students and staff. My dad, my brother. And most importantly, welcome to the class who began building and instilling a legacy, the Class of 2019! (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

I'm honored and extremely humbled to be standing before the eighth graduating class of Atrisco Heritage Academy High School. The newest comprehensive public high school in New Mexico. Before we honor the 2019 graduates, I would like to begin with a quote and acknowledgments. My quote is an African proverb. It takes a village to raise a child. I firmly believe that school and home partnerships are integral to a student's achievement each year in school. To every parent, guardian, family member, and friend of a 2019 graduate. It is you, who helped to make a difference. The sacrifices and support you provided so that your student achieved this milestone in their life. Their academic success is a reflection of the guidance and love you have shown them throughout the 13 years they've been in school. Thank you for caring, encouraging and guiding them and for valuing education at home. I also want to thank the wonderful and hard-working faculty and staff, the teachers, secretaries, our counselors, our custodians, security, ancillary staff, coaches, and assistants in and outside of the classroom, because you provided the tools necessary to set the foundation and helped reinforce the value of learning so students could explore who they want to be in life. It is your efforts to teach, inspire, remind, and mentor that help shape and transform students every day of the year. Thank you for your unwavering efforts throughout the years, to prepare the Class of 2019 for this day and for life because it truly does take a village.

Graduates, you are such a special group of young men and women, the Class of 2019 defied the odds! You've left an indelible legacy at the school on top of the hill. You began your journey as freshmen and continued on each year being more and more instrumental in shaping our school culture and in our approach to raising academic achievement results. You will leave the foundation you built for those who come after you, who will walk the halls and the concourse and the fields of our 65-acre campus. Many students will be able to sit in the outdoor classroom that you built as part of your senior gift and many will build the relationships like you've built with your peers and teachers and many will continue achieving, striving for better and better results. Graduates, you recognized what mattered, you learned how to persevere through the tough times, how to navigate the campus and high school life. You are leaving behind more than memories, you are leaving a legacy.

In the 2019 school year AHA accomplished the following.

National recognition by the US News and World Reports as one of the best high schools in New Mexico. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

Our ranking was number 15 out of 201 high schools. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

The largest graduating class of 465 students. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

And this doesn't include summer 2019 graduates.

The largest Bilingual Seal recipients in the district at 72 and recognized as an outstanding program by the New Mexico Legislature. (audience clapping) (audience cheering)

We have the New Mexico Association of Student Council Central District President for the second year in a row. (audience clapping)

Nearly 5 million in monetary awards to this graduating class. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

The third time in a row we've been recognized by the Marine Corps as a Top 10 Naval Honors School. (audience clapping) (audience cheering)

We had three female wrestling State Champs. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

Cheer took first at the UNM Invite and second at State. (audience clapping) (audience cheering)

Our Jaguar Gold dance team are this year's 5A State Champions. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

And boys basketball, back-to-back 5A State Champions. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

Now graduates, it's time to manifest your immense potential and leave your mark on the world so that you will continue the legacy you started on our proud campus. Build your career, love your family, take care of yourself, be a good and productive citizen, watch your credit score, (audience laughing) and reach out to your family for support, for encouragement, for help. We will always have friends, but your family are the ones who help you form your foundation, your values, your morals. They are your family, your elders, learn your history because you are our future. Walk with your head high as a proud alumni of Atrisco Heritage Academy High School, because once a Jaguar, always a Jaguar! (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

Seniors, it has been a distinct privilege and honor to be your principal. On behalf of myself and the faculty and staff, I wish each and every graduate a happy and productive life. May the future be yours as you leave your legacy. Congratulations to the Class of 2019. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

May I have the board members to the podium? Albuquerque Public School Board Members Yolanda Montoya-Cordova and Ms. Candelaria Candy Patterson, as the proud principal of Atrisco Heritage Academy High School, I certify that this class has met the rigors and graduation requirements set forth by the New Mexico Public Education Department and the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education for a high school diploma. (audience cheering) (all clapping)

BOARD MEMBER YOLANDA MONTOYA-CORDOVA: All right, the only thing that's standing between you getting your diploma is me and my notes. They're short, (laughs) that's the good part. So I just wanna say I am grateful and I honorably accept this class. You have met all those rigors. That's not an easy thing to do so congratulations to that. Remember you are never, ever, ever alone, and love your family, more importantly be kind to yourself and love who you are. Be authentic, be true to your values and live with purpose and be proud of yourself, your community and remember the blessings that you have been bestowed on you from the Land of Enchantment. We love you, New Mexico loves you, the South Valley loves you. (laughs) (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

And we want you to go out, do well and come back and make your community proud. Thank you. (audience clapping)

(audience cheering)

BOARD MEMBER CANDELARIA PATTERSON: (speaking in Spanish) and congratulations to all Jaguars! (audience cheering) Congratulations! (audience clapping)

IRENE CISNEROS: Thank you, thank you very much. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

What a wonderful day. Graduates, will you please stand. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

ANNOUNCER 1: Destiney Abeyta. (audience cheering)

Victoria Aceves. (audience cheering)

Arturo Acosta Miranda. (audience cheering)

Aaron Aguilar. (audience cheering)

Briana Aguilar. (audience cheering)

Kayla Aguilar. (audience cheering)

Rocio Aguilar Ambres.

(audience cheering)

Elyna Aguirre. (audience cheering)

Natalia Aguirre. (audience cheering)

Christian Alarid. (audience cheering)

Yazmin Almeida. (audience cheering)

Jose Alfredo Alvarado. (audience cheering)

Jessica Alvarado Figueroa. (audience cheering)

Dulce Alvarez. (audience cheering)

Evelyn Alvarez. (audience cheering)

Jasmine Mariana Amaya. (audience cheering)

Angel Anaya. (audience cheering)

Naomi Anaya. (audience cheering)

Adrian Aragon. (audience cheering)

Dominic Aragon. (audience cheering)

Lithzy Arango. (audience cheering)

Raul Arballo. (audience cheering)

Raylene Archuleta. (audience cheering)

Izaiah Arellano. (audience cheering)

Ailyn Ivette Armendariz. (audience cheering)

Victoria Armijo. (audience cheering)

Lauren Arndt. (audience cheering)

Alayssa Arpero Morales. (audience cheering)

Lorenzo Arredondo. (audience cheering)

Jasmine Arreola. (audience cheering)

Jesus Arreola. (audience cheering)

Crystal Arvizo. (audience cheering)

Nicole Asenap. (audience cheering)

Reese Atencio. (audience cheering)

La'Shaun Baca. (audience cheering)

Shailee Baldonado. (audience cheering)

Josh Nolle Balgua. (audience cheering)

Andrew Barbara. (audience cheering)

Brisa Barraza Ochoa. (audience cheering)

Elaina Battaglia. (audience cheering)

Caitlyn Becker. (audience cheering)

Jeleisa Benally. (audience cheering)

Angelica Benavidez. (audience cheering)

Giselle Bencomo. (audience cheering)

Stefany Bencomo. (audience cheering)

Zoey Billy. (audience cheering)

Grecia Blanco. (audience cheering)

Jesus Bolivar. (audience cheering)

Daisy Borbon. (audience cheering)

Jannet Botello. (audience cheering)

Felicia Bull. (audience cheering)

David Burciaga. (audience cheering)

Natalia Burgos. (audience cheering)

Armoni Bustillos. (audience cheering)

Hugo Bustillos. (audience cheering)

Karina Bustillos. (audience cheering)

Deysi Bustos Duarte. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

Ariadne Calderon Reyes. (audience cheering)

Sky Camacho. (audience cheering)

Isis Campos. (audience cheering)

Luis Camunez. (audience cheering)

Frida Cano. (audience cheering)

Alexya Cappello. (audience cheering)

Xavier Cardona. (audience cheering)

Angela Carrasco. (audience cheering)

Jared Carreon. (audience cheering)

Ricardo Carreon Santiesteban. (audience cheering)

Emily Carrillo. (audience cheering)

Vanessa Noemi Carrillo. (audience cheering)

Delilah Casas. (audience cheering)

Rene Castillo Escajeda. (audience cheering)

Jesus Castro. (audience cheering)

Andrew Catron. (audience cheering)

Victor S. Chamberlain. (audience cheering)

Jacob Chapman. (audience cheering)

Ever Chavarria. (audience cheering)

Amanda Chaves. (audience cheering)

Antonio Chavez. (audience cheering)

Damian Chavez. (audience cheering)

Elias Chavez. (audience cheering)

Elijah Chavez. (audience cheering)

Gabriel Chavez. (audience cheering)

Kiana Chavez. (audience cheering)

Kiano Chavez. (audience cheering)

Stephanie Colmenero. (audience cheering)

Jose Contreras. (audience cheering)

Caleb Cordova. (audience cheering)

Juliana Maria Cordova. (audience cheering)

Victoria M. Cordova. (audience cheering)

Jhovanny Corona Moya. (audience cheering)

Aimara Coronado. (audience cheering)

Daniela Coss. (audience cheering)

Marquis A. Crawford. (audience cheering)

Emily Crooks. (audience cheering)

Mia Dawes. (audience cheering)

Nancy Delgado. (audience cheering)

Omar Delgado. (audience cheering)

Edward Deltoral. (audience cheering)

Alexis Diaz. (audience cheering)

Rogelio Diaz. (audience cheering)

Diego Diaz Ortiz. (audience cheering)

Valeria Diaz-Apodaca. (audience cheering)

Giselle Dominguez. (audience cheering)

Melissa Dominguez. (audience cheering)

Alanna B. Drennan.

(audience cheering)

Grace Drew. (audience cheering)

Pedro Escalante. (audience cheering)

Raquel S. Escamilla.

(audience cheering)

Brian Escarcega. (audience cheering)

Isaiah Espinosa. (audience cheering)

Michelle Esquer-Moreno. (audience cheering)

Cindy Esquerra. (audience cheering)

Paola Esquivel. (audience cheering)

Saul Esquivel. (audience cheering)

Mariah C. Essary. (audience cheering)

Jessica Estrada. (audience cheering)

Jocelyn Estrada. (audience cheering)

Angel Samuel Fernandez. (audience cheering)

Laura Fernandez Arvizo. (audience cheering)

Daniella Ferrel. (audience cheering)

Alyssa Ficarro. (audience cheering)

Abel Franco. (audience cheering)

Adriana Fuentes. (audience cheering)

Jorge Fuentes. (audience cheering)

Leslie Fuentes Lechuga. (audience cheering)

Maria Gabaldon-Parish. (audience cheering)

Mark A. Galarza. (audience cheering)

Katia Galaviz. (audience cheering)

Andrea Maria Gallegos. (audience cheering)

Cassandra Gallegos. (audience cheering)

Chantel Gallegos. (audience cheering)

Brianna Galvan. (audience cheering)

Adriana Garcia. (audience cheering)

Andy Garcia. (audience cheering)

Bianca V. Garcia. (audience cheering)

Cristal Garcia. (audience cheering)

Eric Garcia. (audience cheering)

Jacqueline Garcia. (audience cheering)

Michael J. Garcia. (audience cheering)

Nathan M. Garcia. (audience cheering)

Damian R. Garcia Salas. (audience cheering)

Bryan Garcia-Perez. (audience cheering)

Victoria A. Gillert. (audience cheering)

Fred Conway Gonzales. (audience cheering)

Jaeann N. Gonzales. (audience cheering)

Jennifer M. Gonzales. (audience cheering)

Jerel Gonzales. (audience cheering)

Nadia Gonzales. (audience cheering)

Tiffany Gonzales. (audience cheering)

Vanessa Gonzales. (audience cheering)

Antonio Gonzalez. (audience cheering)

Corina Gonzalez. (audience cheering)

- Eduardo Gonzalez. (audience cheering)

Kevin Gonzalez. (audience cheering)

Pamela Gonzalez. (audience cheering)

Damari Gonzalez-Lechuga. (audience cheering)

Alejandro Grajeda Ochoa. (audience cheering)

Adrianna Griego. (audience cheering)

Michael Griego. (audience cheering)

Rebbeckah Griego. (audience cheering)

Paige Griffin. (audience cheering)

Tania Guerra Cardona. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

Briana Guerrero. (audience cheering)

Daniel Guerrero. (audience cheering)

Makayla Guerrero. (audience cheering)

Ximena Gurrola. (audience cheering)

Joshua Gurule. (audience cheering)

Josiah Gurule. (audience cheering)

Jude Gurule. (audience cheering)

Aaron Gutierrez. (audience cheering)

Brianna Gutierrez. (audience cheering)

Cesar Gutierrez. (audience cheering)

Cristian Gutierrez. (audience cheering)

Ashley Gutierrez Rascon. (audience cheering)

Leonardo Guzman. (audience cheering)

Sabrina Guzman. (audience cheering)

Monico Hart. (audience cheering)

Jonathon Heath Flores. (audience cheering)

Alexis Hernandez. (audience cheering)

Dessa Hernandez. (audience cheering)

Destiny Hernandez. (audience cheering)

Jennifer Hernandez. (audience cheering)

Kayla Hernandez. (audience cheering)

Marcela Hernandez. (audience cheering)

Ninel Hernandez. (audience cheering)

Orlando Hernandez. (audience cheering)

Sandra Hernandez. (audience cheering)

Patricia Hernandez. (audience cheering)

Diana Bree Sidera Hernandez Ramos. (audience cheering)

Miguel Herrera. (audience cheering)

Abigail Hinojos. (audience cheering)

Tomas Holguin. (audience cheering)

Brogan Ho Hoose. Sorry, Hoose. (audience cheering)

Nasiah Hutcherson. (audience cheering)

Flor Ibarra. (audience cheering)

Karina Jacquez-Medina. (audience cheering)

Emil John Janoras. (audience cheering)

Lovely Gail Janoras. (audience cheering)

Kimberly Jaquez. (audience cheering)

Hector Jaquez-Alvarez. (audience cheering)

Jessenia Jaramillo. (audience cheering)

Kiara Jaramillo. (audience cheering)

Jacqualine Jimenez. (audience cheering)

Jesus Jimenez. (audience cheering)

Katelyn Job. (audience cheering)

Tionna Johnson. (audience cheering)

Dominic Jojola. (audience cheering)

Joseph Jordan. (audience cheering)

Kevin Juarez. (audience cheering)

Aldo Eduardo Jurado. (audience cheering)

Eric Jurado. (audience cheering)

Kayla Kennedy. (audience cheering)

Tabitha Kenton. (audience cheering)

Tynisha King. (audience cheering)

Savannah Lackey. (audience cheering)

Alfonso Lerma-Dominguez. (audience cheering)

Marcos Leyba. (audience cheering)

Ariana Lira. (audience cheering)

Jewels Lloyd. (audience cheering)

Irving Loera. (audience cheering)

Brianna Lopez. (audience cheering)

Damian Lopez. (audience cheering)

Damion Lopez. (audience cheering)

Heaven Lopez. (audience cheering)

John Lopez. (audience cheering)

Jordan Lopez. (audience cheering)

Kassi Lopez. (audience cheering)

Mary Jane Lopez. (audience cheering)

Noah Lopez. (audience cheering)

Roman J. Lopez II. (audience cheering)

Viviana Lopez. (audience cheering)

Jalissa Lopez. (audience cheering)

Ashley Lopez-Chavez. (audience cheering)

Kayla Lovato. (audience cheering)

Alan Loya. (audience cheering)

Yurai Loya-Gomez. (audience cheering)

Isabella Lozano. (audience cheering)

Yusaleth Lozano. (audience cheering)

Brian Lozoya Portillo. (audience cheering)

Jazmine Lucero. (audience cheering)

Mieranda Lucero. (audience cheering)

Raelynn Lujan. (audience cheering)

Sofia Luna. (audience cheering)

Daisha Mackey. (audience cheering)

Arianna Madrid. (audience cheering)

Eddie Maestas. (audience cheering)

Diana Magallanes. (audience cheering)

Damaris Maldonado Venegas. (audience cheering)

Nayelli Maldonado. (audience cheering)

Rayal Mallam. (audience cheering)

Jaqueline Marquez. (audience cheering)

Jordan Marquez. (audience cheering)

Lorenzo Marquez. (audience cheering)

Matthew Marquez. (audience cheering)

Aisha Martinez. (audience cheering)

Emely Martinez. (audience cheering)

Esteban Martinez. (audience cheering)

Gabriel Martinez. (audience cheering)

Samantha Martinez. (audience cheering)

Santino Martinez. (audience cheering)

Jeanette Martinez Baray. (audience cheering)

Nayeli Martinez Villegas. (audience cheering)

Raul Mauricio. (audience cheering)

Alexis Mayorga. (audience cheering)

Sean McCoy. (audience cheering)

Victoria McLeod. (audience cheering)

Servando Medina Noriega. (audience cheering)

Jocelyn Melero. (audience cheering)

Madison Mendez. (audience cheering)

Savanah Mendez. (audience cheering)

Arian Mendoza. (audience cheering)

Reyna Mendoza. (audience cheering)

Samantha Mendoza. (audience cheering)

Rolando Mendoza Mendoza. (audience cheering)

Diana Meraz. (audience cheering)

Nicole Michelback. (audience cheering)

Isaac Mineses. (audience cheering)

Jacqueline Molina. (audience cheering)

Eli Antonio Montano. (audience cheering)

Izaih Montano. (audience cheering)

Frida Montero. (audience cheering)

Carla Vianney Montes. (audience cheering)

Jayme Montoya. (audience cheering)

Desiree Mora. (audience cheering)

Yailine Morales. (audience cheering)

Brian Morales Estrada. (audience cheering)

Dejanae Morehead. (audience cheering)

Erica Moreno. (audience cheering)

Jesus Moreno. (audience cheering)

Arriana Muller. (audience cheering)

Hector Muniz. (audience cheering)

Ryan Muniz. (audience cheering)

Ailene Munoz. (audience cheering)

Natalia Munoz Delgado. (audience cheering)

Joanna Murillo. (audience cheering)

Sael Murrieta. (audience cheering)

Edgar Najera Guereque. (audience cheering)

Shayleen Nevarez. (audience cheering)

Daniel Nieto-Romero. (audience cheering)

Jackelyn Olivas Ruiz. (audience cheering)

Denise Nicole Ornelas. (audience cheering)

Dominique Ornelas. (audience cheering)

Giancarlo Orozco. (audience cheering)

Mariely Ortega. (audience cheering)

Nayely Ortega. (audience cheering)

Karina Ortiz. (audience cheering)

Alyssa Otoole. (audience cheering)

Angel Otoole. (audience cheering)

Amanda Pacheco. (audience cheering)

ANNOUNCER 2: Eddy Pacheco. (audience cheering)

Joseph Pacheco. (audience cheering)

Vanessa Palacios. (audience cheering)

Jaylen Pearson. (audience cheering)

Jesus Pena. (audience cheering)

Leiandra Pena. (audience cheering)

Isac Peralta. (audience cheering)

Aida Perez. (audience cheering)

Yamile Perez.

Claudia Perez.

Karla Perez. (audience cheering)

Tommy Perez-Rocha. (audience cheering)

Makaela Perkins. (audience cheering)

Carlos Pilares Salazar. (audience cheering)

Jaylene Pinedo. (audience cheering)

Jasmin Mya Pino. (audience cheering)

Elizabeth Pinon. (audience cheering)

Brooklynn Powell. (audience cheering)

Christopher Powell. (audience cheering)

Daniyar Pyle. (audience cheering)

Brandon Quigley. (audience cheering)

Omar Quinonez. (audience cheering)

Yesenia Quinonez. (audience cheering)

Cheyenne Quintana. (audience cheering)

Ricardo Quintana. (audience cheering)

Gustavo Quiroz. (audience cheering)

Jacob Rael. (audience cheering)

Jose Ramirez. (audience cheering)

Michael Ramirez. (audience cheering)

Dasia Ramos. (audience cheering)

Tatiana Ramos. (audience cheering)

Vianney Ramos. (audience cheering)

Yaquelin Ramos. (audience cheering)

Andreas Renfroe. (audience cheering)

Lance Requillo. (audience cheering)

Javier Resendiz Junior. (audience cheering)

Beatriz Reyes. (audience cheering)

Isaac Reyes. (audience cheering)

Octavio Reyes. (audience cheering)

Ricardo Reyes. (audience cheering)

Darlene Rios. (audience cheering)

Emily Rios. (audience cheering)

Alex Rios. (audience cheering)

Jasmin Rivero. (audience cheering)

Brian Robison. (audience cheering)

Joshua Rocha. (audience cheering)

Allen Rodriguez. (audience cheering)

Brisa Rodriguez. (audience cheering)

David Rodriguez. (audience cheering)

Jesus Rodriguez. (audience cheering)

Kathy Rodriguez. (audience cheering)

Yesenia Rodriguez. (audience cheering)

Julian Rojo. (audience cheering)

Adrianna Romero. (audience cheering)

Andrew Romero. (audience cheering)

Ammy Ronquillo. (audience cheering)

Irvin Rubio. (audience cheering)

Javier Rubio. (audience cheering)

Angelique Ruiz. (audience cheering)

Christopher Ruiz. (audience cheering)

Karen Ruiz. (audience cheering)

Karina Ruiz. (audience cheering)

Malia Saavedra. (audience cheering)

Daniel Saenz. (audience cheering)

Anthony Salas. (audience cheering)

Diandra Salas. (audience cheering)

Ruben Salas. (audience cheering)

Dimitrius Salazar. (audience cheering)

Johnnielynn Salazar. (audience cheering)

Audric Sanchez. (audience cheering)

Charles Sanchez. (audience cheering)

Gissela Sanchez. (audience cheering)

Jasmyn Sanchez. (audience cheering)

Nathan Sanchez. (audience cheering)

Orlando Sanchez. (audience cheering)

Raul Sanchez. (audience cheering)

Veronica Sanchez. (audience cheering)

Alejandro Sandoval. (audience cheering)

Alura Sandoval. (audience cheering)

Andrew Sandoval. (audience cheering)

Candie Sandoval. (audience cheering)

Samantha Sandoval. (audience cheering)

Alexander Santistevan. (audience cheering)

Jeremy Santistevan. (audience cheering)

Reena Wayne Saromines. (audience cheering)

Kirsten Schoonover. (audience cheering)

Is that her? Yeah, is that right?

Julianna Sedillo. (audience cheering)

Joel Serna. (audience cheering)

Andrea Sierra. (audience cheering)

Trinity Sisneros. (audience cheering)

Gabriel Smith. (audience cheering)

Congratulations.

Alexis Solis. (audience cheering)

Jazlyn Solis. (audience cheering)

Brenda Solis Ambrosio. (audience cheering)

Luis Soltero Vazquez. (audience cheering)

Leslie Sotelo. (audience cheering)

Edgar Soto. (audience cheering)

Joaquin Soto. (audience cheering)

Johnny Soto. (audience cheering)

Luis Antonio Soto. (audience cheering)

ANNOUNCER 2: Sutphen? ANNOUNCER 1: Sutphen.

ANNOUNCER 2: Sutphen. ANNOUCER 1: Sutphen.

ANNOUCER 2: Demarcus Sutphen. (audience cheering)

Nautica Tapia. (audience cheering)

Andres Torres. (audience cheering)

Daniel Torres. (audience cheering)

Erasmo Torres. (audience cheering)

Julian Torres. (audience cheering)

Eduan Tovar. (audience cheering)

Jaime Tovar. (audience cheering)

Eva Trevizo. (audience cheering)

Jacob Trujillo. (audience cheering)

Sabrina Trujillo. (audience cheering)

Karl Tweeten. (audience cheering)

Odalys Solis-Garcia. (audience cheering)

ANNOUCER 2: Emily Ure? ANNOUCER 1: Yeah.

ANNOUNCER 2: Emily Ure. (audience cheering)

Ramon Valdez. (audience cheering)

Jesus Valdez. (audience cheering)

Samantha Valdez. (audience cheering)

Brayan Valdez-Rodriguez. (audience cheering)

Brandy Valenzuela. (audience cheering)

Carlos Valenzuela. (audience cheering)

Alexis Valles. (audience cheering)

Mariah Valles. (audience cheering)

Michael Varela. (audience cheering)

Johnny Varela-Flores. (audience cheering)

Fernando Vargas. (audience cheering)

Jesus Vasquez. (audience cheering)

Francisco Vega. (audience cheering)

Mark Vega. (audience cheering)

Dennise Velazquez. (audience cheering)

Vialpando, right?

Thank you.

Jaelynn Vialpando. (audience cheering)

Raul Vidal Ruiz. (audience cheering)

Arianna Vigil. (audience cheering)

Mariah Vigil. (audience cheering)

Marina Vigil. (audience cheering)

Christopher Villalobos. (audience cheering)

Briza Vizcaino. (audience cheering)

Andrew Werth. (audience cheering)

Nevaeh Wilkins. (audience cheering)

Trevor Young. (audience cheering)

Ty Young. (audience cheering)

Is that Charity?

Charity Zamora. (audience cheering)

Victoria Zamora. (audience cheering)

Stephany Zarate. (audience cheering)

Giovanni Galli. (audience cheering)

ANNOUNCER 2: Watanabe. ANNOUNCER 1: Watanabe.

ANNOUCER 2: Ayaka Watanabe. (audience cheering)

Jennifer Dominguez. (audience cheering)

Mayra Monge. (audience cheering)

Arcelia Apodaca. (audience cheering)

ANNOUNCER 1: It's Ashley, Ashley.

ANNOUCER 2: Ashley Apodaca. (audience cheering)

Flor Zavala Rivas. (audience cheering)

(audience clapping) (audience cheering)

(audience cheering) (audience clapping)

SHIRLEY PAREO: And now ladies and gentlemen may I have your attention, please. Graduates, the final speaker of your high school career will be your elected Senior Class President, Jennifer Dominguez. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

JENNIFER DOMINGUEZ: Good afternoon, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family for all the support and love they've given me. (repeats in Spanish)

We appreciate all the support you gave us and all the work you do for us. Class of 2019, I'd also like to thank you for allowing me to serve as your senior class president. It was an emotional roller coaster beginning in August at Senior Sunrise and ending today at our graduation. (audience cheering)

I am glad I had the opportunity to lead the best class in Atriscos history. (audience cheering)

Four years ago we were about double the size we are today. There was like what? Like 900, 800 of us. We were freshman who thought we knew everything. Today we are graduates of the Class of 2019 and never did we think this moment would come so quickly. We've struggled and we've thrived. We've laughed and we've cried. But here we are today, ready to graduate. We made it. We overcame the infamous senioritis. I am proud of you and I wish you the best in your next chapter. (repeats in Spanish)

As we move on into our futures we must remember where we came from because without the help of our friends, family, and community this would not have been possible. Sorry. (laughs) (audience cheering)

Graduates, it has been such an honor to serve as your senior class president. As we go on into the real world and begin a new adventure, I know the Class of 2019 will make history. Now will the Class of 2019 please rise. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

We, the Class of 2019 will now, in unison, move our tassels from right to left signifying our graduation. (audience cheering) (audience clapping)

(repeats in Spanish)

You made it!

(audience cheering) (audience clapping)

("Star Wars (Main Title Theme)" by John Williams)

Student Recognition
HonorRecipients
Valedictorian
  • Flor Zavala Rivas
Salutatorian
  • Ashley Apodaca
Academy Awards
  • Business Academy: Aaron Gutierrez
  • Fine Arts Academy: Flor Zavala Rivas, Isabella Lanzono
  • Health Academy: Ashley Lopez-Chavez
  • Law Academy: Mieranda Lucero, Yamile Perez
Athlete of the Year
  • Antonio Gonzales
  • Jennifer Hernandez
Principal's Award
  • Raelynn Lujan
  • Roman Lopez
  • Daisy Borbon
  • Mariah Essary
  • Diego Diaz Ortiz
  • Andrew Barbara
  • Paige Griffin
  • Aldo Jurado
  • Jaeann Gonzales
  • Jose Ramirez
Department Academic Awards
  • CTE Culinary: Ty Young, Adrianna Romero
  • CTE Film: Venessa Pacios, Ashley, Gutierrez Rascon
  • CTE Teacher Cadet: Saul Esquivel, Mariah Valles
  • ELA: Marina Vigil, Elijah Chavez
  • Fine Arts, Visual: Mariah Essary, Flor Zavala Rivas
  • Fine Arts, Music: Yusaleth Lozano, Leslie Fuentes
  • Fine Arts, Isabella Lozano, Alejandro Sandoval
  • Math: Julian Rojo, Jannet Botello
  • Spanish Language Arts: Xavier Cardona
  • Spanish as a Heritage Language: Alexander Santistevan
  • Distinction in French: Melia Saavedra
  • Distinction for Tribal Knowledge in Navajo: Jacqualine Jimenez
  • Indian Education Bilingual Seal: Kayala Albert, Jennifer Hernandez
  • Science: Xavier Cardona, Rocio Aguilar
  • Historical Jaguar Award: Angel Fernandez
  • Jaguar Social Justice Champion: Elaina Battaglia
DECA Student of the Year
  • Giancarlo Orozco
President, Class of 2019
  • Jennifer Dominguez
Student Body President
  • Mayra Monge

Cibola High School

Cibola Graduation Transcript

JEANINE CHAVEZ: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Jeanine Chavez, and I am your Activities Director at Cibola High School. It is the request of Cibola High School Administration that we honor and recognize each graduate. Most of you are here today to celebrate the accomplishments of one graduate special to you. Kindly be reminded to refrain from excessive cheering and the use of noise makers so that each graduate's name may be heard and honored by family and friends. Thank you attending today's commencement and for sharing in Cibola High School's commemoration of the academic achievement of the graduating Cibola class of 2019. At this moment, please stand for our Cibola High School Class of 2019. Thank you Mr. Matherne and the awesome Cibola High School Band. Good Evening. The Administration, staff, and students of Cibola High School would like to welcome you to our 2019 Commencement Exercises. Would you please stand for the presentation of colors and remain standing until the colors have been retired? Gentlemen, hats off please. Tonight's color guard is being presented by Cibola High School's Marine Corps Junior ROTC. The color guard and honor guard are under the direction of Gunnery Sergeant Jim Flores. The color guard is being commanded by Darian Johnson. The Marine Corps flag is being carried by Antonio Moreno. Mariah Kendall and Dillan Sanchez are this evening's rifle bearers.

- [Darian] Color guard, attention. Left face. Colors. Ready, march. Left face, hite, Color guard, halt.

JEANINE CHAVEZ: The National Anthem will be sung by Cibola's Concert Choir.

- [Darian] Arms.

♪ Oh, say can you see ♪

♪ By the dawn's early light ♪

♪ What so proudly we hailed ♪

♪ At the twilight's last gleaming ♪

♪ Whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪

♪ Through the perilous fight ♪

♪ O'er the ramparts we watched ♪

♪ Were so gallantly streaming ♪

♪ And the rocket's red glare ♪

♪ The bombs bursting in air ♪

♪ Gave proof through the night ♪

♪ That our flag was still there ♪

♪ Oh, say does that star-spangled ♪

♪ Banner yet wave ♪

♪ O'er the land of the free ♪

♪ And the home of the brave ♪

♪ Of the brave ♪

- [Darian] Right line, hite. Left face, hite.

JEANINE CHAVEZ: Gentlemen, hats on please. Graduates and audience, please be seated. And now, Cibola Concert Choir under the direction of Mr. Ryan Hatch will perform "A Gaelic Blessing".

♪ Deep peace ♪

♪ Of the running wave to you ♪

♪ Deep peace ♪

♪ Of the flowing air to you ♪

♪ Deep peace ♪

♪ Of the quiet earth to you ♪

♪ Deep peace ♪

♪ Of the shining stars to you ♪

♪ Deep peace ♪

♪ Of the gentle night to you ♪

♪ Moon and stars ♪

♪ Pour their healing light on you ♪

♪ Deep peace of Christ ♪ ♪ Of Christ ♪

♪ The light ♪

♪ Of the world to you ♪

♪ Deep peace of Christ ♪

♪ To you ♪

JEANINE CHAVEZ: It is my pleasure to introduce our honored guests this afternoon. From the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education, Board President David Percy. and Peggy Muller-Aragon. The Chief Operations Officer for Albuquerque Public Schools, Scott Elder. Madelyn Serna Marmol, Associate Superintendent of Equity, Instruction, Innovation, and Support. Cibola High School's Administration, Melissa Sedillo, Angela Rietman, Raul Sandoval, Robert Fabert. The Class of 2019's counselor, Eliseo Montoya. Senior Class Secretary, Alexis Amodio-Cardwell. Senior Class Vice-President, Lourdes Montoya. Senior Class President, Omar Drakmih. Student Body Historian, Kamryn Guillen. Student Body Service Coordinator, Joe Doucette. Student Body Secretary, Gabrielle Aguilar. Student Body Vice President, Alexa Cordray. Student Body President, Alexandra Gator Colon. Salutatorian, Catherine Thomas. And Valedictorian for the class of 2019, Brandon Garcia. And now, for our first speech, I'd like to recognize our Salutatorian, Catherine Thomas.

- [Audience Member] Woo!

CATHERINE THOMAS: I would like to start by thanking all our teachers, whose dedication, determination, and sacrifice have made it possible to get to this point. I would also like to thank all the parents, family members, and friends who have supported us in this endeavor. I would especially like to thank my parents whose support of my various activities made it possible for me to be here and become who I am today. Many people say they want to be successful, and they define success as accumulating large amounts of money or acquiring fame. However, success is not about the money, the things you own, or fancy titles, rather it is in becoming the person you can become. As George Sheehan, a runner said, "Success means having the courage, "the determination, and the will "to become the person you believe you were meant to be." This requires work and diligence, perseverance and dedication. It requires self-motivation and, as my dad often reminds me, it is sacrificing what you want now for what you really want in the future. Someone once said, "The difference between who you are "and who you want to be is what you do." It is the very small acts every day that determine our destiny and character. It is also how we face adversity that affects who we become. I love Douglas Malloch's poem called "Good Timber" The tree that never had to fight for sun and sky and air and light, but stood out in the open plain and always got its share of rain, never became a forest king but lived and died a scrubby thing. The man who never had to toil to gain and farm his patch of soil, who never had to win his share of sun and sky and light and air, never became a manly man but lived and died as he began. Good timber does not grow with ease, the stronger winds, the stronger trees, the further sky, the greater length, the more the storm, the more the strength. By sun and cold, by rain and snow, in trees and men good timbers grow. Where thickest lies the forest growth, we find the patriarchs of both. And they hold counsel with the stars whose broken branches show the scars of many winds and much of strife. This is the common law of life. Challenges serve as a catalyst for improvement. They invite us to grow stronger and become better. Failure is inevitable as we try to improve and reach goals that we have set, but as Winston Churchill said, "Success consists of going from failure to failure "without loss of enthusiasm." It is the determination and will to be better that brings about improvement. However, success is not solely in what we achieve, but also in how we treat others. Barbara Bush said, "Never lose sight of the fact "that the most important yardstick of your success "will be how you treat other people, "your family, friends, and coworkers, "even strangers you meet along the way." Our relationships with others are important and critical. Look back on your life thus far. Who has been influential in your life? Typically, they are not those that have a lotta money or fame. Rather, they are the people who took the time to help you, not making life easy for you, but providing support. They were there when you felt down or fell down. We need to serve and show kindness to all. Another important part of this is to allow others their opinions and views, not to be demeaning towards them. We can still be kind even when our opinions differ. As you continue through life and strive to be the best you can be, remember that your actions determine your destiny. What do you wanna do? Where do you wanna go? How will you get there? Notice and remember the people along the way, and do not be too busy to smell the flowers. We have many opportunities before us. Congratulations class of 2019 on your hard work.

JEANINE CHAVEZ: It is my pleasure to introduce the Valedictorian of the Class of 2019, Brandon Garcia.

BRANDON GARCIA: I struggled for a long time writing this speech, because I just didn't know what to say. I would think to myself, "What can I possibly say "that hasn't already been said before?" I grappled with that for a while before I looked back to my favorite quote for some inspiration. It's a quote from Michelle Obama, which reads, "There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, "so much history yet to be made." So yes, a lot has been said before and a lot has been done before, but this is the story of our lives, and it's up to us to tell it how we want it to be told. They told me nothing good comes out of Taylor Middle School. I said, "Watch me." They told me I didn't have what it takes to be here today and that I dreamt too big. I said, "Watch me." I'm sharing this with you for two reasons. Firstly, I want you to know that there will be people who will doubt you, who won't believe in you, who will try and discredit you. But I want to ask you to persevere through all of that because you deserve what's waiting for you. And secondly, because I want you to know that you can and will grow wherever you're planted. After much reflection, I've come to realize that my most memorable and favorite experience in high school was in Mr. Seifert's AP Biology class when we planted corn. If you had bio with me, you know I really loved that corn. We planted that corn in New Mexico's ever-changing February weather. And each of the seeds that took root grew marvelously into beautiful seedlings. Yes, those are not ideal conditions for growing corn, but the seeds that took root were determined to grow wherever and whenever they were planted. We, like the corn, are determined to grow. And we can and will grow to the best of our abilities. With a little help here and there, anything is possible. And I want to thank each and every one of the amazing and subjectively short people that helped me get here today, from my parents and grandmother to family, to each of you here today, thank you. This day marks the first day of our lives and the end of our lives as we knew them, so we ought to cherish it and take a moment to remember all that it took for us to get here. There were a lot of early mornings and even more late nights, and we made a lot of memories together. Fires, wild bears, seemingly endless construction, that mysterious honk in the PA system until junior year, you name it, we've seen it at Cibola. On that fateful August day when we waltzed into E-Hall as freshman, I don't think any of realized what it would take to get here, but here we are. This day, that our mothers think came too soon, was 1,374 very long days in the making, and somehow it was still the quickest four years I've ever known and the best I've known so far. So we haven't made it to the history books and they're not writing AP United States History DBQ's about us yet, but this is our history in the making. Just like I did with this speech, we'll struggle a bit at first, but it will come to us. If there's one singular thing I'll take away from high school, it's that perseverance pays off. Also don't procrastinate, but that's a story for another time. High school was full of little trials and tribulations to test your strength and your patience, and life will do the same thing. But, we can and will get through it because our future is a cause worth sacrificing for, and our history is yet to be made. We are a generation unlike any other. We are built for changing times, and we will change them for the better. In short, save the earth, the bees, and the trees because we can be here for a good time and a long time. The story of your life is the most important story you'll ever get to tell. Make it a good one. Live life, have fun, write a speech about corn. Do what makes you happy. Thanks, Cibola.

JEANINE CHAVEZ: And now, a special video presentation from your class president, Omar Drakmih.

(video presentation plays)

♪ A long, long time ago ♪

♪ I can still remember ♪

♪ How that homework used to make me cry ♪

♪ And I knew if I had my chance ♪

♪ That I could make those grades advance ♪

♪ And maybe I could party for a while ♪

♪ But finals' week made me shiver ♪

♪ With every paper I delivered ♪

♪ Bad news on the doorstep ♪

♪ I couldn't take one more test ♪

♪ I can't remember if I cried ♪

♪ When I read that Jahseh had died ♪

♪ But something touched me deep inside ♪

♪ The day ♪

♪ That Jahseh died ♪

♪ So bye, bye, Cibola High ♪

♪ I tried to go to class ♪

♪ But the school was on fire ♪

♪ Cockroaches crawled all over my feet ♪

♪ I'm singin' this'll be the day that I fly ♪

♪ This'll be the day that I fly ♪

♪ Did you write your essay last night ♪

♪ And did you indent and source your sites ♪

♪ 'Cause Dr. Mac told you to ♪

♪ Now do you believe in cougar soul ♪

♪ Can Norwalk save your mortal soul ♪

♪ Most of all, Mr. Putz taught me how to bowl ♪

♪ Well, I know you missed first period ♪

♪ 'Cause I saw you late on Ellison ♪ 

♪ You got snatched by ISS ♪

♪ But I know you couldn't care less ♪

♪ I was a lonely teenage aspiring cook ♪

♪ With a D in math and a late library book ♪

♪ But I still knew that I was a good cook ♪

♪ The day that Jahseh died ♪

♪ I started singin' ♪

♪ Bye, bye, Cibola High ♪

♪ I tried to go to class, but the school was on fire ♪

♪ Cockroaches crawled all over my feet ♪

♪ I'm singin' this'll be the day that I fly ♪

♪ This'll be the day that I fly ♪

♪ Now for four years we've had no windows ♪

♪ And now it's time for this chapter's close ♪

♪ And that's just how it has to be ♪

♪ Oh when we walk the line, it's c'est la vie ♪

♪ Leavin' Cibola and now we're free, oh ♪

♪ But it's all a little bittersweet ♪

♪ Oh and while Pirlot was lookin' down ♪

♪ I thought why is our school so brown ♪

♪ The bathrooms were vandalized ♪

♪ So uncivilized ♪

♪ And while Miss Smartt read a book on sharks ♪

♪ We caused trouble in the park ♪

♪ With no windows we were in the dark ♪

♪ The day that Jahseh died ♪

♪ We were singing bye, bye, Cibola High ♪

♪ I tried to go to class, but the school was on fire ♪

♪ Cockroaches crawled all over my feet ♪

♪ I'm singin' this'll be the day that I fly ♪

♪ This'll be the day that I fly ♪

♪ I met a girl who was on cheer ♪

♪ And I asked her for her number here ♪

♪ But she just laughed and turned away ♪

♪ I went down to the library ♪

♪ Where I wrote my paper in a hurry ♪

♪ But Ms. Fotter said the printer didn't work ♪

♪ And in the class the children screamed ♪

♪ The lovers cried and the poets dreamed ♪

♪ But not a word was spoken ♪

♪ Because the AC was broken ♪

♪ And the three men I admire most ♪

♪ Raugust, Weihe, and Mr. Putz ♪

♪ Oh, how he loves his donuts ♪♪ The day that Jahseh ♪

♪ Died ♪

Hi my name is Omar. Today, ladies and gentlemen, it's time to say goodbye and farewell to Cibola High School. It's time to start new beginnings. It's time to pursue our passions and our dreams. The best thing about high school are the people we get to meet and spend time with. The experiences that we had with our friends and the sports and activities we participated in are the things that we won't forget. Some of us are gonna go to college. Some of us are gonna go to military. And some of us are gonna make their own path. But its time to find out who we are and what we gonna do in life.

♪ They were singing' ♪

♪ Bye, bye, Cibola High ♪

♪ I tried to go to class, but the school was on fire ♪

♪ Cockroaches crawled all over my feet ♪

♪ I'm singin' this'll be the day that I fly ♪

- [Audience] Omar, Omar, Omar, Omar, Omar, Omar, Omar.

OMAR DRAKMIH: Thank you guys, I love you.

JEANINE CHAVEZ: Principal Mrs. Meyer apologizes that she can't be here due to illness. But she wants me to tell you how much respect and admiration she has the for the graduating class of 2019 and their families. On her behalf, I'll be reading the words she wants to share with you. Dear Cibola graduates and community, today, I would like to examine the power of opportunity through adversity, the paradox that every down is really an up. This dynamic seems to defy logic, to be counterintuitive. I used to think that I was being fed a line when I was told that I couldn't fully appreciate the good without having experienced the bad. But life has shown me that this is a real phenomenon. Every failure can be a success. Each one of you, inevitably, has fallen, has faced discouragement, and each of you has chosen to reach higher as a result instead of sinking below due to adversity. The building blocks of your future rely upon your ability to stand up each time you stumble, even to stride toward conflict, uncertainty, and the unknown, in some cases, so that you can double your understanding and strength. A toddler knows intuitively that he or she wants to walk, and to do so means falling over and over. Why bother to get up after all that failure? Eventually, we learn that through sheer perseverance, we can take strides It's this cycle of failure and success, an infinite pattern, the disappointment, disillusionment, and then the clarity and success that creates a wisdom and balance. Even when life seems at its cruelest, when you think you can't take another struggle, you will find that you can move beyond or right through whatever obstacle and emerge on the other side, better for having endured what seemed impossible. How can you valiantly root for the underdog without having felt like one first? Now imagine that employers wanted to see on your resume a list of obstacles that you have overcome. Those heart breaks, pushing toward a goal that never became a reality despite your best efforts, losing someone you love, taking a more challenging course than expected, pushing yourself beyond capacity or endurance. And those obstacles would be listed right alongside your accomplishments. This compare and contrast would truly tell the story of who you are. For every down, there's a double up. You are untethered by the weights of the world if you choose this perspective. You have proven your resilience, your grit, your determination to push forward in spite of difficulty. Reaching the milestone of graduation demonstrates this fact. Research shows that it's not the knowledge you have obtained thus far. But instead, it's more important in this quick-paced information age to have the ability to grasp and internalize new knowledge. So, choose the more challenging path. Resist the temptation of being afraid to take risks for fear of looking foolish. You've learned the solidity of optimism, the surety of positivity, taken opportunities to see another side of things, the notion of embracing conflicts to realize successes. Now, in the words of Dr. Seuss, "Don't cry because it's over, "smile because it happened." Congratulations, Class of 2019. Albuquerque Public Schools Board Members Peggy Muller-Aragon and David Peercy, the graduates before you have met the graduation requirements set forth by the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education along with the New Mexico Public Education Department. To you I present the class of 2019.

BOARD MEMBER PEGGY MULLER-ARAGON: So on behalf of the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education, we accept the 2019 graduating class of Cibola High School. And if I could say anything to you, graduates, I would say, "Be strong, be courageous, "be brave, and remember "that you have a lot of tomorrows "and every tomorrow, you get a chance "to make it better than today. "So go out and be the cougars that you are. "Take advantage of every opportunity you're presented. "And like Brandon said, 'Grow where you're planted.' "Make a beautiful life."

JEANINE CHAVEZ: Now I would like to recognize Craig Garcia, Spanish Teacher, Jeff Jones, Social Studies Teacher, and Jose Arias, Spanish teacher, to announce the names of our graduates.

- [Announcer] Ben Abadie, Jaclyn Alvarado, Carlos Anaya, Savannah Anderson, Brianna Aragon, Marcos Archuleta, Nathan Arellano, Santiago Arias, Audrey Armijo, Sammy Arnn, Hailey Arviso, Floyd Atencio, Briana Avila, Sabrina Ayazi, Jerome Baca, Chloe Baker, Skyeler Baker Gomez, Jonathan Balli, Brandon Barka, Austin Bassford, Aerin Beckert, Elana Begay, Mariposa Virginia Benavidez, Lamour Bennett, Matthew Berlint, Aaron Bice, Taishaun Bitsue, Steven Bitzer, Will Bonilla, Shekina Bounda, Brandon Brantley, Malik Brooks, Micah Brown, Erika Buckner, Madison Tericita Burk, Emiliano Calderon, Jasmin Carranza, Trinity Vanee Casaus, Ashlee Cdebaca, Elizabeth Erin Cederberg, Alvaro Chacon, Jaden Chambers,

- [Announcer] Corey Charley, Ava Charrlin, Angelo Chavez, Daniel Chavez, Jaron Chavez, Jayden Chavez, Natasha Chavez, Phillip Chavez, Santos Chavez, Joseph Chavez, Dylan Childs, Alexia Cisneros, Mackenzie Clark, Cameron Clements, Zachary Collado, Isabella Colon, Aleigha Conaway, Joey Conn, Gia Williams, Brandon Cook, Wesley Cook, Adrian Copeland, Ty Daniels, Joliana Davidson, Anjoli Davis, Elijah Juan Davis, Jade Choutong Dawson, Daniel Debenedittis, Angelica Delira, Preston Dennard, Loran Drellack, Deja Dubuque, Kristopher Reno Duggan, Jenna Dunkeson, Marissa Duran, Davon Easton, Angelo Elmquist, Madison Duncan Glory Enemchukwu, Carlo Evangelisti, Courtney Fairchild, Cleopatra Fasil, Alyssa Fernandez, Michael Figgs, Alyssa Flores,

- [Announcer] Isaiah Flores, Marianna Flores, Tyler Fangio, Levi Flure, Giuliana Fonseca, Evan Franklin, Catherine Gabaldon, Dominic Galindro, Damian Gallegos, Isaiah Gallegos, Rayes Gallegos, Keshaun Fragua, Erin Gallegos, Ernesto Gamboa, Olga Garay, Abigail Garcia, Anthony Garcia, Gabrielle Garcia,

- [Audience Member] I love you Gabbi!

- Joseph Garcia, Manny Garcia, Savannah Garcia, Vincent Garcia, Jacob Garza, Alisha Gebe, Joseph Sanchez, Kelly Godsey, Carlos Gonzalez, Johiada Gonzales, Jordan Gonzales, Luis Gonzalez, Sophia Gonzalez, Kylie Graham, Nicole Grief, Danielle Gutierrez, Mikayla Carpenter, Gregory Griego, Johnny Guadian, Daniel Guerrero, Ekta Gurung, Nyah Guzman, Sophia Harrison, Keelan Hart, Todd Havens, Jessica Heacock, Damian Herbert,

- Devon Herman, Brenda Gabriella Hernandez, Brianna Hernandez, Sage Heyman, Megan Hill, Anna Victoria Hines, Ethan Hix, Chastity Amber Hood, Sydney Hopkins, Tysha Hopper, Richard Horn, Raymond Hunter, Eloisa Ingram, Juan Jacobo, Shyannah Jalaliddin, Camryn James, Zane James, Akera Jaramillo, Heaven Mojica, Matthew Gutierrez, Vincenzo Jaramillo, Sabas Jasso, Mekenzie Jenkins, Aiden Jimenez, Brianna Jimenez, Kiana Joe, Raelynn Joe, Ammon Jones, Cyrus Jones, Peter Jones, Torren Jones, Adrian Khan, Kota Kihega, Kelly Lynn Kittrell, Aylie Klein, Tyler Renee Knight, Julius Kohn, Jaden Kubiak, Joshua Kuhn, Logan Scott Larson, Haley Lawson, Tyler Leeper, Canon Lehman, Joshuah Lopez, Bobby Lopez,

- Natalia Lozoya, Elizabeth Lucero, Devontee Lujan, Jasmine Luna, Brooklyn Maestas, Reece Maez, Sophia Victoria Magana, Nicholas Maldonado, Cindy Manuel, Noelani Manygoats, Jessica Manzanares, Lillianna Manzanares, Nathaniel Manzanares, David Marler, Riis Marler, Aubryana Marquez, Robert Marquez Romero, Abigail Marquis, Jeremy Martin, Marcus Martinez, Raul Israel Martinez, Shelby C.S. Martinez, Ravyn McCarty, Zavian McCarty, Mason McClellan, Autumn McDaniels, Jacqueline McDowell, Sebastian Mendez, Diego Mendoza, Tony Mendoza Jr., Jacob Mercure, Tyler Merritt, Cassandra Meyer, Sarafina Middaugh, Daniel Miessner, Tlalli Millan, Stephen Miller, Cameron Mitchell, Angelize Molina, Antonio Molina, Brayden Moloney, Joshua Montano, Julian Montez,

- Stephanie Montoya, Brandon Moore, Mikenzi Moore, Amaya Moreno, Carley Morrison-Shaw, Sydney Muniz, Angeles Munoz, Maia Nastav, Cale Natseway, David Newcomb, Kien Nguyen, Shannon Noble, David Newcomb, Kien Nguyen, Allyson Navarro, Gauge Nolan, Gabriel Olivares, Jase Olivas Rhodes, Josue Ortega, Brianna Otero, Dominique Otero, Derren Jr. Owen, Cory Owens, Jacob Padilla, Juan Padilla, Shalamar Padilla, Kaleb Palmer, Joseph Palmeri, Cody Palmerton, David Peres, Tayler Perez, Veronica Perez, W. Paige Pyke, Dimaggia Quibell, Tania Quiroz, Mariana Quiroz Fonseca, Cameron Ramirez, Meikaila Ramirez, Nicole Ramos, Ricardo Ramos, Diona Ray, Dylan Reedy, Wyatt Reeves, Aiden Reid, Kiley Reil, Keith Reinhardt, Cameron Ridenour, Christopher Rivera,

- Donovan Rivera, Robert Roberts, Diego Robertson, Maurice Robinson, Crystelle Rodis, Rachel Romero, Marah Rosato, Abel Rose, Dante Rossetti, Kristopher Rougemont, Donovan Ruiz, Jordan Ruiz, Noah Rutland, Amanda Rydeski, Dillon Sala, Marcos Salaz, Aaliyah Salazar, Ricky Salazar, Andres Salinas, Anthony Sanchez, Dominic Sanchez, Hope Sanchez, Josef Sanchez, Matthew David Sanchez, Matthew Lucas Sanchez, Onika Sanchez, Samantha Sanchez, Manpreet Sandhu, Christopher Sandoval, Jasmine Iliana Sandoval, Romie Sandoval, Dana Scott, Riley Scott, Jason Riggs, Nevaeh Sedillo, Kaylani Sengstock, Hailey Sevigny, James Sierra, Lienna Silva, Brian Simmons Jr, Trinity Smith, Isabel Sosa, Abbeygaile Stafford, Marcus Steele, Kayli Stewart, Darby Stirrup, Alexander Sullivan,

- Nickolas Tafoya, Moises Tapia, Uri Tapia Flores, Joshua Tavasci, Wesley Taylor, Michael Tenorio, Sasha Thorp, Analeise Trammell, Alfredo Trillo, Derrick Andreas Trujillo, Destiny Trujillo, Cesar Uriarte, Ian Jacob Urioste, Gabriel Valle, Victor Valles, Curtis Jerome Vann II, Analysia Vaquera, Arciana Vicenti, Seth Vigil, Nicole Villalobos, Destiny Waikaniwa-Birdshead, Emanuel Waites, Angelica Walde, Cassandra Walde, Deandra Ward, Abby Weirich, Maelyn Welch, Geoffrey Williams, Trent Williams, Gage Willis, Victoria Wilson, Brianna Winters, Alija Worthington Alejandra Zapata-Goicochea, Jordan Kramer.

- [Man] Do you have the?

- [Man] Oh, okay.

- [Announcer] And now, your honored graduates. Catherine Thomas, Brandon Alexander Garcia, Alexis Amodio Cardwell, Lourdes Amor Montoya, Omar Drakmih, Joeseph Doucette, Kamryn Guillen, Gabrielle Aguilar, Alexa Cordray, and Alexandra Gator Colon.

- Thank you guys.

JEANINE CHAVEZ: Ladies and Gentlemen, our Student Body President, Alexandra Gator Colon.

ALEXANDRA GATOR COLON: Hello class of 2019. I am truly honored to be here and to have the privilege of speaking before you before I begin my adventures at Boise State. Hopefully the mic will work a little bit better, though, than it ever did at any of our assemblies. But before I begin my speech, there are a few people I would like to thank because I wouldn't be there without them. I'd like to start with Ms. Chavez. You're an amazing activities director and made my time as an officer amazing. Mr. Jones and my fellow Troopers, S-Troupe was truly the highlight of my high school career. And of course, all of my Cibola teachers who have taught me so much. As Mr. Norwalk would say, "Keep living that boss' life." And lastly, my fellow officers. I love you guys. My sisters had agreed to pay me $5 each if I mentioned them today. So to Sophia, you are such a role model to me and I'm so lucky to look up to you. You will always be one of my best friends. And to my twin sister Belle, I am so happy I'm able to graduate with you. It's crazy to think we're separating for the first time ever this fall. Whether it be bringing me binders I forget everyday, doing cartwheels at my election speech, and even writing my name on all my papers in pre-school because I didn't know how to spell yet. You've always been there for me. You're gonna kill it next year. I love you both and I take cash and Venmo. And now to my parents. Dad, you always remind me not to take life too seriously and always make me laugh. Mom, I hope to one day be half the woman that you are. You're the most creative, selfless, and amazing person I know. I love you both. And now to my fellow classmates. I thank you for being a great group of friends through the years and making my time here at Cibola more beautiful and amazing than I could have ever imagined. Looking back on high school, we've had so many amazing memories. Like roaming F-hall inhaling tar for a whole year, or when a bear walked onto campus. Well, at least near campus. Most schools have four winter balls, but we've been lucky to have an amazing three. But in all seriousness, we've done so much together and I hope you will treasure the stories that we were able to make. As we look back at the past and how amazing it was, it's hard not to feel a scared for the future There's so much uncertainty. But at the same time, it is this uncertainty that makes life so amazing and special. Even if you have no idea where you're gonna be in a few months, a few years, or even tomorrow, I know we're all capable of accomplishing all our dreams. When I look at you, my fellow classmates, I truly believe we can set our minds to anything and everything we want to. And I hope that you guys never forget that. Uncertainty, whether good or bad, will always be with us no matter how big or small. No matter how hard we try to get rid of it, it'll always be with us. So for now I can only offer the following random piece of advice in no particular order that have guided me. Don't let others push you around, you will always deserve better. The more you put into something or someone, the more you'll always get out. It's just as okay to be behind as it is ahead, and there's nothing to be ashamed about that. Sometimes time is the only thing that can fix our problems, but that's okay. Of course there are a lot more things I could say, but the reality is the only way we'll be able to learn is to go live our lives. I never thought I'd miss Cibola and all of the beautiful people I've met as much as I do now. It seems like just yesterday when we all stepped into school for the first time, and then quickly were evacuated because a vending machine caught on fire. But we stand here today, ready to take on whatever the future has to offer us. I know many of you have dinner reservations to catch, so I'd like to end with a quote by my queen RuPaul, "Fulfillment isn't found over the rainbow. "It's found in the here and now." So let's take some chances, work hard, set goals, and make sure to have fun at least a little bit every day. You deserve it. And now, please join me in moving our tassels from the right to the left to symbolize our transformations from students to new-found graduates. I truly do love you guys so much. Thank you everything class of 2019. Good luck, let's get the spread, but most importantly congratulations. See you later, gator.

JEANINE CHAVEZ: Thank you for attending our ceremony. Please allow all seniors to leave the floor and leave the coliseum. You will be able to meet and greet our graduates at the creative arts parking lot just south of the creative arts building on the west side of this coliseum. To the class of 2019, be good people, do great things, make us proud. We love you 3000. Graduates, please stand. In a second. And now ladies and gentlemen, one more round of applause for the class of 2019. Yes, I know.

- [Woman] Good job, Tupperman. Congratulations.

Del Norte High School

Del Norte Graduation Transcript

ELIZABETH GONZALES: Good evening, it is the request of Del Norte High School Administration that we honor and recognize each graduate. Most of you are here today to celebrate the accomplishments of one graduate special to you. Please allow those around you to celebrate their special graduate. Kindly be reminded to refrain from excessive cheering and the use of noisemakers so each graduate's name can be heard and honored by family and friends. Thank you for attending today's commencement and for sharing in Del Norte High School's commemoration of the academic achievement of the graduating class of 2019.

(crowd cheering and applauding)

("Pomp and Circumstance" by Edward Elgar)

(crowd cheering and applauding)

Ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the Presentation of Colors and the singing of our National Anthem. Gentlemen, please remove caps at this time. Presentation of Colors performed by Del Norte Air Force Junior ROTC. National Anthem will be performed by Del Norte Choir. Please remain standing until all Colors have left the arena floor.

♪ Oh say can you see ♪

♪ By the dawn's early light ♪

♪ What so proudly we hailed ♪

♪ At the twilight's last gleaming ♪

♪ Whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪

♪ Through the perilous fight, ♪

♪ O'er the ramparts we watched ♪

♪ Were so gallantly streaming ♪

♪ And the rocket's red glare, ♪

♪ The bombs bursting in air, ♪

♪ Gave proof through the night ♪

♪ That our flag was still there ♪

♪ Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave ♪

♪ O'er the land of the free ♪

♪ And the home of the brave ♪

(crowd cheering and applauding)

Thank you graduates, you may be seated. It is my honor and my pleasure tonight to introduce you to Del Norte High School Principal, Miss Jo Sloan.

(audience applauding)

JO SLOAN: Thank you. Good Evening and Welcome to Del Norte High School's Graduation for the class of 2019!

(audience applauding and cheering)

Let's hear it. I am honored to be here this evening to share in the celebration of our students' achievements and this graduation. We have many honored guests on stage, and they are, Dr. David Peercy, APS School Board President, (audience clapping and cheering)

Miss Peggy Muller-Aragon APS School Board Member. (audience applauding)

Troy Hughes, Associate Superintendent for Leadership and Learning for Zone 4. (audience applauding)

Aimee Milazzo, Executive Director of Curriculum, and Instruction. (audience applauding)

Angie Coutts Assistant Principal, (audience applauding)

Deanne Smith, Curriculum Assistant Principal. (audience clapping and cheering)

Chris Welsh Dean of Students, (audience applauding)

Monica Mancillas Del Norte Teacher, (audience applauding)

Thomas Herndon Athletic Director, (audience applauding)

and Elizabeth Gonzales, our Activities Director. (audience applauding)

To begin this ceremony, I would like to acknowledge all of the parents and family members that are here today. These students have accomplished their educational goals with the support and the guidance of their families and friends. Graduates, please join me in giving a round of applause to your family, your friends and everyone that have helped you achieve your goals.

(audience clapping and cheering)

I also would like to thank the Del Norte staff, teachers and counselors. Thank you for your dedication and doing what is best for students, thank you.

(audience clapping and cheering)

And tonight we have this moment to reflect back on our seniors' accomplishments with pride and appreciation. Graduates, you have demonstrated your commitment and responsibilities with compassion and excellence. The class of 2019 has earned many recognitions and awards in the past four years. They have achieved both academic and athletic success and scholastic awards that have exceeded $2.5 million.

(audience clapping and cheering)

Seniors have received accolades for their artistic and musical talents. They have produced laugh out loud plays and established the tradition of the annual Fine Arts Assembly. Seniors have received team awards, individual state championships and community awards. Del Norte has been acknowledged as leaders in Black Student Union, AVID, ROTC, Roundtable, Speech and Debate, and has won many many musical awards. These young men and women are well prepared for the next chapter of life and are capable of outstanding academic success. They also will be our good neighbors and the future leaders in our communities. Graduates, this is your time, look back at your success, be proud, and look forward with promise. Continue to achieve, the Right Way, the Knight Way. And remember, once a Knight always a Knight! Congratulations Class of 2019!

(audience clapping and cheering)

ELIZABETH GONZALES: Thank you Miss Sloan. Let us now recognize the Top Ten Graduates of the class of 2019. These graduates all finished with a cumulative GPA of above a 4.0 average. Please stand and remain standing as I call your name.

Lizbeth Rios, (audience cheering)

Alicia Phillipovich, (audience cheering)

Duyen My La, (audience cheering)

Juliet Terrazas, (audience cheering)

Nadia Dockendorff, (audience cheering)

Jaela Javier, (audience cheering)

Jacob Hensley, (audience cheering)

Lauren Dao, (audience cheering)

and Qi Zhang. (audience cheering)

You may be seated.

And now we would like to introduce this years graduates receiving the Bilingual and Biliteracy Seal. In order to receive the bilingual seal graduates must take four years of a language and pass the language proficiency test. They will receive the seal on their diploma tonight. Please stand and be recognized as I call your name. This year's recipients are,

Denysse Castruita, (audience cheering)

Anayely Garcia, (audience cheering)

Maya Martinez, (audience cheering)

Jennifer Pena, (audience cheering)

Karla Reynaga, (audience cheering)

Lizbeth Rios (audience cheering)

and Anthony Valle-Castillo. (audience cheering)

And now I would like to introduce our Dean of Students, Mr. Chris Welsh.

(audience applauding)

CHRIS WELSH: Our first speaker this evening is Cashmere Pascual. Cashmere plans to attend the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York to pursue a degree in psychology.Cashmere has been involved in AVID, yearbook, and tennis here at Del Norte High School.

(audience clapping and cheering)

(Cashmere gives her speech in sign language)

INTERPRETER: Hello, welcome. My fellow seniors, family, friends, teachers, staff. My name is Cashmere Pascual. And here I am. For 17 years I've grown up with a hearing family. It's been challenging yet fun. Despite the obstacles, I've learned so much especially from the past four years. It took me a long time to embrace who I am. But being deaf is a part of my identity. At first, I didn't embrace that identity because it always made me feel different from everyone else. 

But, I've always been different. Being different is not a bad thing. We all come from different backgrounds. And there's nothing wrong with any of us. Because in the end, we are all humans with different challenges to overcome. I want to spread my pride in who I am with my Deafness. I speak both American Sign Language and English, and I have my whole life. The most important thing in my life is communication. Communication is the key to opening our minds and to understanding each other. We all will see deaf people in our lives. One day, we will work with them, or work for them or become parents of them. 

Here at Del Norte, you've already seen sign language and have been exposed to deaf culture, and you have benefited from that. As a deaf student here at Del Norte, I had to break through the barriers between myself and everyone else. For the whole four years, I was a fully mainstreamed student with interpreters. Sometimes I'd be the only deaf student in a classroom and it would be hard because no one spoke my language. But I met a lot of people who tried their best to understand and accept me for who I am. I feel honored to contribute to our school through my Deafness. I am proud to say that despite the fact that I am deaf, I've proven I am so much more than being just deaf. Being deaf will not stop me from fulfilling my dreams, our different challenges. I'm sure you can name at least one challenge you've had to confront.

Knowing this, we all deserve. We should aspire to accept others for who they are. With open minds, we grow and learn about our true differences and similarities in this world. Del Norte is a place where we are destined to find what we want. To find who we truly are. It's the place we started to discover our true potential. To find our passion. It is where we find what we want to do with our lives. Being a Knight, we've learned how to cherish our diversity, values and beliefs. It means that we have to march on, march on, down the field with our heads held high and determine to win every battle we're in. As long as we do the Knight Way, we will do the Right Way. We've grown and changed a lot since our freshman year. We went through a lot together.

Part of the journey is the end. In the end, it's worth it because we finished it together. All of you, you guys did it. Take a moment to be proud of yourselves. I wish you all nothing but the best. I hope you guys will go off to a good start for the next chapter of your life. Thank you, my family, friends, teachers and everyone else who supported me. We are ready for the next chapter of our lives.

Congratulations, class of 2019!

(audience clapping and cheering)

ELIZABETH GONZALES: Thank you Cashmere, and now we'd like to welcome our Del Norte High School Choir singing That Lonesome Road.

("That Lonesome Road" by James Taylor)

♪ Walk down that lonesome road ♪

♪ All by yourself ♪

♪ Don't turn your head ♪

♪ Back over your shoulder ♪

♪ And only stop ♪

♪ To rest yourself ♪

♪ When the silver moon ♪

♪ Is shining high ♪

♪ Above the trees ♪

♪ If I had stopped to listen ♪

♪ Once or twice ♪

♪ If I had closed my mouth ♪

♪ And opened my eyes ♪

♪ If I had cooled my head ♪

♪ And warmed my heart ♪

♪ I'd not be on ♪

♪ This road tonight ♪

♪ Carry on, carry on ♪

♪ Never mind feeling sorry for yourself ♪

♪ It doesn't save you ♪

♪ From your troubled mind ♪

♪ Walk down that lonesome road ♪

♪ All by yourself ♪

♪ Don't turn your head ♪

♪ Back over your shoulder ♪

♪ And only stop ♪

♪ To rest yourself ♪

♪ When the silver moon ♪

♪ Is shining high ♪

♪ Above the trees ♪

(audience clapping and cheering)

JO SLOAN: Our Valedictorian this evening is Miss. Qi Miko Zhang. Graduating with a cumulative grade point average of 4.456 and Miko will be attending Penn State in the fall.

(audience clapping and cheering)

Miko has been involved in speech and debate, track, tennis, Black Student Union and the foreign language club at Del Norte High School. Miko has taken advantage of a wide variety of classes at Del Norte, Advanced Placement, UNM Dual Credit and the ever popular office aid class. Miko plans pursue a career in the medical field. It is my honor to present to you our valedictorian Qi Miko Zhang.

(audience clapping and cheering)

QI MIKO ZHANG: Good evening, my name is Miko. First of all, I want to thank all the teachers, families, friends, and the class of 2019, who came into my life and made my school a grapevine. And I hope everyone in the stadium knows that you all mean so much to me because you all made my high school career exciting and unforgettable. I would like to describe the class of 2019 in one word infinite. By definition infinite means unlimited or immeasurable. I can see all my classmates' bright and infinite futures, there is no limit to what we all can accomplish as long as we work hard. When I first came to the United States, I had to go to a second-grade class to learn English, which I struggled and strived to do so. Starting from learning alphabets to taking AP Literature in high school, and now, here I am, speaking on the stage. During my high school career, I joined Speech and Debate and it strengthened my speaking and listening skills enormously. I was not limited by my cultural background or the language barrier that I have to overcome.

I believe almost everyone has had a dream since their freshman year which is to walk across this stage and hear all the claps and cheers. It is not easy to make this dream come true, some of us had to work a job to be able to support ourselves, some of us have language barriers, some of us have family issues and illness to deal with. But we are all not limited by these obstacles. Today we are all walking across this stage proudly and we will accomplish many more in the future. I know the future is scary and there are infinite possibilities out there, but Joyce DiDonato once said, "One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, right here, right now, in this single, solitary, monumental moment in your life, is to decide, without apology, to commit to the journey, and not to the outcome." 

Commit to the journey that is being filled with full of opportunities, commit to the future that I believe we all will shine in. I believe by this quote by Barack Obama, "Don't just get involved. Fight for your seat at the table. Better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table." 

Knights, we deserve a seat at Camelot's Round Table! Let's get involved in our lives and step into our future proudly and ambitiously without limits. Thank you.

(audience clapping and cheering)

ELIZABETH GONZALES: All right graduates and families, it's the moment you've been waiting for. Graduates are you ready?

(audience clapping and cheering)

I would like to bring our principal up, Mrs. Sloan.

(audience cheering)

JO SLOAN: Board members, Dr Peercy and Miss Muller-Aragon please join me at the podium. Board members, Dr. Peercy and Miss Muller-Aragon, the graduates before you have met the graduation requirements set forth by the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education along with the New Mexico Public Education Department. To you, I present the class of 2019.

(audience clapping and cheering)

BOARD MEMBER DAVID PEERCY: On behalf of the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education, it is our honor to accept this graduating class of 2019 from Del Norte High School. Congratulations.

(audience clapping and cheering)

ANNOUNCER 1: Knights, are you ready?

(audience clapping and cheering)

That being said, let's do this.

(audience clapping and cheering)

Marissa Abeita. (audience cheering)

Fatima Adawee. (audience cheering)

Agush Agushi. (audience cheering)

Mahmod Al Kwaz. (audience cheering)

Carlos Almuina. (audience cheering)

Adam Andrade. (audience cheering)

Gabrielle Andrioli. (audience cheering)

Addison Barnes. (audience cheering)

Yennifer Batalla-Brito. (audience cheering)

Tyrell Beavers. (audience cheering)

Vernold Begay. (audience cheering)

Devon Bentacu. (audience cheering)

Saira Santillanes. (audience cheering)

Thomas Silva. (audience cheering)

Makayla Tyler. (audience cheering)

Jasmine Bowannie. (audience cheering)

Bryant Brock. (audience cheering)

Sarah Brock. (audience cheering)

Austin Brown. (audience cheering)

Brennon Carroll-Benavidez. (audience cheering)

Denysse Castruita. (audience cheering)

Jennifer Chavez. (audience cheering)

Xiola Chavez. (audience cheering)

Giselle Chavez-Ayala. (audience cheering)

Sebastian Chavira. (audience cheering)

Desiree Chinana. (audience cheering)

Isiah Codding. (audience cheering)

Savina Codding. (audience cheering)

Isaiah Cowboy. (audience cheering)

Jaancarlo Cuellar. (audience cheering)

ANNOUNCER 2: Lauren Dao. (audience cheering)

Miriam Davila. (audience cheering)

Ryan Delgarito. (audience cheering)

Noah Dennis. (audience cheering)

Breana Desoto. (audience cheering)

Nadia Dockendorff. (audience cheering)

Michael Duran. (audience cheering)

Dylan Duryea. (audience cheering)

Antonio Ebell. (audience cheering)

Marleen Elias. (audience cheering)

Mojorooluwa Emiola. (audience cheering)

Annalysia Encinias. (audience cheering)

Kevin Estrada. (audience cheering)

Christopher Flores. (audience cheering)

Minerva Gaitan. (audience cheering)

Andres Gallegos. (audience cheering)

Hector Galvez. (audience cheering)

Anayely Garcia. (audience cheering)

Monalisa Garcia. (audience cheering)

Alan Gatica. (audience cheering)

Taylor Gillen. (audience cheering)

Alejandro Gomez. (audience cheering)

Juan Felipe Gomez. (audience cheering)

Marbella Gomez. (audience cheering)

Nicolas Gomez. (audience cheering)

Estevan Gonzales. (audience cheering)

Nazareth Gonzales. (audience cheering)

Kianah Grandberry. (audience cheering)

Olivia Griego. (audience cheering)

Hailey Guarino. (audience cheering)

Antonio Gutierrez. (audience cheering)

ANNOUNCER 1: Xavier Gutierrez. (audience cheering)

Sandra Gutierrez-Jimenez. (audience cheering)

Evelyn Guy. (audience cheering)

Mariam Hameed. (audience cheering)

Kailene Hansen. (audience cheering)

Jade Hare. (audience cheering)

Daisha Hawkins. (audience cheering)

Roy'ale Hayes. (audience cheering)

Isaiah Haynes. (audience cheering)

Jacob Hensley. (audience cheering)

Nadir Hussaini. (audience cheering)

Hernan Ibarra. (audience cheering)

Amir Ibrahim. (audience cheering)

Jaela Javier. (audience cheering)

Aknyda Jim. (audience cheering)

Izaiah Joe. (audience cheering)

Zaina Katba-Bader. (audience cheering)

Duyen My La. (audience cheering)

Alaysha Lawrence. (audience cheering)

Jared Long. (audience cheering)

Sharon Lopez. (audience cheering)

Joshua Maddox II. (audience cheering)

Tyler Maes. (audience cheering)

Emilio Maestas. (audience cheering)

Orion Martin. (audience cheering)

Diego Martinez. (audience cheering)

James Martinez. (audience cheering)

John Martinez. (audience cheering)

Maya Martinez. (audience cheering)

Raban Martinez. (audience cheering)

Valerie Martinez. (audience cheering)

ANNOUNCER 2: Thaddeus Mata. (audience cheering)

Christian Mejia. (audience cheering)

Dominique Mendoza. (audience cheering)

Yvan Lancelot Mendejar. (audience cheering)

Justice Mingkhamsavath. (audience cheering)

Samir Mohammad. (audience cheering)

Jason Montano. (audience cheering)

Laryssa Montoya. (audience cheering)

Jannely Moreno-Miramontes. (audience cheering)

Emery Moussavou Louembe. (audience cheering)

Ciana Moya. (audience cheering)

Mari Moya. (audience cheering)

Alejandro Murguia. (audience cheering)

Omer Najera. (audience cheering)

David Narvaiz. (audience cheering)

Jordan Neilsen. (audience cheering)

Lance Nez. (audience cheering)

Ernesto Ortiz. (audience cheering)

Atah Omar. (audience cheering)

Crystal Pacheco. (audience cheering)

Joseph Padilla. (audience cheering)

Liana Padilla-Nahe. (audience cheering)

Cashmere Pascual. (audience cheering)

Jennifer Pena. (audience cheering)

Cecilia Perez. (audience cheering)

Nguyen bao Pham. (audience cheering)

Alicia Phillipovich. (audience cheering)

Scott Pierce. (audience cheering)

Zar Afshan Popal. (audience cheering)

Cristian Portillo. (audience cheering)

Daniela Prieto. (audience cheering)

ANNOUNCER 1: Erik Quiroz. (audience cheering)

Gonzalo Ramirez. (audience cheering)

Karla Reynaga. (audience cheering)

Alyssa Reynolds. (audience cheering)

Lizbeth Rios. (audience cheering)

Jacob Rodriguez. (audience cheering)

Mariah Rodriguez. (audience cheering)

Samuel Rodriguez. (audience cheering)

Alex Romero. (audience cheering)

Isiah Romero. (audience cheering)

Matthew Romero. (audience cheering)

Damien Ruple. (audience cheering)

Chardonney Saavedra. (audience cheering)

Jacob Saavedra. (audience cheering)

Eduardo Sanchez. (audience cheering)

Jorden Sanchez. (audience cheering)

Shaiann Sanchez. (audience cheering)

Zyan Sanderson. (audience cheering)

Ruby Saucedo. (audience cheering)

Silver Searcy. (audience cheering)

Martin Shema. (audience cheering)

Terra Sierra. (audience cheering)

Diego Silversmith. (audience cheering)

Lucy Singleton. (audience cheering)

Alena Smith. (audience cheering)

Michelle Soto Saavedra. (audience cheering)

Vivian Spates. (audience cheering)

Donart Sylejmani. (audience cheering)

Eva Tam. (audience cheering)

Reina Tapia. (audience cheering)

Brionna Tedford. (audience cheering)

ANNOUCER 2: Juliet Terrazas. (audience cheering)

Kayla Thomas. (audience cheering)

Jordan Thurgood. (audience cheering)

Kahleo Toya. (audience cheering)

Jaron Tracey. (audience cheering)

Arriana Trujillo. (audience cheering)

Edward Trujillo. (audience cheering)

Talia Tyler. (audience cheering)

Steven Valdez. (audience cheering)

Anthony Valle-Castillo. (audience cheering)

Gina Van Ausdall. (audience cheering)

Maria Venzor. (audience cheering)

Alexander Waltower. (audience cheering)

John Ward. (audience cheering)

Thomas Wauneka. (audience cheering)

Mateo Whitman. (audience cheering)

Johnathen Wilkins. (audience cheering)

Courtney Wylie. (audience cheering)

Corey Yepa. (audience cheering)

Donnovan Young. (audience cheering)

Momin Zakhel. (audience cheering)

Lorena Zamarripa. (audience cheering)

Qi Zhang. (audience cheering)

ELIZABETH GONZALES: Please help me welcome Angie Coutts, our Assistant Principal.

(audience clapping and cheering)

ANGIE COUTTS: Well my script went away, good thing I know her. I'd like to introduce to you all this evening, to speak to you and to finalize the graduation this year's 2018-2019, student body president, blank, Dominique Mendoza. (audience clapping and cheering)

DOMINIQUE MENDOZA: Good evening my people. I feel like I should be telling you that Knight's Pizza is selling today for $2 a slice, or to remind you that yearbooks are $65 cash only. But for those of you who don't pay much attention to announcements, my name is Dominique Mendoza, and I'm your student body president.

(audience clapping and cheering)

As a group, we didn't need to start from the bottom, but it looks like the whole team is here. Now this is an emotional time for me, because I have the honor of being in front of all of you beautiful people today. Graduates, families, friends, alumni, and staff, otherwise known as my favorite gangsters, I've spent the past four years under the impression that high school is a never ending adventure, because that's what it felt like. But I'm realizing now I was wrong, it ends. I wish someone had warned me oddly enough that saying goodbye to your best friends isn't the hardest part, because let's be honest, it's not goodbye. Not yet anyway. The hardest part is coming to terms with the fact that that one loud laugh you here on the third floor is yep, Miss Wills. Or doing Miss Bev's current issues the night before it's due. Or hearing Coach Binkley talk about football, football, and even sometimes a little bit of football. Or taking Mrs. Brewer's million slides of notes, or realizing that our phones do have an off button, thanks to Mr. Hagmire.

(audience cheering)

Yes, all these memories will be locked away in the castle and in our hearts forever. Graduation is a celebration, a time for looking back on the many lessons you've learned, adventures you've shared with others, and bright moments filled with special meaning. Graduation is a farewell, a time for saying goodbye to old friends, and to the teachers you love so much and to those you didn't love so much, a farewell to good times you've had, and a time for packing away memories which will be treasures for us in the future. But graduation is not only a celebration and a farewell, but a beginning. A time for looking forward, a time to set new goals, to dream new dreams, and to try your wings to see if you can fly. One might say that we are busting it down into adulthood, and in 10 years hopefully you will all be living prosperously and flourishing and maybe even doing the whoa with your horses in the back. Chief called and he said that the class of 2019 was it. We didn't come this far to only come this far, and I hope when I bump into you at Target in a few years and ask you how business is going, I better hear the answer, it's booming.

Graduates, it's time. Not knight time, well I mean it's always knight time, but please join me as we move our tassels from the right to the left, Alexa, play Congratulations by Post Malone, we did it.

(audience clapping and cheering)

ELIZABETH GONZALES: Graduates will you please rise. Ladies and gentlemen, families and friends, it is my pleasure to now introduce you to the Del Norte High School Alumni Class of 2019, congratulations.

(audience clapping and cheering)

(celebratory orchestral music)

Top Graduates

Lizbeth Rios, Alicia Phillipovich, Duyen My La, Juliet Terrazas, Nadia Dockendorff, Dominque Mendoza, Jaela Javier, Jacob Hensley, Lauren Dao – Salutatorian, Qi Zhang – Valedictorian

Early College Academy

"Some People's Kids" — Mark Walked

Early College Academy Graduation Transcript

- [Parker Randolph] ♪ By the dawn's early light ♪ ♪ What so proudly we hailed ♪ ♪ At the twilight's last gleaming ♪ ♪ Whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪ ♪ Through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ O'er the ramparts we watched ♪ ♪ Were so gallantly streaming ♪ ♪ And the rockets' red glare ♪ ♪ The bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ Gave proof through the night ♪ ♪ That our flag was still there ♪ ♪ O say does that star-spangled ♪ ♪ Banner yet wave ♪ ♪ For the land of the free ♪ ♪ And the home of the brave ♪

GABINO NORIEGA: Thanks again. Introducing Mr. Arguelles.

PATRICK ARGUELLES: You may be seated. I think this will be fun all night long. Thank you for attending the Early College Academy's 12th commencement ceremony. It is my great honor and pleasure to introduce our special guests this evening. First, our two esteemed school board members. Both have been strong supporters of the Early College Academy and the Career Enrichment Center. From District Four, School Board Member Barbara Petersen. And from District Two, School Board Member Ms. Peggy Muller-Aragon. And do you want to give some extra special thanks to Ms. Muller-Aragon. She's attended many of our events, including our CEC Open House and Career Expo this year, our haunted house, and our Ethnic Studies Chicana/Chicano presentation done by our very own Mr. Noriega, so thank you. For our other two distinguished guests, Shannon Barnhill, Executive Director of the APS Educational Foundation. The Foundation has been a huge friend to CEC and ECA, and we thank them. And we also have APS Associate Superintendent for Zone 3, and my great boss, Yvonne Garcia. We appreciate all the support she has given us here at ECA and CEC. The Early College Academy staff on the stage, we have Assistant Principal Rebekah Floryance. We have Counselor Lynn Ramsey. Those two are the true leaders of our school. We have our Activities Director and CEC and UNM teacher, and soon to be doctor, Gabino Noriega. We have ECA and CEC teacher, and member of our Leadership Team, Mark Walker. We have ECA and CEC teacher, and member of our Leadership Team, John Glaser. we have our Special Ed Head Teacher and ECA Math Instructor, and member of our Leadership Team, John Potter. We also have our ECA and CEC Registrar, Veronica Lovato. Seniors, revel in this moment, but take the time to thank all who have been instrumental in helping you achieve this milestone. A big thanks goes out to Early College Academy's unsung heroes, our secretarial and security staff. They work tirelessly to meet the needs of the school and our staff, students, and parents, and they make our jobs so much easier. Veronica Lovato, Amanda Cortez, Nanette Grant, Zelma Medina, Yolanda Herrera, Anna Payan, Lupe Grado, and Harold Pope, thank you. I also want to thank the dedicated teaching staff at the school. Will any Early College Academy and Career Enrichment Center staff in the audience please rise? They're standing up everywhere. They do not seek any praise, but their skill and dedication to the task of educating the students is enormous. Also, we still did have class today until 5:30, so it was a little bit crazy. It goes without saying, don't forget your parents, your siblings, your grandparents, your aunts, your uncles, your entire village who contributed in raising you, mentoring you, and loving you when you are passing along words of appreciation to all who have been influential to your accomplishments. They are here tonight to celebrate your achievement with you, and we give you guys a big round of applause. Parent involvement and student engagement are at the core of what makes our school so successful, and is the cornerstone of everything good that happens here. We are often asked what it means to be a part of the Early College Academy family. The answer is simple, but the route is much more difficult. Oh, but the rewards are so lasting and meaningful. Our students participate in service to their school and community. They show a positive attitude towards classmates and teachers. They display an understanding and appreciation of civic responsibility, and they possess strength of character along with the courage to do what is right. These students promote citizenship and give back to the school. They make a conscious effort to be welcoming to others. They are humorous. They are compassionate. They have an infectious spirit, and they inspire those around them. They are dependable, trustworthy, reliable, and loyal. After our school-wide assembly and Senior Roast, which was amazing and hilarious, I sat and reflected on this class of 2019. And one word resonated over and over again, passion. This group has more passion than any group I have seen in my 18 years of high school graduations. And I'm not talking about pursue your passion kind of passion. Heck, if that were true, I would be a luchadore, fighting bad guys with a guitar in one hand and an iron fist in the other, all to rescue my princess. Not that passion, no, this is about having passion. This group came to ECA four years ago filled with hopes, dreams, and aspirations. This passion was their motivation to achieve their goals. This passion was their intense enthusiasm for each other, for our school. This passion was going to change the world. And I still see it today, these scientists, musicians, code writers, story tellers, actors, mathematicians, entrepreneurs. These students you see before you will indeed use their extraordinary passion to not only leave their mark on our school, but on the world beyond our school. Last night at our senior banquet we heard the long list of student accomplishments, but there's so much more. 93% of these students scored fours and fives on their math PARCC test. 95% scored fours and fives on the ELA portion. We had nine students with 30s and above on their ACT scores. In fact, no public school in New Mexico has higher ACT scores than ECA. Hundreds, hundreds of college credit hours, and on and on, and it was pretty impressive, but that's not what our ECA students are about. Generosity, integrity, character, and spirituality, a blessing to the ECA community, and a model of selflessness and service. That is what embodies the characters of an ECA student. As ECA graduates, you all begin with an advantage, a great education, but you also enter the same challenging world as your peers, so take advantage of the other skills you put in your tool box. You have made lifelong learning a habit. You understand what employers are looking for. You know how to act in the professional world, and you are willing to embrace change. Remember what you bring to the table. You have the character, the capacity, the drive, and the ability to keep making this world a better place. You have the qualities needed to succeed in college and career, honesty, kindness, motivation, determination, and respect. This class, the class of 2019, is unique in their support of each others' differences, accomplishments, skills, and personalities. You value one another, and you have helped each another become who you are. In just a few minutes, you, the class of 2019, will receive well-earned diplomas, so remember this. Your high school graduation is like no other that you will experience in your life. There will be no other graduation where you may have known the person sitting beside you since preschool or kindergarten, where the person sitting behind you once stood by your side as you battled the zombie apocalypse during the haunted house, or marched down Central to the Twinkle Light Parade dressed like a Jedi knight, or where the person sitting in front of you helped blow up gummy bears in science class, or dissect a cat in pre-med. There will be no other graduation where you will remember getting tossed in the Rio Grande River, a very common theme for all of these classes, on your freshman biology field trip, or having fun and playing games at an ECA Fun Night. This graduation takes on a life of its own through memories of classroom accomplishments, the pain of late night studying, shared smiles of happiness during good times, shared hugs of comfort during tough times, and a unique story that galvanizes a class of amazing students, proud parents, and dedicated teachers into a true ECA family. I stand in awe of what I know the future brings for all of you. So seniors, celebrate your graduation day. We do hope you have lots of fun planned after our ceremony. The future holds many challenges and successes for all of you. Each of you will have your own unique opportunities to grow. I am confident you will rise to every occasion. I sincerely wish you all the best for your future, and thank you for an excellent year, well done. Ms. Ramsey, it's all yours.

LYNN RAMSEY: So at this time, we would like to recognize the students with the top 10 grade point average at the early College Academy for the class of 2019. Can these students please stand? Jaimasan Sutton. Nicolas Berkopec. Ishan Loomba. Russell Ludwigsen, who is not here tonight. He's at National Science Fair. Alexander Rodriguez. Madeline Christison. Kioshi Morosin. Mike Adams. Abigail Craff. And Ruth Mueller. We commend these students for their hard work and efforts. The class of 2019 was a particularly talented and gifted group of students, and to be among the top in a cohort such as this is truly an accomplishment and an honor. Like all of their classmates at the Early College Academy, I know they will each be successful at all that they attempt and will make their own positive mark on the world. Congratulations, guys, thank you.

GABINO NORIEGA: You guys can sit down. Okay. So now we're going to be going on to the keynote speakers for this event. But first we'd like to call up teachers that know these students particularly well so they can introduce each one of those students. So first I'm going to go ahead and bring up Ms. Katya Adams to introduce one of our keynote speakers. Thank you.

KATYA ADAMS: Good afternoon. For those of you who don't know me or are conveniently pretending not to know me, my name is Katya Adams and I teach English 9 and English 11. And so the student I'm here to introduce was my student both as a freshman and a junior. I am here to talk about Abbie Craff. Now, I could throw a bunch of adjectives at you. Intelligent, hard-working, dedicated. And you would recognize Abbie in all of those. But I would like to introduce Abbie differently, through a metaphor. Abbie's dear to my heart not only because she was one of my best students, but also because she's a fellow vegetarian, and that alone says plenty. Just let me explain. Number one, I have never met a dumb vegetarian. All vegetarians I have ever encountered are interesting, intelligent people. What's the connection, you would ask. Well, it takes critical thinking and emotional intelligence to see beyond your own species. Number two, vegetarians have convictions and make conscious sacrifices. They stand strong when others take easy paths and sacrifice immediate gratification for bigger rewards. Number three, vegetarians have courage and are not afraid to be in the minority. So then when someone from the flesh-eating majority, let's say someone like Kioshi Morosin tells you how deeply wrong you are, you immediately take that wrong and shove it right back to where that wrong just came from. Yeah, that's right, you heard me. Or when seniors give you a barbecue placemat that features images of different kinds of meat as part of their clever senior prank, you immediately turn around and donate that silly placemat to a charity that rescues animals from people. Number four, vegetarians have to be ever ready with witty responses to the comments of the flesh-eating majority. So that when your principal tells you that we eat cows because cows don't have feelings, you immediately respond that since he can technically be eaten too, does that automatically imply that he does not have feelings? Number five, vegetarians have empathy that goes beyond their own species, even if those alien species appear to them as incomprehensible as someone like Caleb Sontag or Jacob Newlander. Number six, all the way deep into 11th grade, I viewed Abbie as a soft-spoken mild person until one day I overheard her giving a hard time to Nick Berkopec, a representative of another species who happened to share the table with Abbie. The sass that was coming from that girl. Poor Nick was struck speechless and was barely staying afloat. Soon I realized that that was not a singular occasion when Nick was struck speechless. The occasion was part of Nick's daily routine in my class. You would ask, what does that have to do with vegetarianism? And that brings me to my last point. Vegetarians hold others accountable and remind others that the world does not revolve around them, and that they're not the only ones who eat others, but that they are in fact can be eaten, too. So a person of intelligence and wit, of conviction and courage and empathy, someone who will finally hold this world accountable. It is my honor to introduce to you this year's salutatorian, Abbie Craff. Abbie. Abbie, go show 'em.

ABBIE CRAFF: Thank you. Okay, hello. Greetings to my fellow graduates, the staff and faculty, and to all the friends and family that have come out to support us. Today, as one chapter of our lives draws to a close, another begins. We will leave this auditorium not just as graduates of high school, but as young men and women, ready and eager to begin the next part of our lives. For many of us, despite our excitement, this upcoming change may seem a little daunting. However, I know that the trials and tribulations, the laughter and successes of the past four years has more than prepared us for wherever life will take us. After all, we all are a pretty impressive class and are thus leaving some pretty big shoes for future graduating classes to fill. On top of being the most attractive and the smartest class to ever grace the halls of Early College Academy, we have some pretty accomplished students. We have great athletes, fantastic, world-class musicians, including a pretty awesome band, even though I personally think 3 Rection was a much better name than Crisis Averted, and incredible, budding scientists and mathematicians. I do have to mention, though, it absolutely amazes me how our class can be filled with such brilliance, and then I can look down the halls at lunchtime and see these same members of the class of 2019 trying to inconspicuously lick each others' elbows. These seemingly paradoxical actions remind me of a quote from the French playwright, Honore de Balzac. "It is the mark of a great man that he puts to flight "all ordinary calculations. "He is at once sublime and touching, "childlike and of the race of giants." This childlike greatness truly does lie within the members of the class of 2019. I have never met a group of people as willing to question their surroundings and push the limits of their knowledge. I have also never met a group of people as willing to debate about everything. And I mean everything. For us, arguments do not stop in the English classroom, and each person has their own strong opinion. From whether or not a hot dog is a sandwich, it isn't, by the way, to whether Kanye West or Queen has better music, debates are raging almost constantly. This is in part due to these past four years at ECA, which have helped us to become more comfortable and confident in ourselves and unafraid to stand up for what we believe in, be it about a serious topic or a more lighthearted one. As you all move onto bigger and greater things, these skills that you have picked up and fostered at ECA will guide you toward future fulfillment. Greatness lies within each and every one of you, and while ECA has helped us all to begin uncovering it, it is up to you to take your next great strides yourself. Push yourself, stretch your understanding of the world, and in the words of One Direction, nobody can drag you down. I am proud to be sharing this stage with all of these incredible individuals, and I wish you all the best of luck in the future. I know that this class is amazing and will accomplish many things. It is now time for the world to see our greatness, too. As you leave this auditorium, there is no reason for you to be scared about the future. Our time at Early College Academy has more than prepared us for our futures, and we will be able to take whatever the world throws at us and come out on top. In the words of William Shakespeare, "It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, "but in ourselves." As you walk out of these auditorium doors, you will be in full control of your life and your future. It is up to you to use your inner greatness to achieve the destiny of your dreams, thank you.

GABINO NORIEGA: Oh man, I wish I could speak that well. Good job, Abbie. Okay, so I'm gonna introduce the teacher that's gonna introduce the next student, and she's a really awesome teacher. She's our Chinese teacher for CEC, and she knows this student really well, so I'm sure she'll be able to tell you all about her. So without further ado, here's Ms. Rubing Hsu.

RUBING HSU: Ruth Mueller took my Chinese class for three years. In the first week of class, I asked all students to tell me two things they want in their Chinese names. Ruth told me she liked to cook. Therefore, I name her Chou Sing. Chou means skillful, Sing means fragrant. At Meet Autumn festival in my class, all students taste the Chinese moon cake and sun cake for the first time. Later, Ruth's father told me that Ruth try and succeeded in making Chinese sun cake at home for a bake sale. My reaction was, wow, because Chinese sun cake is not just that easy to make, even for an experienced cook. In Chinese writing, there is a simplified version and the more complex traditional version. Ruth chooses to write traditional version and sticks with it for the entire three years. She impresses me with her diligence and rigor in learning a foreign language. She will always do the drills without trying any shortcut. In my class, all students need to make their Chinese business card. On her card, she writes her dream job as a college professor of Ivy League. Her passion is quantum physics and chocolate. She likes to talk about what she learned in her robotics class, and she showed me the Chinese characters printed on the parts. In my 13 years of teaching at CEC, Ruth is the second non-ethnic Chinese student to take the AP exam. She's not afraid of challenges. Sometimes I wonder if my teaching is good enough for her. She practices ballet for years, and her family likes the outdoors. Next month, Ruth will visit China. And her itinerary includes several days at Guilin, the city famous for its unique landscape of mountain and river. I can't wait to hear about her experience when she returns from the China trip. As a teacher, I feel so lucky to have Ruth in my class for three years. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you our valedictorian, Ruth Mueller.

GABINO NORIEGA: There we go.

RUTH MUELLER: Thanks. I'm not so great at words, so I kept my speech short. I'm honored and delighted to speak in front of everyone here today. I'm thankful for all the support that the teachers and administrators at this school, all the support that they've been, they're exceptional resources and very kind, and I've learned so much from them, and I think everyone here has as well. They help with homework, college planning, great advice, and they are fantastic resources for chocolate. I appreciate the opportunities available here to learn, and I'm very grateful for the support outside of the school that I've had the privilege to had, to be part of, from ballet and church. High school's been pretty good. It has its good, has its great, has its not so great. I've enjoyed many of the events, including the freshman river trip, haunted houses, robot battles, and Twinkle Light parades. Definitely repeating that. Most of my time, and most of many people here time was spent studying or working on homework because the focus has never been all the events or the celebrations, but what we can learn from the classes and from the time we are privileged to be able to spend with our teachers. There are a thousand things that I wish I could've had time to do, but I'm satisfied that focusing on academics at this school is a great choice and will lead to good opportunities in the future. It feels weird to be at the end of senior year. I keep having this nagging feeling that I need to study for finals. It just seems like the end of another school year, like I'll be coming back here in the fall next year. I can still procrastinate accepting that high school is over until diplomas are handed out, so I'm gonna do that. Looking to the future, that it's not coming yet 'cause it's after graduation, I'm excited for summer break, and I'm excited to have a summer break without classes for the first time in a very long time 'cause we've all had the fantastic chance to take summer dual credit classes as well, which have been tremendously helpful. I'm excited personally to leave for college and head away and meet lots of new people. And I'm nervous to leave for college because I will be going away and meeting lots of new people. The future is inherently uncertain, and I suppose we'll all have to deal with it as it comes. Best of luck to everyone, hoping that you won't need it.

PATRICK ARGUELLES: I'm gonna bring Mr. Noriega back up to do student recognitions.

GABINO NORIEGA: Oh, sorry. Okay, so, I'm trying to find 'em, I'm sorry. Oh, oh, they're right in front of my face. Okay, sorry about that. All right, so special awards. These students have all done really excellent things here at ECA over the last four years. Some of it was winning like international science fairs, some of it was dancing in the new building where no one else thought they could see them, but we saw them on the video cameras. Some of 'em were playing international competitions for piano, some of 'em were earning their Eagle Scouts. Some of 'em were running lighting and sound at Albuquerque High School's theater program, and then complaining how the acting was bad. Some of them were volunteering like crazy around all of Albuquerque and even around the state. But they all did something really special, and that's why we wanna make sure that everybody recognizes them. First off, I'd like to recognize the ECA Student Body Officers, Abbie Craff and Dania Hijazi. Please stand. Thank you, ladies, for always just being so awesome with planning and just being organized and trying to keep me in line, too, so I appreciate it, thank you. Next, we have our Citizenship Award recipient, JJ Pena. He was always just a great young man to talk to and discuss who would win in a fight. Academic Achievement is Rusty Ludwigsen. Unfortunately, he couldn't be here today. He is at the National Science Fair Competition, so that's why he's not here. That says a lot. Our awards for Academic Excellence go to Mike Adams and Ishan Loomba. One of them's gonna be everybody's boss, and the other one, we're gonna just listen to his music all the time. And our Principal Awards go to Kioshi Morosin and Ruby Wilson. These kids are the most dependable group of students that we've had in a long time, so congratulations, guys. I'm gonna bring up Mr. Arguelles.

PATRICK ARGUELLES: Esteemed APS School Board Members, Ms. Peggy Muller-Aragon and Ms. Barbara Petersen, I would like to present the class of 2019. They have met all of the graduation requirements. Having a little bit of a hard time seeing this. They have met all the graduation requirements as set forth by the Albuquerque Public School District and the Board of Education, along with the New Mexico Public Education Department. To you, I present the class of 2019. Excuse me.

BOARD MEMBER PEGGY MULLER-ARAGON: On behalf of the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education, we accept the 2019 graduating class of Early College Academy. And graduates, back when I was in high school, more than four decades ago, I had a favorite dancer, and he was phenomenal. His name was Baryshnikov. I'm sure a lot of you remember him. And he had some words of wisdom that I want to pass on to you. He said, "Don't make it your goal to be the best. "Best is just a label. "It's something that someone else gives to you. "Rather, be better, that is more personal." So I say, every day, in some way, as you begin your journey in life, be better. Congratulations, graduates.

PATRICK ARGUELLES: Okay, thank you. We're gonna have the graduates please stand. Mike Adams, will you lead us out? So while they're going around, 'cause it's a nice long trip, I believe they're gonna play the slideshow. It's gonna take a couple of minutes for us to get around to the other side. And then we are going to hand out diplomas.

 

(slideshow of student portraits begins to play)

♪ Hope when you take that jump ♪ ♪ You don't fear the fall ♪ ♪ Hope when the water rises ♪ ♪ You built a wall ♪ ♪ Hope when the crowd screams out ♪ ♪ They're screaming your name ♪ ♪ Hope if everybody runs ♪ ♪ You choose to stay ♪ ♪ Hope that you fall in love ♪ ♪ And it hurts so bad ♪ ♪ Hey ♪ ♪ The only way you can know ♪ ♪ You gave it all you had ♪ ♪ And I hope that you don't suffer ♪ ♪ But take the pain ♪ ♪ Hope when the moment comes you'll say ♪ ♪ I, I did it all ♪ ♪ I, I did it all ♪

LYNN RAMSEY: We will be playing that after the ceremony as well. Thank you, graduates, I know it was a long walk to the stadium, so let's get this going. First, I'd like to introduce Mike Adams. Mike will continue in his internship at Sandia Labs while he attends UNM and works towards a degree in computer science. He wanted to thank Mr. Wolverton for his mentorship in both math and computer science. His teaching and projects reinforce Mike's goal to work in the field of computer science. His favorite memory of ECA is of Mr. Walker scaring folks with a chainsaw during the haunted house. Nick Louis Berkopec. Nick will continue at UNM and is already well on his way to becoming a math professor. He thanks his parents and his teachers, and his favorite memory is of prom and Dr. Nesbitt. Brianna Monet Chavez. Brianna will be joining the Air Force and will be stationed in Texas. She wants to travel the world and become a journalist. She thanks her mom and dad for bringing her into this world and her mom especially for the emotional support and help. She also thanks her nana for helping her through it all, and all of her other family and friends. Her best memory is of the fun she had with her friends, the ones that helped keep her on her feet and get through the challenges of the high school experience. Madeleine Summer Christison. A National Merit Finalist and graduate of the CEC EMT Program, Mattie will attend Texas A&M in the fall to continue to work as an EMT and study medicine. She wants to be a surgeon one day. She thanks her parents for supporting her in her ambitions and helping her in every way that they could. She will always remember dissecting a cat in her pre-med class. Zachary David Christopher. Zach has been accepted into the New Mexico State Fire Training Academy in Socorro, New Mexico. He is currently a cadet with the Moriarty Fire Station and plans on becoming a firefighter long term. He wanted to thank Mr. Fretwell for helping him graduate and his family for supporting him. Also his boss and coworker, Fred and Pat, for teaching him and pushing him to do his best, and all of his other teachers. The river trip is a favorite memory for Zach, and also going to the Isotopes game with Mr. Potter. Abigail Rose Craff. Also a National Merit Finalist, Abbie will attend Notre Dame in the fall as a member of the Honors Program there. She will double major in Economics and German and wants to work as an intelligence analyst someday. She thanks the administrators and the teachers at ECA and her family and coaches who supported her and helped her to be who she is today. She will always remember the freshman river trip and seeing her classmates in a different light, and both the work and fun that brought them all together. Lena Christine Cunningham. A cadet in the CEC Police Service Aide Program, Lena plans to attend correctional officer training after graduation. She wants to be an APD officer and become a detective like her father. She thanks her father for being a constant motivator and inspiration in her life and for her future. Her favorite memory is of the family she met in the PSA class and of her best friends Kadalina, Emma, and Ashley, and all the stress, tears, and laughter they shared together. Morgan Currier. Morgan is planning to attend the University of New Mexico where he will also play rugby. He intends to study criminal justice. He would like to thank his mom, because no matter how hard he was on her, she still pushed him to become the best person he could be, and she never gave up. The freshman trip to the river is also a favorite memory for Morgan. Nikita David Dougan. An early graduate, a year ahead of his time, Nikita will attend the University of New Mexico. His goals are to become a biologist for the Center of Disease Control and to write a book someday. He thanks his sixth grade English teacher, Mrs. Lake, because she is the reason he always tries to do his best in school and at writing. Bailey Giese. Bailey Giese could not make it tonight, but she was also a graduate of the CEC EMT Program and will attend Oklahoma Christian University to study medicine. She wanted to thank her mom for encouraging her to succeed. She also wanted to thank Dr. Baker and Mr. Reed for inspiring her to pursue a career in healthcare. Sa'angna Mi'ila Gollette. Mi'ila will attend UNM, and she plans to major in biology and minor in videography. She dreams of making film documentaries of marine wildlife, particularly endangered species and their habitats. She thanks her lovely grandma for being her best friend and supporting her decisions for her future and getting her through high school. She will never forget starting her mornings in English joking around with Ashley, Denise, and Zach, while Mr. Fretwell was constantly telling them to be quiet. Alez Hernandez-Sanchez.

- [Man] Go, Alez!

LYNN RAMSEY: Alez will continue, will be attending CNM to study nursing. She thanks her parents because throughout high school, they taught her to work extra hard and to take pride in her failures as well as her accomplishments. Her favorite memory of ECA is the freshman trip to Tingley Beach, and she will forever cherish the memories that she made with her classmates. Dania Hijazi. Also a graduate of the EMT Program, Dania will attend UNM to work towards her Bachelor's degree in biochemistry and continue on to become a physician assistant. She is grateful for her parents for always acknowledging her achievements and encouraging her to do better. She will always remember the amazing lunches with friends. Whether laughing or crying, she knew they were making memories that would be lasting forever. Angela Hristopoulos. Hristopoulos. Angela is undecided at this time as to what she will study, but she does plan to attend the University of New Mexico in the fall. She will always remember being a part of the haunted house at CEC and of her prom. Aleksi Leiva is another graduate of ECA who could not be here this evening. Trinity Lester-Young. Trinity's going on to attend New Mexico State University. She's going to major in biology and wants to become an orthopedic surgeon. She would like to thank her teachers and the administration for supporting her through high school. She'd like to thank the support given to her from her family and friends as well, through the hard times and the good. A favorite memory of hers is the time spent during her freshman year at the haunted house. The volunteering that she did to help set it up, as well as going through the haunted house with her friends is something she will never forget. Ishan Loomba. An internationally selected Cliburn contestant, Ishan will continue to study piano at Oberland Conservatory in college. He hopes to become a concert pianist and composer, and maybe study neuroscience one day as well. He wants to acknowledge and thank a family friend, Uncle Eric, who sadly passed away last year, but always supported him in his goals. His favorite memories of ECA are dissecting a starfish in Mr. Walker's biology class, and Mr. Tokuda's Wile E. Coyote acceleration lab, and his lunch conversations with his friend Mike Adams and all the fun they had. He always looked forward to that time they had together. We mentioned Rusty Ludwigsen. He is currently competing in Phoenix, Arizona, and at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair with his research that looks at innovative stroke therapy. After assessing his college options, Rusty has opted to remain here as a Regents' Scholar and attend the University of New Mexico to study biochemistry, continuing to work at the Brain and Behavioral Health Institute, and publish his work in both migraine and stroke science. As an undergraduate, Rusty plans to study biochemistry and pursue an MD PhD, eventually both practicing and researching medicine. Rusty would like to thank his mother who has provided him unlimited stream of support. And they're watching from Phoenix, so we wanted to shout out to him. Denise Maestas. Denise will start at CNM in the fall and wants to major in criminal justice. She thanks her mom and dad for always fighting for her and encouraging her to experience new opportunities. One of her favorite memories of ECA is sitting in the parking lot with her friends and making memories she'll never forget. Felicity Deann Montoya. A graduate of the CEC Nurse Assistant Program, Felicity will attend Central New Mexico Community College and then on to UNM to pursue a career in the medical field as a nurse. She thanks her mom and dad for being her biggest supporters and inspiration. She will continue to make them proud. Her favorite memory is of being in Student Government and helping families in need and buying them Christmas gifts. She also very much enjoyed the Nursing Assistant Program and the opportunity to participate in clinicals and work with patients. Emily Morgan-Tracy. Emily will attend the University of New Mexico in the fall and plans to pursue a career in the medical field. Hopefully Emily will continue to pursue her talent in music in playing the violin, and even teach someday. Kioshi Morosin. A National Merit Scholar, Kioshi will attend the University of New Mexico. He wanted to thank Katya Adams, Mike Nord, and Ralph Adkins for their support and constant encouragement. Ruth Mueller. Also a National Merit Scholar, Ruth will attend Harvey Mudd in Claremont, California to study math, engineering, or physics. She thanks Mrs. Selia for her advice and kindness and Jessica Lakesman for inspiration and kindness as well. Her most fun at ECA was working in the haunted house every year. Kevin Myllamoto. Also a graduate of the CEC Nursing Assistant Program, Kevin will attend New Mexico State University and continue to study nursing as well as computer science. He thanks Mr. Noriega for always keeping it real and pushing him to be the best he can be and be a strong leader. Also Mrs. Lovato for telling him about ECA. A favorite memory was spraying bathroom spray in Noriega's classroom, attending the Winter Ball and prom, senior ditch day, and making memories with his closest and best friends. Jacob D. Newlander. Jacob will attend the University of New Mexico and wants to become a musician and a history professor. He thanks his mom and also Mr. Noriega for letting his band practice in his room at lunch. He will always remember walking through the halls of ECA with Santi and singing "Shall I Stay or Shall I Go Now" by the Clash. Delysia Therese Nicasio. Also a graduate of the CEC Nursing Assistant Program, Delysia will start at CNM and work towards her Bachelor's degree in Nursing and one day become a nurse practitioner. She thanks her mom and her family for supporting her, inspiring her, and encouraging her through high school and her accomplishments. Her best memory is of being in the Nursing Assistant Program and having the opportunity to care for many elderly patients and making a difference in their lives. Ayla Ofer. Ayla is a graduate of the CEC EMT Program and plans to continue to study medicine and attend the University of New Mexico. She thanks her mom for being her rock and a constant source of support and encouragement, and for believing in her when she didn't believe in herself. Her mom will always be willing to fight for anyone who got in the way of her happiness or goals, and she showed her who it was when she wanted to be. Alex Olivencia. Also a graduate of the CEC EMT Program, Alex will continue to study medicine at UNM and pursue his paramedic license. He wants to be an anesthesiologist or some specialist in the medical field. He thanks his grandparents, AKA Meema and Papa, for their continued support, and his mom and dad for pushing him to do better and choose better, for being there every step of the way and encouraging him to dream and become. Alexandra Pena. A graduate of the CEC EMT Program, Alex will attend UNM in the fall in hopes to continue to study in the field of medicine and become a surgeon one day with the emphasis in emergency medicine and wilderness medicine. She thanks her brother, Andrew Pena, for always believing in her and being by her side, as well as her mom and dad for supporting her every step of the way. Her favorite memory is of the friends and of dancing at lunch to the song "Dancing Queen." JJ Pena. JJ will attend UNM in the fall as well. His interest in telling stories and learning more about different ways stories are told, be it books, games, video games, movies, web series, or screenplays, he wants to become a professional storyteller in one of those ways with a focus on the hero's journey and the human condition. He was inspired by the late Monte Ohn, who encouraged him to get back into storytelling and was a great influence for him creatively. He appreciates and will remember ECA for helping him to come out of his shell and be more social and realize more of his own potential. Kadalina Kassandra Perry.

- Yeah!

LYNN RAMSEY: Kadalina plans to attend CNM in the fall and become a cardiologist or a psychiatrist. She would like to thank her close friends and family for supporting her, and her dog Phoenix for always being there. Also Lena, Emma, and Ashley for all of the memories, laughs, and cries. Ashley Ramos. Ashley will start at CNM and plans to major in criminology and criminal justice and English. She hopes to one day become a crime scene investigator. She thanks her mom for never giving up on her no matter how much she wanted to give up herself, and she's truly her best friend. She will always remember the blueberry smoothies, car rides, how she gained a true and deeper understanding of love and family. Mi'ila, Denise, Lena, Emma, and Kadalina have given her constant support and love and are her sisters from a different family. Alexander Rodriguez. Alex is also a National Merit Scholar and will plan to attend the University of New Mexico. Santiago Alejandra Saenz. Santi will attend the University of New Mexico in hopes to become a musician or a biologist. He thanks Mr. Walker, Mr. Noriega, Ms. Adams, Ms. Gordon, his parents, and his dogs. Alexandra Sartori is another graduate of ECA who could not be here tonight. She's gonna be at New Mexico Tech in the fall. We're very proud of her. Keller Sedillo-Garrido. Keller will attend New Mexico State University and plans to major in computer science. He thanks his Uncle Martin for inspiring him to become an engineer. His best memories of ECA are the school dances and hanging out with his guy friends. Emma Elizabeth Ozemba Sewell. Emma will start at CNM and eventually transfer to Eastern New Mexico University to major in forensic science. She wants to become a crime scene investigator and do fingerprinting and blood splatter analysis. She thanks her family, Mom and Dad and Abby, for always pushing her to be a better person. Her best memory of ECA is spending every day after school with Lena and Kadalina and going on many, many adventures with them. She also created the assembly in 2018 for school safety. Caleb Sontag. A graduate of the CEC EMT Program, Caleb will continue to study emergency medicine at UNM to get his paramedic license. His best memories of ECA are of making puns in class. Jaimasan Paige Sutton. Jaimasan will attend UNM and plans to minor in music and major in neurology and become a neurological researcher. She thanks her mom for being so supportive and for knowing how to make the best out of a bad situation. She will remember the haunted house her senior year, and when she had Mr. Walker's snake Herbie wrapped around her neck while she gave tours of the haunted house. Noah Tafoya. Noah wants to be a radiologist and a writer. He will start at CNM in the Radiology Tech Program and later transfer to UNM for his Bachelor's degree. He would like to thank his mom and his dad for putting his interests first and providing the best possible route for him through school. His favorite memory is of the freshman river trip as well, and also playing football with his friends at lunch. Olivia Velasquez. Also a graduate of the CEC EMT Program, Olivia will attend UNM and continue on in emergency medicine to get her paramedic license. She wants to be a medical researcher. She thanks Mr. Reed for introducing her to the medical field and will always remember their senior trip to Meow Wolf. And last but not least, Ruby Grace Wilson. Ruby will attend New Mexico State University and plans to become a preschool or elementary teacher. She thanks her sisters, parents, grandparents, and her church family. Her best memory in high school is working with an amazing group of preschoolers at Eugene Field Elementary School. And there you have it, the class of 2019, congratulations. I guess Ruby's gotta come out now.

PATRICK ARGUELLES: She will. So Ruby Wilson will now lead her classmates in the final writ of passage.

RUBY WILSON: Graduates, please rise. Our tassels represent the integrity, courage, perseverance that we all have gained throughout our time here at ECA. And now to symbolize our transition from high school to our future, please join me in the turning of the tassels from right to left. Congratulations, class of 2019, we did it!

PATRICK ARGUELLES: You may be seated. ECA class of 2019, congratulations. Given the number of mentions our Language Arts teachers got last night at the Senior Awards Banquet, it makes sense to quote a famous author in these final thoughts. Mark Twain said, "20 years from now you will be "more disappointed by the things that you didn't do "than by the ones you did do. "So throw off the bowlines. "Sail away from the safe harbor. "Catch the trade winds in your sails. "Explore, dream, discover." As you sail away from ECA and explore and discover, I hope you take a piece of Early College Academy pride with you into the next phase of your life. I hope you find college life rewarding and that you fall in love with your new school the way we fell in love with you. I hope you find a career that makes it a pleasure to get up in the morning and keeps you proud each and every day. I hope you know the blessings of good health. I hope you're close with your own parents and recognize their wisdom for many, many years to come. And most of all, I hope you remember us and keep Early College Academy alive in your hearts for the rest of your lives. Every year I take time to remind you of some of the lessons you've learned in your time at ECA. I've added a few this year based on this class. I know they will last a lifetime. Remember to say "please" and "thank you." Leave things better than the way you found them. Learn something new every day. Forgive others and forgive yourself often. In honor of one of our award winners tonight, it's okay to say, "I'm right," especially if you are, but don't assume you're right every time, even if you think you are, and be humble. Take advantage of the technology that is at your disposal, but the best form of communication is voice to voice or face to face. Pause before you post. What you post on Instagram, what you tweet or Snapchat, your Vines, YouTubes, any social media you use, is always public. You are always being interviewed. Be mindful of what you say, how you dress, and how you treat others. You never know who is watching or listening. Have self-respect. Be comfortable in your skin, love who you are. Each and every one of you is special and important. Volunteer. People who volunteer for good causes report higher levels of happiness and health than those who don't volunteer. Volunteering gives you a sense of perspective. And finally, bend down once in a while, smell a flower, and smile. To you, and to my entire ECA family, how lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. And since he always has to, here is Mr. Noriega with the last word.

GABINO NORIEGA: Your period of service is over, my young Jedi. Go out and seek your fortune and may the force be with you. Guests, please rise as the graduates leave the floor. Parents and family and friends, your graduates will be meeting you guys on that side of the building. So if you guys wanna just go out and exit, and then go into the parking lot over here, that's where they'll be. So they'll be over there after they do their one picture out here, and then they're all yours. Thank you. What's up?

♪ Second that this world could give ♪

♪ I saw so many ♪

Graduates: 2019 List of Graduates (PDF)
Class Flower: Sunflower
Class Song: "I Lived" by One Republic
Class Animal: Goat

Top Students (Listed Alphabetically)

Michael Adams, Nicolas Berkopec, Madeleine Christison, Abigail Craff, Ishan Loomba, Russell Ludwigsen, Kioshi Morosin, Ruth Mueller, Alexander Rodriguez, Jaimasan Sutton

Special Thanks

Special thanks to: Veronica Lovato, Amanda Cortez, Zelma Medina, Nanette Grant, Yolan-da Herrera, Lupe Grado, Marianna Herrera, Harold Pope, and to everyone else on the ECA/CEC Team who helped make Commencement and all the Senior events a huge success.

eCADEMY High School

eCADEMY Graduation Transcript

SUSAN HEWATT: And there's no standing in the aisles allowed because we need to allow for room for the graduates to walk through. Please keep the aisles clear and we will begin in a moment. Thank you. Good morning friends, families and guests. We have come together today to acknowledge student achievement and success by celebrating the wonderful milestone of high school graduation. As a technology magnet high school in APS, eCADEMY is able to meet the needs of a wide variety of students from all over the city and surrounding communities of different ages, backgrounds, within our part time ConnectEd credit recovery program, our full time high school BlendEd Studio Program, our at home Independent Learning Program, and our Adult Diploma Recovery Program. Many of the students that come to our school have had life challenges and struggles that they have had to overcome in order to make it to this special day. We are proud to say our graduates will be moving on towards a positive future and have all been admitted to either a post-secondary school, the military, or a promising career. Please stand now and help me welcome the eCADEMY High School Graduating Class of 2019. At this time, I would like all of you to remain standing for the National Anthem. Thank you so much. You may all be seated.

ERIN EASLEY: Good morning It is my pleasure to introduce our special guests this morning. Please rise as I call your names and I'll ask that the audience please hold our applause until the end. Superintendent Raquel Reedy. Board of Education Member Candelaria Peterson. Patterson, I'm sorry Candelaria. Board of Education Member Barbara Petersen. Associate Superintendent of Leadership & Learning Zone 3 Yvonne Garcia. Executive Director of the Office of Innovation Deborah Elder. eCADEMY Principal Shellmarie Harris. eCADEMY Assistant Principal myself Erin Easley. eCADEMY Deans Mark Henton and Wes Hurley. eCADEMY Adult Education Program Coordinator Dane Weiler. eCADEMY Independent Program Coordinator Jackie Terrell. eCADEMY Instructional Coach Catherine Casaus. eCADEMY Special Education Department Chair Enrico Marselli. eCADEMY Counselors Susan Hewatt and Andrea Arellanes. I would like to now. Oh, you may all applaud for them. Thank you. And you may be seated. I would now like to introduce our student speaker from the eCADEMY graduating class of 2019. Please help me welcome Kylee Therkildsen.

KYLEE THERKILDEN: Thank you. My story may not be unique, but I am unique, and I sought out a unique educational experience. I was recently called unique and up until now, I believed being unique was something to be ashamed of but now I have learned that to be unique is to be beautiful, passionate, proud and adventurous. And today I want to take a moment to talk about my non-traditional school experience, my personal experience, and my future. Let's discuss my unique school experience. eCADEMY is what APS will define as a non-traditional school. With the small class sizes I was able to use and express myself in a way that I couldn't do before. And with a more, oh sorry. I apologize. And a more customizable class schedule, I was able to find a job that I have loved and maintained for two years. Now let's talk about my personal experience. One of the main reasons I moved to eCADEMY was due to the negative student body in my previous school. However, with eCADEMY everyone was in the same boat and whether we knew it or not, we all had a similar story to help relate to one another. Around the time that I transferred to eCADEMY, my family and I were going through a very tough time and because of that situation, going to school became even more difficult, however, I had teachers who took the time to check in on me and support me, I was able to stay motivated through the hard time. The choices I have made while being at eCADEMY have been nothing but positive, I have been able to do more and accomplish more. Finally, I want to talk about my unique future. To say I know exactly what I want to do with my life going forward would be a lie, but to say I am clueless would also be a lie. As it stands, I plan to attend CNM for two years to earn my Associates in Liberal Arts and then move to Western Washington University which is located in Bellingham, Washington, to finish my studies and graduate with a degree in Linguistics Anthropology. Now I understand that plans change and I will embrace those changes as they come. The lessons I have learned both in school and in my personal life have set me up for a more positive future. Today I have talked about my non-traditional school experience, my personal experience and my future. And before I end this speech and leave high school forever, I want to take a moment to thank my mom and my dad. In early January of 2018 my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and ever since that day, our lives became very difficult, but as of April 18th my dad has been officially declared cancer free. I know without their constant support I wouldn't be here today. And I also want to thank my counselors for giving me an opportunity to speak here today and to my teachers, for inspiring me and everyone here that when we put our minds to something anything is achievable. I want to part with this quote said by Winston Churchill. "History will be kind to me for I intend to write it." Thank you.

SUSAN HEWATT: Thank you Kylee. It is with great pride that we announce our two graduates with the highest GPAs of eCADEMY's class of 2019 are our Salutatorian, Ericka Sena, with a GPA of 3.695 and our Valedictorian, Seth Payson, with a GPA of 4.25. Congratulations. We will now honor our graduates of 2019. Graduates please come forward as your name is called to accept your diploma.

- Thank you.

- [Susan] Lauren Aguirre. Isaac Anaya. Alexandra Aragon. Guillermo Archibeque. Jeremiah Boone. Kavan Bowman. Danielle Cano. Jasmin Carmona. Ariana Chavez. Dominique Chavez. Mario Chavez. Micheal Chavez. Raissa Chavez. Patrick Conlon. Marissa Cortez. Ava Crowder. Kaiah Cumpian.

- [Man] Go Kaiah.

- [Susan] Deidra Daly. Pablo Duenas. Michael Dunn. Joseph Elder Jr. Luna Feliciano. Aaron Fortin. Lorenzo Gallegos. Francisco Gonzales. Jesus Gonzalez. Darian Helms. Carlos Herrera. Michael Hurley. Cassandra Jansson. Ethan Legate. Noel Lucero. Avionna Martinez. Mason Macera. Joe O'Brien. Jessica Ornelas. Jeremy Ortiz.

- [Woman] Go Jeremy!

- [Susan] Cassandra Padilla. Seth Payson. Natasha Pino. Distiney Pulido. Jasmine Ramirez. Iris Roldan. Matthew Sanborn. Aimee Sanchez. David Sandoval Solis. Kaneki Saraguard Skelton. Ericka Sena. Matthew Shelendewa. Kylee Therkildsen. Izaea Vigil. Zacharie Watteyne. Lauryn White. Tara Yannotti. Tristan Zottneck.

SHELLMARIE HARRIS: Good morning honored guests, ladies and gentlemen. A graduation ceremony is always such a special occasion: the culmination years of hard work; actualization of goals attained and acknowledgement of success achieved. So, it is only fitting that today we commemorate the road that we have all traveled together these last few years. The end result, ladies and gentlemen, of our coming together, keeping together and working together in spite of the obstacles that we may have faced along the way is the graduating class of 2019. We are so proud of the successes that they have made with the opportunities that they were offered. Congratulations, we are inordinately proud of you all! May your years ahead continue to be characterized by empathy, compassion, objectivity and a willingness to take risks. May you always lead by example and work hard and play straight. May your successes be many and your tribulations be few and far between. We wish you everything that you so richly deserved in the years ahead. It has been an honor and a privilege watching your progress and your success! Mrs. Raquel Reedy, Mrs. Barbara Petersen, Mrs. Candelaria Patterson, Ms. Yvonne Garcia and Ms. Deborah Elder, it is my honor to present eCADEMY's Graduating Class of 2019. This class has met all of the requirements for graduation set forth by the New Mexico Public Education Department and the Albuquerque Board of Education. They are fully certified for graduation. Please accept our Class of 2019.

BOARD MEMBER CANDELARIA PATTERSON: Okay I'm here, can we go? All right. So here we are. Good morning. It is my pleasure to be here with you today and I wanna thank and congratulate the parents who are here in support of your students, the principals, teachers and staff who have supported you and made a difference for you to be here today. So without further ado, it is my pleasure to accept in, okay. You know I don't have my teleprompter. Okay.

BOARD MEMBER BARBARA PETERSON: Oh behalf.

BOARD MEMBER CANDELARIA PATTERSON:  So yeah, on behalf of the Albuquerque Public Schools, Ms. Barbara.

BOARD MEMBER BARBARA PETERSON: We are absolutely thrilled to accept the graduating class of eCADEMY for 2019. Congratulations!

BOARD MEMBER CANDELARIA PATTERSON: Congratulations!

SHELLMARIE HARRIS: Graduates, please rise. At this time, you may move your tassels to the left side of your cap. Congratulations graduates! Friends and family, guests, thank you for attending our ceremony. I now present to you eCADEMY's High School's Class of 2019.

Eldorado High School

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." —Nelson Mandela

Eldorado Graduation Transcript

(audience applauding)

(people murmuring)

MARTIN SANDOVAL: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the commencement ceremony for Eldorado High School. Let us please stand and welcome the class of 2019.

(audience applauding and cheering)

("Pomp and Circumstance")

(audience applauding and cheering)

Please remain standing for the presentation of colors by the Eldorado High School Marine Corp Junior ROTC and the National Anthem performed by the Eldorado High School Band. It is tradition at Eldorado that we stand in silence, gentlemen remove their hats, and that we remain standing until the colors have left the floor.

(drumsticks trilling)

("The Star-Spangled Banner" by Francis Scott Key)

(audience applauding)

(drumsticks trilling)

Seniors, please be seated. Audience, please be seated.

HANNAH NILSSON: The class of 2019 would like to extend a special welcome to our honored guests. Please hold your applause until all of the guests have been introduced.

RYAN OZATALAR: Troy Hughes, Associate Superintendent for Leadership and Learning, Zone 4.  Dr. Gabriella Blakey, Associate Superintendent for Leadership and Learning, Zone 1. Lucinda Sanchez, Associate Superintendent for Special Education. Dr. David Peercy, President of Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education. And Barbara Peterson, Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education.

(audience applauding)

SAMANTHA DEBEVEC: Martin Sandoval, Principal, Eldorado High School. Rachel Weihe, Assistant Principal, Eldorado High School. Casey Cooper, Counseling Department Chair.

(audience applauding)

DEVIN MARTINEZ: Tim Lutz, Senior Class Sponsor. Ken Ortega, Senior Class Sponsor. And Chelsea McCoy, Senior Class Sponsor.

(audience applauding)

EVAN O-CONNELL: Tejas Kandath, Salutatorian. And Lauren Harstad, Valedictorian and Student Body Historian.

(audience applauding)

HANNAH NILSSON: Sandra Casaus, Student Body President. Emily Symons, Student Body 2nd Vice-President. Mackenzie Hendrex, Student Body Treasurer. We would also like to recognize two other groups of Eldorado's guests. Eldorado's distinguished department chairs and cluster administrators who are seated on the floor to our left.

(audience applauding)

- [Woman] Let's go, Tejas.

TEJAS KANDATH: Lauren and I are very different people. Our high school experiences have been very different.

LAUREN HARSTAD: While I spent my mornings at zero hour for Senate, Tejas spent his weekends at debate tournaments.

TEJAS KANDATH: Lauren did her homework at home, as the word implies, whereas I always did my assignments the period before it was due, an equally valid strategy.

LAUREN HARSTAD: Ultimately, once we got into the swing of things, high school flew past us and now we are here at the end of the road.

TEJAS KANDATH: In these last few moments of your time as an Eagle, stop for a second and appreciate what it took to get to this point.

LAUREN HARSTAD: Among all of us here, some spent hours on a bus to band competitions, while others remained at school putting together enthralling tragedies and hysterical comedies.

TEJAS KANDATH: Many of us spent our Friday nights watching the football games and getting covered in colorful dust, while others spent a quiet night at home preparing for their next chess match.

LAUREN HARSTAD: Even though we are a diverse group of people and we all had different experiences, there are also many that we share.

TEJAS KANDATH: EHS, as many of you know, stands for excellence, honor, and spirit, something we were never allowed to forget.

LAUREN HARSTAD: We all wore the classic white and Texas orange at some point.

TEJAS KANDATH: We all had to spend way too much time in front of computers taking banal, superfluous, state-mandated tests.

(audience cheering and applauding)

LAUREN HARSTAD: And when the going got tough for us, we banded together as a community and always persevered.

TEJAS KANDATH: We are strong both as a group and as individuals.

LAUREN HARSTAD: And we hope all of you take that Eldorado spirit with you wherever you decide to go.

TEJAS KANDATH: We are an incredibly capable group of graduates and we know that the class of 2019 will go on to achieve amazing things.

LAUREN HARSTAD: The next few years will fly by, but we are confident that you can succeed wherever life takes you.

TEJAS KANDATH: Thanks for all of the adventures, the journey, and the time spent with us these past four years.

LAUREN HARSTAD: And always remember.

LAUREN HARSTAD and TEJAS KANDATH: (in unison) It's great to be an Eagle.

(audience applauding)

(people murmuring)

(audience cheering)

GIRL: Go Alexis!

("Seasons of Love")

♪ 525,600 minutes ♪

♪ 525,000 moments so dear ♪

♪ 525,600 minutes ♪

♪ How do you measure, measure a year ♪

♪ In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee ♪

♪ In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife ♪

♪ 525,600 minutes ♪

♪ How do you measure a year in the life ♪

♪ How about love ♪

♪ How about love ♪

♪ How about love ♪

♪ Measure in love ♪

♪ Seasons of love ♪

♪ Seasons of love ♪

♪ 525,600 minutes ♪

♪ 525,000 journeys to plan ♪

♪ 525,600 minutes ♪

♪ How do you measure the life of a woman or a man ♪

♪ In truth that she learns ♪

♪ Or in times that he cried ♪

♪ In bridges he burned ♪

♪ Or the way that she dies ♪

♪ It's time now to sing out ♪

♪ Though the story never ends ♪

♪ Let's celebrate ♪

♪ Remember a year in the life of friends ♪

♪ Remember the love ♪

♪ Remember the love ♪

♪ Remember the love ♪

♪ Measure in love ♪

♪ Seasons of love ♪

♪ Seasons of love ♪

♪ 525,600 minutes ♪

♪ 525,000 moments so dear ♪

♪ 525,600 moments ♪

♪ How do you measure a year in the life ♪

♪ In daylights, in sunsets, in minutes, in cups of coffee ♪

♪ In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife ♪

♪ 525,600 minutes ♪

♪ How do you measure a year in the life ♪

♪ How about love ♪

♪ How about love ♪

♪ How about love ♪

♪ Measure in love ♪

- [Man] Yeah!

(audience applauding)

HANNAH NILSSON: All right, good afternoon everyone. Friends, family, faculty, staff, and alumni, thank you all for being here. Any children left unattended will be sold and sequestered to Ms. Coughlin, so keep an eye out.

(audience laughing)

As for the class of 2019, let's congratulate ourselves on making it here. I'm Hannah Nilsson, your Senior Class President, and beside me is Ryan Ozatalar, your Vice President, Sam Debevec, your Second Vice President, Devin Martinez, your Secretary, and Evan O'Connell, your Treasurer. But you probably remember that from subtweeting us after our rained out Senior Sunrise and choice of class song. But never mind that, let's think about turning our tassels and beginning a new chapter of our lives. Not long ago, we were walking down the halls of Eldorado High School not knowing what to expect. We were confused by the three buildings we had classes in, as if it was a Texas orange labyrinth shouting EL at us. We soon moved onto very late nights and early mornings not knowing whether we would get a massive test, a lesson on the zoo with Ms. Birch, or a truck getting run into the side of vocational. Now that we are ready to move on from high school, we won't be able to see the familiar faces we see every day. We will be entering a new world we have yet to experience.

RYAN OZATALAR: We have all looked forward to entering this new world for the past four years. Now that it is here, you may be nervous or scared, but there is no need. Each and every one of you are gonna go on to do amazing things with your lives. We have persevered and matured so much since freshman year. We've had to deal with devastating events that have shaped our lives forever and brought us closer together. As we look back at those who've helped us get here, there is one thing that is for certain, your families are extremely proud of you, they are relieved, and this would be a most opportune time to ask for money.

(audience laughing)

I know everyone here is at least somewhat excited for what the future holds, even if you have no idea what you want to do or pursue. But by graduating from Eldorado, you are already on the right track to success.

SAMANTHA DEBEVEC: The road ahead of us won't be easy. There will be obstacles, missed exits, potholes, and speed bumps, although none as bad as the ones at Eldorado. There will be some mistakes, but maybe not as intimidating as 11th grade AP English. As we embark on the new adventure called growing up, we will succeed, fail, and grow. So best of luck class of 2019, and in the words of the great street poet Post Malone, congratulations.

(audience cheering)

DEVIN MARTINEZ: Whether you're going to college, joining the military, or going directly into the workforce, I wish you the best of luck, and I hope not to see any of you on Live PD anytime soon.

(audience laughing)

It was a hard four years, but we're more prepared for what the future holds. High school is now but only a memory, a memory some of us will choose to cherish and love, and some of us will choose to forget. It is time to turn the page and start a new chapter in our lives, a chapter which is more important than any we have ever faced. Although it may feel like we are done, this is just another break. We have to keep moving and become the successful people we are meant to be.

How was that? SAMANTHA DEBEVEC: That was good.

EVAN O'CONNELL: Every single one of us sitting in this stadium is a completely changed and different person compared to the first time you entered Eldorado. At this point you must decide what you bring forward and what you leave behind. Bring forward the lessons, not only taught by teachers, but also by your peers. Choose what was right and what was wrong and bring it forward. Leave behind flooding a gym. Bring forward those who supported you every day, those who smiled at you in the hall and greeted you every morning. Leave behind spending pointless all-nighters, at least for a bit. Bring forward the tools that you learned from being in clubs, arts, athletics, and other activities. Leave behind the unparalleled stress of Rube Goldberg. Bring forward the memory of those we lost, for they brought us together, and will not be forgotten. They bonded us, and with those memories, we will forever be Eagles.

(audience applauding)

RACHEL WEIHE: We would like to bring up Jocelyn Lawrence to perform Landslide.

(audience applauding)

("Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac)

♪ I took my love and I took it down ♪

♪ I climbed a mountain then I turned around ♪

♪ And I saw my reflection ♪

♪ In the snow covered hills ♪

♪ Till the landslide brought me down ♪

♪ Oh, mirror in the sky ♪

♪ What is love ♪

♪ And can the child within my heart rise above ♪

♪ Can I sail through the changing ocean tides ♪

♪ Can I handle the seasons ♪

♪ Of my life, oh ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Well, I've been afraid of changin' ♪

♪ 'Cause I built my life around you ♪

♪ But time makes you bolder ♪

♪ Children get older ♪

♪ And I'm getting older too ♪

♪ Hmm ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Hmm ♪

♪ Well, I've been afraid of changin' ♪

♪ 'Cause I built my life around you ♪

♪ But time makes you bolder ♪

♪ Even children get older ♪

♪ And I'm getting older too ♪

♪ Well, I'm getting older too ♪

♪ So take this love and take it down ♪

♪ If you, if you climb a mountain and you turn around ♪

♪ And if you see my reflection ♪

♪ In the snow covered hills ♪

♪ Then the landslide will bring you down ♪

♪ And if you see my reflection ♪

♪ In the snow covered hills ♪

♪ Then maybe ♪

♪ Then maybe ♪

♪ Then maybe, maybe, maybe ♪

♪ The landslide will bring you down ♪

(audience applauding and cheering)

(chuckles)

MARTIN SANDOVAL: Good afternoon. Welcome parents, family, faculty, honored guests, and the class of 2019. You, the class of 2019 represent the standard of excellence, honor, and spirit that make Eldorado High School one of our nation's best. All that each of you has accomplished has earned you the distinction of being called an Eldorado High School graduate. What you have learned to this point and what you do from this point forward will determine the impact you will have on the world around you. You represent the future leaders of our society. In order to be a true leader, you must have integrity, because true leaders are followers of what is true, what is fair, and what is right. Without good character, you would only become the type of leaders our society doesn't need.

You stand today at the end of one part of your lives. Your adolescence is over, and you are now poised to enter the adult world. Your entry into adulthood is rightly a cause for celebration, as adulthood is filled with new and often exciting challenges and opportunities. Adulthood is also filled with the responsibility to make our nation and our world a better place for the generations to come. Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie, whose father was a secondary education teacher, said, you cannot hope to build a better world without improving individuals. We all must work for our own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity.

The completion of high school is one major step towards improving yourselves as individuals, and your educational experiences at Eldorado High School will help shape your future role in our society. Important decisions must be made and goals must be set to help you achieve your objectives. In virtually every profession you might choose, there is some way in which you can show compassion, lend a helping hand, and make a positive impact in the life of another. You will all have to confront many uncertainties as you make decisions regarding your future. We all face uncertainties about the decisions that we make, but isn't decision making and problem solving what life is all about?

Life isn't easy. However, when difficult times come your way, face them with the same patience, persistence, and determination that you have demonstrated in order to get to this point today. All the difficulties you encounter throughout your life will become opportunities, opportunities to learn from your mistakes, opportunities to become stronger for having persevered through something difficult, and opportunities to better understand what is most important to you in life. Whether you are choosing to continue with your education, join the armed forces, or enter the workforce, most of you will venture out on your own, in some respect or another, and begin your adult lives.

Today you represent the next generation of young adults, and the world is and will continue to be a better place because of each and every one of you. Please remember that you are here today not only because of your efforts, but also because of the efforts of your parents, family members, and friends who have loved, guided, and supported you throughout the years. Please remember your teachers who, by virtue of the career they chose, have made a positive impact on your lives, an impact which will be evident in your future accomplishments. Today you have your wings, and graduation is the final push. Now you are ready to soar. On behalf of myself and the faculty and staff of Eldorado High School, I wish to each and every one of you a happy, healthy, and productive life, and I hope that you share your amazing talents for the good of all. Congratulations to you, the graduating class of 2019.

(audience applauding)

Dr. Peercy and Ms. Peterson, the class of 2019 has met all the requirements for graduation as set forth by the Public Education Department of the State of New Mexico and the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education. They are fully certified for graduation. It is my pleasure to present to you the class of 2019.

(audience applauding)

BOARD MEMBER DAVID PEERCY: Well, on behalf of the Albuquerque Public School Board of Education, it's our great honor to accept this wonderful class of 2019 from Eldorado High School. Best wishes to all of you, and as you fly off to your wonderful opportunities in your future. So congratulations, class of 2019.

(audience applauding)

(audience members yelling)

- [Woman] Let's go, Becca!

(clapping)

- Tell me when. - All right, hang on.

- Go for it. - I'll wait for you.

(audience members yelling)

CASEY COOPER: Emily Abbott. (audience cheering)

Benjamin Aldrich.

Stone Anaya.

Christian Anaya-Leach.

Coby Anderson.

Collin Anderson.

Miranda Archuleta.

Jordan Armenta.

Noah Armstrong.

Portia Ashley.

Carmen Astorino.

Alan Avita-Mendiaz.

Elisa Baca.

Jakob Baca.

Matthew Baca.

Shelby Baca.

Allison Baker.

Quentin Baker.

Jonah Ball.

Cassandra Batchelar.

Graciela Beauregard.

Alesia Begay.

Justine Belin.

Marco Beltran.

Milana Benavides.

Jade Bennett.

Melina Bookert.

Vladislav Bragin.

Brandon Brane.

Devann Brane.

Kevin Brane.

Colexi Brazier.

Caleb Brooks.

Jack Brooks.

Julia Brown.

Miles Brown.

Dezmond Brundige.

Amanda Burdick.

Madison Cabagua.

Calen Callow.

Marcus Campos.

Mary Rose Campos.

Isaac Canales.

Taylure Canamar.

Lance Modesto Candelaria.

Ashleigh Carabajal.

David Carlson.

Seth Carlson.

Isai Carrillo.

Cameron Carter.

David Carter.

Jada Carter.

Erika Casares.

Sandra Casaus.

Natalia Cascante.

Sarah Catton.

Sydney Cawthon.

Alexandra Chacon.

Ivy Chacon.

Catalina Chapa.

Reuben Charlie.

Phat Chau.

Michael Chavez.

Daisy Chen.

Mckenna Chenette.

- Okay, slow down. - She's going.

Bryce Clark.

Connor Cleveland.

Gavin Connell.

Clarise Connolly.

Corbin Coon.

Autumn Costales.

Isabella Cuessy.

Felix Dagucon.

Hannah Dahl.

Alexis Darling.

Ashlee Davert.

Kobe David.

Audrey Davis.

Connor Davis.

Hunter Davis.

Paul Davis.

Carly Debevec.

Samantha Debevec.

Kevin Denis.

Jordan Dickson.

Dakota Dixon.

Whitney Dobro.

Natalie Donah.

RACHEL WEIHE: Diamond Duran.

Trey Duran.

Stuart Duranceaux.

Breanne Edgar.

Paris Eisenman.

Isabella Escobar.

Brianna Espericueta.

Mercedes Estes.

Reggie Eustace.

Tori Fabian.

Logan Fairhurst.

Jade Feudner.

Doreen Fidel.

Sean Fischer.

Brian Fitzgerald.

Mckinley Fox.

Tucker Franco.

Lillianna Fraschilla.

Joseph Fredrickson.

Chad Ganter. - Chad!

RACHEL WEIHE: Grace Ganter. - Grace!

RACHEL WEIHE: Daniel Garcia.

Isaiah Garcia.

Melissa Garcia.

Larson Genne.

Antonia George. - Hey, Toni!

RACHEL WEIHE: Colt Gibson.

Nathaniel Gonzalez.

Haylee Grant.

Thaddeus Green.

Lauren Griego.

Samuel Grosso.

Kaitlin Grosz.

Nicole Grumblatt.

Vanessa Gualeni. - Go, Vanessa!

RACHEL WEIHE: Kayla Gustafson.

Domiana Gutierrez.

Nilla Hail.

Sahara Hansen.

Makenna Harger.

Dylan Harvey.

Trinity Haworth.

Tatum Heller.

Mackenzie Hendrex.

Duncan Hernandez.

Joel Hernandez.

Valerie Herrera.

Allen Hewson.

Evan Hoagland.

Charlotte Hobbs.

Kaela Hollenbeck.

Samantha Jackson.

Daunte James.

Leigh James.

Amena Jameson.

Alexis Jaramillo.

David Jimenez.

Travis Johns.

Ashlyn Johnson.

Sem Jones.

Sophia Jones.

Athena Keough.

Joseph Khatam.

Morgan Krueger. - Yeah, Morgan!

RACHEL WEIHE: Anna Kuehn.

Emily Kuehn.

Bryce Kyseth-Lytle.

Cesar Labastida.

Lauren Labbate.

Justus Lafever.

Anissa Lamb.

Hailey Lambert.

Callie Lanam. - Callie.

RACHEL WEIHE: Jocelyn Lawrence.

Sophie Lawton.

Alina Le.

Duyen Le.

Thanh Le.

Arwyn Lewis.

Johnathon Lewis.

Amanda Lin.

Kaden Lipscomb. - Yeah, Kaden.

RACHEL WEIHE: Ashlynn Little.

Camille Loonam.

Ashley Lopez.

Cortez Lopez.

Katarina Lopez.

Ramsay Lopez.

Zane Lowe.

Benjamin Lucero.

Estevan Lucero.

Maria Lumbrera.

Sasha Lupton.

Paris Luttrell.

Nathaniel Maese-Sandoval. - Yeah, Nathaniel!

CASEY COOPER: Andrew Magana.

Van Mai.

Cade Malone.

Isaiah Mambo.

Sam Maner.

Ahzeen Mansoori.

Jennifer Manteufel.

Mikayla Mares.

Isaiah Marez.

Jolie Marquez.

Christian Martinez.

Devin Martinez.

Estevan Martinez.

George Martinez.

Joslyne Martinez.

Madison Martinez.

Jeren Mathwig.

Cody Matthew.

Lilianna Mauldin.

Eric Mayger.

Dustin McCarthy.

Reilly McClanahan.

Justin McFarlin.

Madelynn McInturff.

Keegan McKenney.

Ross McMillin.

Michaela McNabb.

Isaiah McReaken.

Madison Medcalf.

Sarah Mellady.

Cinthia Mendoza.

Morgan Michael.

Andre Miller.

Aidan Mohns.

Maxwell Molina.

Marlena Mondragon.

Dominique Montanez.

Darien Montano.

Amnity Montoya.

Victor Montoya-Serecerez.

Zachary Moore.

Evangelina Moralez-Norris.

Riley Morlock.

Caleb Moser.

Daniella Moskola.

Iziah Najar.

Jaisen Narvaez.

Christian Navarrete.

Marcello Neria.

Danielle Newman.

Anh Nguyen.

Anny Nguyen.

Jordan Nguyen.

Kathy Nguyen. - Go, Kathy!

CASEY COOPER: Long Nguyen.

Ruby Nguyen.

Seth Nichols.

Hannah Nilsson.

Lane Norcross.

Alexandra Norman.

Meghan Oates.

Evan O'Connell.

Michael O'Dea.

Emillia Ojeda.

Elora O'Neil.

Cierra Ortega.

Ariyah Orton.

Jaide Osborne.

Eric Osmon.

Xea Otero-Symphony.

Ryan Ozatalar.

Ethan Pacheco.

Sophia Pack.

Hannah Padilla.

Jeanette Padilla.

Marisa Padilla.

Kimberly Paez.

Noah Pantoja.

Kobe Parra.

Nathan Patterson.

Daniel Perin.

RACHEL WEIHE: Maya Peterson.

Benjamin Peterson-Ross.

Nhan Pham.

Alexis Pierce.

Jonathan Pino.

Tristan Powell.

Abigail Pribisova.

Michael Prothero.

Shawn Prue. - Prue!

RACHEL WEIHE: Tyler Quintana.

Shyro-Asiamae Rabago.

Lester Racca. - Yeah, Lester, whoo!

RACHEL WEIHE: Aidan Rael.

Amaris Rael.

Pablo Ramirez. - Pablo!

RACHEL WEIHE: Jessi Rangel.

Antonio Rebolledo.

Wesley Reinig.

Rachel Rhykerd.

Alexis Riach.

Victoria Rich.

Jessica Robb.

Stephanie Robb.

Sophia Roberts.

Hugh Rodriguez.

Daniel Roman.

Caleb Romero.

Harrison Romine.

Ash Rounds.

Hudson Row.

Carlos Rowe.

Nathaniel Rowe.

Michael Russell.

Molly Russell.

Zachary Sadowski.

Krisca Salazar.

Alyssa Sanchez.

Alex Sanders.

Brendan Sanders.

Melanie Sandoval.

Eshban Saroea.

Madeline Schaub.

Joshua Schorr.

William Schroeder. - Yeah, Will!

- [Announcer] Ryan Schuster.

Brandy Seiler.

Camille Severson.

Allison Sherrill.

Abby Shoup.

Emily Sims.

Aidan Sisneros. - Yeah, Aidan.

RACHEL WEIHE: Cassie Skelton.

Gabriel Smith.

Logan Smith. - Logan!

RACHEL WEIHE: Meg Smith. - Yeah Meg, whoo!

RACHEL WEIHE: Shahan Sohail.

Joshua Souza.

Nikki Sparacino.

Connor Starr.

Ojigawehnotah Starr.

Garrett Storey.

Otto Strack. - Otto!

RACHEL WEIHE: Gracelyn Stubbs.

Daniel Sullivan.

Preston Sutton.

Matthew Swagerty.

Caleb Swayden.

Emily Symons.

Stephen Braxton Thornton.

Savannah Timms.

Erika Tolson. - Yeah, Erika!

RACHEL WEIHE: Zavdiel Toquinto.

Ashley Towndrow.

Ethan Townsend.

Kaylla Travelstead.

Thomas Treece.

Remsa Troy.

Justin Trussell. - Yeah!

RACHEL WEIHE: Dilara Tutar.

Stone Tyler.

Mariah Unruh.

Alexander Urban.

Kameron Valencia.

Jaden Valenciano.

Sofia Van Klooster-Rowey.

Andrew Vega. - Andrew!

RACHEL WEIHE: Jonathon Veretto.

John Vernon.

Kirin Vicenti.

Preston Vining.

Hannah Wallace.

Garrett Warren.

Jordan Webb.

Kenyan Welch.

Micah Welch.

Zachary Wenner.

Zackies Wesley.

Gavin Westfall.

Branden White.

Wesley Wichman.

Samuel Witkowski.

Rachel Wittwer.

Nathaniel Wolff.

Megan Wyss.

Conary Yescas-Bush.

Ashley Young.

Cody Zeck.

Morgan Ziegler.

Jace Zuniga.

Meagan Zuniga.

Our salutatorian, with a GPA of 4.857, Tejas Kandath. - Yeah!

(audience applauding)

RACHEL WEIHE: Our valedictorian, with a GPA of 4.95, Lauren Harstad. - Yeah, Lauren!

(audience applauding)

RACHEL WEIHE: At this time, I would like to introduce our Senior Class President, Hannah Nilsson.

(audience cheering)

HANNAH NILSSON: Graduates, please stand.

(audience cheering and applauding)

It is my honor to lead you as we share in our final act as high school students as we move our tassels from right to left.

(audience cheering)

Congratulations, you can throw your caps! Whoo!

(audience applauding)

RACHEL WEIHE: Mr. Thomas, Ms. Coughlin. Mr. Thomas, Ms. Coughlin, will you please lead our recessional out?

(audience cheering)

("Pomp and Circumstance")

Graduates: 2019 List of Graduates (PDF)
Class Flower: Carnation
Class Song: "Lean on Me" by Bill Withers

Top Students

Lauren Harstad, Tejas Kandath, Reilly McClanahan, Allen Hewson, Antonia George, Abigail Pribisova, Garrett Storey, Zachary Wenner, Travis Johns, Rachel Rhykerd, Madison Cabagua, Arwyn Lewis, Allison Baker, Evangelina Moralez-Norris,  Cinthia Mendoza, Otto Strack, Ashlynn Little, Audrey Davis, Ryan Ozatalar, Emily Kuehn, Jordan Webb

Freedom High School

Freedom Graduation Transcript

(melodious instrumental music)

ESTHER KEETON: Good afternoon. Welcome to Freedom High School's 48th Commencement Ceremony. My name is Esther Keeton and I am the Principal of Freedom High School. Our graduates have worked hard to be able to celebrate this day and to honor them and each other. We ask that you refrain from yelling excessively so that everybody's name can be heard. Please stand and remain standing until after the National Anthem is sung by Brianna Archuleta and Joe Vertrees.

("Pomp and Circumstance")

(melodious instrumental music)

♪ Oh, say can you see ♪

♪ By the dawn's early light ♪

♪ What so proudly we hailed ♪

♪ At the twilight's last gleaming ♪

♪ Whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪

♪ Through the perilous fight ♪

♪ O'er the ramparts we watched ♪

♪ Were so gallantly streaming ♪

♪ And the rockets' red glare ♪

♪ The bombs bursting in air ♪

♪ Gave proof through the night ♪

♪ That our flag was still there ♪

♪ O say, does that star-spangled ♪

♪ Banner yet wave ♪

♪ O'er the land of the free ♪

♪ And the home of the brave ♪

(audience cheering and applauding)

ESTHER KEETON: Thank you. Guests and graduates you may be seated. Thank you again for being here to celebrate with us. In addition to the hard work and support that's offered by family and friends, there are several people who work behind the scenes to help support our students in their quest for their high school diploma. As I call the names of our honored guests, please hold your applause until everyone's name has been called. Guests, please stand and be recognized when your name is called. Our Board of Education Members, Barbara Petersen and Peggy Muller-Aragon.

(audience applauding)

Our APS Leadership Team, Scott Elder, Chief Operations Officer, and Debbie Elder, Executive Director, Office of Innovation.

(audience applauding)

Our Freedom High School Faculty and Ancillary Staff, Toni Berg, Patrick Carey, Mychele Cordero, Richard Foust, Gia Gilk, Pat Gonzales, she's not here today. Laura Harger, Joan Leyba, Tina Luc, Diana Russell, Seth Shapiro, Amanda Shaw, Melanie Telles, and Joe Vertrees. And sitting up front we have our Freedom High School Staff, Ed Briggs, Eileen Burks, Anita Montano, Larry Montoya, Jacob Romero, Mary Jo Andrade, Manuel Solano and Sally Wehling.

(audience applauding)

Every year we showcase the art that our students produce and incorporate that art into the theme of our Commencement Ceremonies. In the past, the themes have centered on trees that grow stronger and spread their branches. The video that you saw a few minutes ago defines the journey that brought our graduates to this stage at this moment. During the first senior meeting of the school year, seniors began planning what they wanted their graduation ceremony to look like. They discussed what defines them and how best to illustrate their class. This year our art was produced by a student who will be graduating this summer. Dolores Ramos, if you're here. She wasn't sure she was going to be able to make it. But she very expertly captured the essence of Freedom High School. And actually, the Phoenix was kind of foretelling. Every student sitting on this stage has a story to tell and in a few minutes you'll hear a few of them. This year we had a little added drama. There was a fire that caused flooding at the Hispanic Cultural Center which led to the uncertainty of whether or not we would be able to have our graduation ceremony at the Center. And as you can see it wasn't ready. And that's okay because we landed in this beautiful building and we get to be one of the first graduation ceremonies here, so it worked out for the best.

(audience applauding)

Over the course of the year, as we were faced with obstacles, this particular group of students stood together to support each other and confront their problems head on. They learn to pace themselves and accept the fact that the harder they worked the luckier they got. Students in the PAC, the Principal's Advisory Committee elected to have activities that would change the way that they were perceived by the community to kind of rebrand themselves and the school. They came up with different activities that gave us the opportunity to showcase who we really are. With the help of parents, staff and Community Members, they researched the history of the school so they could build on traditions while enhancing our future. As a result we had our first annual Fall Festival, the first annual Multi-Cultural Fair. We created partnerships with local businesses like A Star Auto, the Rotary Club, Mylifewerks, ECO-Schools USA and APD. We updated the quote from a former principal Mary Sullivan and adopted respect, responsibility and resilience to be our official school motto.

Our students are living representatives of the Phoenix. They have demonstrated that they have the strength and fortitude to rise above any obstacle in order to reach their goals. Seniors as we celebrate your successful completion of this stage in your life take a look a minute to look around, every person in this auditorium today had a hand in helping you become the person that you are right now. And on behalf of the staff I'd like to thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey. At this time I'd like to turn the program over to Richard Foust to introduce our student speakers.

(audience applauding)

RICHARD FOUST: Good evening and welcome to the 2019 Freedom High School commencement ceremony. Graduation is always an extremely special time of the year when we gather the entire Freedom family together to celebrate the successes of our latest group of graduates. This evening we have a wonderful group of student speakers who will be sharing with you what being a part of the Freedom family has meant to them. 

Before they speak however, I have one final assignment for the graduating class and possibly my first assignment for those of you in the audience, this is for everybody. I would like you to think about one person who loves you and supports you just the way you are. Are they in the auditorium in front of you? Are they sitting next to you? Or are they possibly in a room far away watching the ceremony on the internet? Regardless of where they are, they are members of the Freedom family, because they love and support you just the way you are. That is the way the Freedom family operates. You are welcome here and we will help you succeed whether you are a goat farmer, a musician, or come to class dressed as Willy Wonka, we love that about you and we just want to help you become the best goat herding guitar playing Willy Wonka you could be. That is the Freedom way!

(audience applauding)

All these unique wonderful individuals make Freedom special. And now I would like to introduce a few that will share their stories with you tonight.

(applause)

Sure clap, clap them, clap away.

(audience applauding)

Our first student speaker this evening is Desire Filmer. Desire... Yeah, clap some more.

(audience applauding)

If I'm talking just clap right over me, that's groovy, okay. Desire is an incredibly hard worker and this year has been the secretary for every single club at Freedom High School. And has single-handedly kept me on track which I will really really miss next year. And to tell you all about it, Ms. Desire Filmer.

(audience cheering and applauding)

DESIRE FILMER: Well, thank you. Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Desire Filmer. I began my journey at Freedom on August 13th of 2017. Initially it was a horrifying day for me because it was a fresh start with new people. I did not know whether or not this was going to be a good school or if everyone was going to hate me. However, my first day as I went to all my classes I thought, wow, the teachers here are cool. But I was still too scared to talk to anyone. Consequently, one student that was at Freedom the last year did not even know who I was but still... Okay. Welcomed me and started introducing me to people. More and more and by the first month I knew so many new faces and names. As I got to know everyone here it was easier to talk and I was less scared. Because of the close-knit Freedom community I had more friends now than I ever had. 

When I started at Freedom it gave me more hope than any school I have gone to and that was great. As I got to know more about the school I realized it is not just a school of people or friends, it is like a family. When you were in need of help many people were there for you. When you needed someone to talk to or you were struggling they would help you. The teachers did their best to help the students any way they could. People I often talk to have mistaken impressions of Freedom. 

People often think that Freedom is for troubled kids or kids who messed up at a normal public school. Nothing could be further from the truth. Freedom is a school for people to have a better education than they did at any other school. The students here have more responsibility but also have more one-on-one time with their teachers. This school has done more for its students than any other public school. Because at Freedom there are not students and teachers, there are just different members of the Freedom family. Therefore, I would like to take this time to thank every teacher for everything they have done for us. Every one of these teachers helped out us students, and because of them believing in us we are here right now on this day. There are two specific teachers I would like to thank though.

One is Richard Foust. After my original advisor had left, I moved into his advisement. He helped me get to where I am and made sure I wasn't slacking.

The other one is John Potter. I started in John Potter's advisement where he showed me the Freedom ways and helped me understand how to be successful and because of that I did well. Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world - Harriet Tubman. We all have dreams and we always will. But the ones that will change our lives are the ones we have now. When we leave today we are leaving to follow our dreams and make the difference that others have not.

Finally, I would like to say, it is an honor to graduate with my classmates from Freedom High School. Thank you Class of 2019.

(audience applauding)

RICHARD FOUST: Another round of applause for Miss Desire Filmer please.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Well I might have irreparably screwed up something here. Fortunately these things are numbered, so pardon me for a second while I unmess up what I just messed up, one, 7, 8, 9, 10. Okay, we're back.

Hi. This is what I get for trying to turn the page and be helpful. All right, our next speaker. The next speaker this evening, I've actually watched grow up. Know the next speaker for 11 years I think. And I've watched him grow up and up and up, so it should leave you many questions of who's going to be coming up here. The next speaker is Brett Krosinsky, the son of Jason Krosinsky, former English teacher at Freedom High School. Something I never thought I'd be able to say about Bret, this is a man here who could really scoot around a corner. Mr. Brett Krosinsky.

(audience applauding)

BRETT KROSINSKY: Ladies and gentlemen, parents, grandparents, welcome. Today is an exciting day because today you get to hear me give a speech. Today graduates you get to join the exciting world of fake adulthood. It's hard to imagine that a few years back we were just starting high school with no idea what we wanted to do with our lives. Now I'm going to share a very personal secret with you. I still have no idea what I'm going to do with my life. But one thing I've learned over many years of high school is that you don't need to know exactly where you are going to know that you're on the right track. And just because we may not have our entire lives paved out in front of us in concrete details, doesn't mean we haven't all grown tremendously throughout our years here. The funny thing about growing is that you usually can't tell when it's happening to you, no matter how hard you try you'll never wake up one morning to discover you're an inch taller than the previous night. Growth and maturity take place gradually over time. We're defined by the little things, both good and bad that we often do not even notice occurring. We're affected by the way people treat us and in turn how we treat others. The conversations we have with our friends and family make up our lives and these small factors that build our personalities may seem relatively insignificant when singled out, but together they exemplify the beauty of individuality. 

Also in our lives are events that force you to change significantly. Hard times will hit and alter your entire perspective on reality. For me those hard times hit when my mom Gigi was diagnosed with breast cancer. Mom was first diagnosed with cancer before I was in kindergarten. Through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, she managed to overcome cancer after a year-long struggle. I did not realize at the time that this event would have such profound effects on me. 

My mom remained cancer-free until I was in middle school. At the start of seventh grade the cancer had metastasized, this time my mother would spend three and a half long years fighting the cancer with chemotherapy and multiple procedures. She lost her battle on October 16th 2017. Now since I can remember, cancer has defined our family's livelihood and structure. Cancer has been a literal drive in my life. To lose someone that close, someone who still today defines my existence was unbearable to me. Though our family has struggled to maintain a positive outlook, inside it was crippling. 

And this heavily impacted my academics from the start of seventh grade to the end of my junior year, because after my mom died, life in my old school no longer felt worthwhile. I needed a fresh start. And when I transferred to Freedom I found a welcoming community that fostered progressive learning while allowing me to make up courses I had failed at my old school. Had I stayed at my old school, I am certain I would not have graduated on time. But more importantly I did not feel at home. I was unsocial and didn't participate in much extracurricular. But after coming to Freedom, my grades saw an immediate increase. Now I am an honor student, I'm vice president of the Speech & Debate Club and this year I was elected prom king.

(audience applauding)

Freedom is a place that I call home.

I'd like to thank my teachers Richard and Melanie for pulling me through this year. Throughout my entire high school experience, no other teachers have showed me the same compassion that they have for all of their students. I believe the most important trait a teacher can have is compassion. And compassion is what I found here at Freedom. I'd also like to thank my sister Hannah, I know I might not be the best at showing it all the time, but you are a major motivational force in my life. I owe a huge thanks to my friends Ben, Anna, Casey and Noah, who have been there since the beginning. And finally I would like to thank my father, Jason, a former Freedom teacher. No other person has shown the same devotion to my well-being than my dad has. There are many times when I wanted to give up over these past four years of school and every time without fail, my father has been the guiding light to show me the way through.

(audience applauding)

As I was saying before, experiences make up who you are as a person. Today I've shared with you some of these significant experiences that shaped who I am. And right now they might sound somewhat sadbut overall they have made me a stronger individual. Maturity is not accomplished in one instance. Adulthood is the accumulation of experiences over time and right now as young adults we are still building the experiences that will shape our futures. And this gathering of experience never really ends, you will never just become a finished adult. Today I shared with you the experiences that shaped who I am, but we all have our own experiences, happy and sad, that define our character. Again I may have no idea what my future holds, but thanks to my experiences and thanks to those who came before me, I know I possess the tools to succeed.

Thank you very much.

(audience applauding)

RICHARD FOUST: Brett Krosinsky ladies and gentlemen. All righty, let's see if I can do this this time without dropping stuff on the stage. Success. Okay, our next speaker is about as good a definition as I could think of as of the words poised and polished. She is a very proud Native American and she has done an exceptional job of helping to introduce and teach her culture to the rest of Freedom family. Ladies gentlemen, our next speaker Miss Summer Larsen.

(audience cheering and applauding)

(speaking in foreign language)

Good afternoon, my name is Summer Love Larsen. I come here at Freedom High School, as today is a normal Tuesday for most of us, today it's a day of celebration and accomplishment. As soon as we walk out of this auditorium it will be an end to our childhood and a beginning to an adulthood. Which means I can no longer dream of being a princess. Before I get into how I got where I am today, I'm gonna give you a back story of my life and education before Freedom. In 2014 is when I started high school, and let me tell you I was not ready. 

In middle school I did not exert much effort into passing any of my classes because I knew that it wouldn't affect me, so I skipped class regularly. As you can already tell where the story is going I carried those traits into my freshman year and completely ruined my chances of succeeding with my class. Not to mention that I came from my charter school where there wasn't many kids and limited studies due to the lack of money. My first day all I heard from my teachers was, alright guys, you should have learned this in middle school. But I didn't and that scared me. For the longest time I blamed everybody but myself for not achieving my diploma on time. But today I take full responsibility for everything.

As a Native American we are often looked at as less elite and a second-class citizen in our own country and not fit for an American education. Although I've never heard those words specifically, actions do speak louder than words. Native Americans have a lower high school graduation rate about 65 earn a high school diploma compared with 75% of the U.S. population. Their college graduation rate is also lower with a 9% earning a college degree compared with 20%. I want to say on behalf of my native community, you can do it. Add to that percent, as I am today, go and get your college degree to prove to everyone that you're capable of doing what the next person can, make them see your hard work and not your race. A quote to carry with you is, "I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position one has reached in life but by the obstacles which he or she has reached while overcome, which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed." And that was by Booker T. Washington.

I want to say thank you to Freedom. You thanked me into a better version of myself. I realized a lot while I was here, another quote that was told by me was by Melanie, "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink." Melanie led me to my success, so yes, figuratively I was a horse. The resources were right in front of me but it was up to me to take them. Ironically at Freedom High School you're not free, well at least if you have Melanie as an advisor. Overall, I would like to thank and acknowledge the teachers here at Freedom. I've never felt uncomfortable or intimidated here because they welcomed you on a personal level. Many people look at the school like it's a bad kid school and at first so did I. But I'm here to tell you today that without Freedom many of us in these seats would not have been able to get a second chance. Thank you to my family for teaching me respect and self-discipline.

Congratulations Class of 2019.

(audience applauding)

RICHARD FOUST: Summer Larsen everybody. No, this is the wrong one, okay. Sorry, working backwards here now. All right, okay, I'm good, hi, all right. It's a good thing these student speakers have their stuff together and look good because I'm making this look ridiculous. Anyway, our next student speaker who also looks wonderful. Boy, the list of accomplishments of this student is dramatic. She was the ESL student of the year and she has been a tireless advocate for the ethnic studies program. She took it as an extra elective despite having fulfilled all her elective requirements and she spoke at the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies conference this year in support of that program. Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Thania Renovia Treviso.

(audience cheering and applauding)

THANIA RENOVA TREVISO: Hello. Welcome to Freedom's 2019 graduating class. I want to congratulate every single graduate here. It was a rough journey, but somehow we all landed on top and now we're on the road to building our dreams and desires. I am here tonight to say that Freedom is the place to make our dreams come true. We are not the kids who just messed up, we are here to realize our dreams of earning our diplomas. Sometimes people have judged us to be different because of the color of our skin, our sexuality, our gender, or which the country we were born. Nothing or no one can stop us from reaching our goals. The teachers at Freedom helped us believe in ourselves when nobody did, when few people did. Thank you Freedom teachers.

(applauding)

My journey to Freedom began when my family was forced to moved from Arizona to New Mexico. In my last high school, I felt like nobody paid attention to me or helped me. Again, I was scared about having to move, but this time I was moving schools instead of states or countries. At Freedom I felt accepted for the first time. In my advisor and teacher, Melanie's Ethnic course, I learned more about accepting others and learned how we are all in a struggle. I learned how our differences make us special, it is just not me alone, but we're all dreamers.

(speaking in Spanish)

(audience cheering and applauding)

We want to thank our friends and family for all of your support you have all given us.

(speaking in Spanish)

And I want to congratulate to Class of 2019.

(audience applauding)

RICHARD FOUST: Thania Renovia Treviso everybody.

(applauding)

Alrighty. Aha, found it, okay. We're good to go. The final student speaker of the evening is the absolute embodiment of the word fearless. You ever see one of those little dogs that goes attack like some pit bull or rottweiler? That's her. Sonia would attack everything with gusto, she was not afraid to take on any class at any time. I first met her as her physics teacher when Patrick was out becoming a cyborg. And she worked her butt off to make certain that everything she did was not just done but done well. I later had the privilege of having her in English class and she has succeeded everywhere she has gone because she has no fear of working hard. Ladies gentlemen, Miss Sonia Torres.

(audience applauding)

SONIA TORRES: Good afternoon everybody.

(speaking in Spanish)

Welcome to our graduation ceremony.

(speaking in Spanish)

First of all, let me start off by saying congratulations to all of us who are graduating.

(applauding)

This is a major step in the journey of our lives. We all worked hard to get to this day and our work did not go to waste. A high school diploma is a wonderful thing to have. It will open various doors of opportunities for anyone who worked hard to earn one. For many of us this is not the end of our educational journey, and for many of us it will not stop here, we will continue our education by going to college or other programs. Graduation has shown us how capable we all are of accomplishing our goals we commit. 

The road ahead of us won't be easy, there will be obstacles and missed exits. For some of us, in addition... Sorry. For some of us going into college there will be times when each of us will feel like we can possibly not go on. There will be times that some of us think we are alone. However, all of us here on this stage can use this memory of this day, this accomplishment, this jumpstart.

(speaking in Spanish)

We won't give up. We made it this far by refusing to give up, we won't give up now. Make the best decision that you're interested in. Believe in yourself that you can reach what you dream of. We already taken the first step which is graduating from high school. Now it's time for the next step of our journey which is to build our future. 

This has been a long journey for me, let me tell you a little bit about myself. At my previous school I will ditch mostly all the time for my second semester freshman year. At that moment I knew I was gonna fail my classes. I worried, but yet I continued to ditch. I know it will be hard to catch up especially at a regular high school. One day I started looking for a new school to help me graduate on time. I came across Freedom High School, an amazing school with amazing teachers. Without the teachers at Freedom High School this school will not be the same. 

Our teachers shaped this school into our paths to graduate like my advisor, Seth. Seth constantly ensures that his advisory stays on track and is improving, not just to settle for a minimum achievement but giving it our all. Without Seth I will not be speaking with everyone today. 

Another strong influence was my English teacher, Melanie Telles. I'm not going to lie, English was never my strong suit, especially with Spanish being my first language. But with Melanie, I understood how to use my strongest form, communication, writing, speaking correctly and proficiently. Truly without Melanie, I will not be capable standing before you today delivering this speech. Not only that but from coming from Special Ed for English to coming to Freedom and being in Melanie's Read 180 class, to passing my PARCC. This is only one way Melanie has impacted my life. If it wasn't for Freedom High School I do not know if I would be here before you speaking at this graduation.

We, the graduating class would like to thank all the teachers who taught us so much and push us to do great and finish school on time.

(applauding)

I also want to thank you, Donna. Thank you for everything you have done for me and continue to do. You have impacted my life and so many good ways. You motivated me to do better and as well show me no matter what happens to life to never give up. You have told me that I'm capable of doing anything I set my mind on. Thank you for everything you do and I also want to thank my family. They have been my motivation to do well in school.

(speaking in Spanish)

(audience applauding)

(speaking in Spanish)

And let's take a moment to thank all those support systems in our lives. Lastly, I know I've made mistakes in the past but if it wasn't for those mistakes I wouldn't be here at my graduation talking to you guys. As quoted by Steve Maraboli, "We all made mistakes, have struggles and even regret things in our past, but you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles and you're here now with the power to shape your day." Thank you and congratulations to Class of 2019.

(applauding)

RICHARD FOUST: Let's have another big round of applause for all our student speakers from this evening.

(applauding)

And now let's get Esther up here to get these people graduated, what do you say?

(audience cheering)

ESTHER KEETON: Those where amazing speeches. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. Actually, if I could have the board members Barbara Peterson and Peggy Muller-Aragon, please come to the podium. I would like to present the Class of 2019. They've met all the graduation requirements set forth by Albuquerque Public Schools, the Board of Education and the New Mexico Public Education Department. To you I present Class of 2019.

(audience applauding)

BOARD MEMBER BARBARA PETERSON: On behalf of the Albuquerque Public School Board of Education we are absolutely thrilled to accept the 2019 graduating class of Freedom High. We know you will do great things. We need you, we depend on you, congratulations.

(audience applauding)

BOARD MEMBER PEGGY MULLER-ARAGON: Congratulations to all of you.

(speaking in Spanish)

Your life awaits you, make it a good one.

(audience applauding)

(melodious instrumental music)

MYCHELE CORDERO: Are you ready? Okay, this is the fun part. Alrighty, let's start with Desire Filmer.

(audience applauding)

Brett Krosinsky.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Summer Larsen.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Thania Renovia Treviso.

(audience applauding)

I'm practicing. Sonia Torres.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Marisol Acosta.

(audience applauding)

Taryn Aragon.

(audience applauding)

Kimberly Arrey.

(audience cheering and applauding)

K-Ann Baker.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Hannah Beal.

(audience applauding)

Derek Brown.

(audience applauding)

Timothy Eakes.

(audience cheering and applauding)

G'Darrius Edwards.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Maykil Elias.

(audience applauding)

Ashland Filmer.

(audience applauding)

Carmen Fitz.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jennae Gomez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jacob Hilts.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jonas Jaramillo-Smith.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Braleigh Love.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Kaleb Martinez.

(audience applauding)

Joseph Morning Gun.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Nikolas Nunez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Katy Ortiz.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Miriam Perez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Amber Rohan.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Peter Sandoval.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Mariah Santillanes.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Hannah Sonnenberg.

(audience cheering and applauding)

And that would be all.

Just kidding.

Carlos Villa.

(audience cheering and applauding)

(audience cheering and applauding)

And can we have our students of the year come forward?

BRETT KROSINSKY: Graduates please remain standing. The practice of turning the tassel indicates the shift from being a candidate to being a graduate. Congratulations to the Class of 2019,we have completed our high school education and are ready for the world. You may turn your tassel from right to left to signify you are a high school graduate.

(audience cheering and applauding)

ESTHER KEETON: Thank you for participating in our 48th Graduation Ceremony. Audience please remain in your seats until the graduates have exited.

("Pomp and Circumstance")

Special Thanks

Special thanks for Dolores Ramos, Commencement Program Cover Artist.

Highland High School

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change we seek. —Barack Obama

Highland Graduation Transcript

(audience cheering and applauding)

CHRISTOPHER LUNA: Good afternoon. I'm Dr. Christopher Luna, the Curriculum & Instruction principal at Highland High School. On behalf of the entire Highland High Shool Community Cluster, I'd like to welcome you to the 2019, Highland High School Graduation Commencement Ceremony.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Please rise for the processional as performed by the Highland High School symphony under the direction of Josephine Gonzales. After the processional, please remain standing.

(triumphant music)

(audience cheering and applauding)

The presentation of colors will be conducted by the Highland High School Junior Naval ROTC. The national anthem will be performed by the Highland High School Choir, it's the Women's Concert Choir under the direction of Mr. Collins Farris. Gentlemen, please remove your caps and remain standing until the colors have left the floor.

♪ O say can you see ♪

♪ By the dawn's early light ♪

♪ What so proudly we hailed ♪

♪ At the twilight's last gleaming ♪

♪ Whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪

♪ Through the perilous fight ♪

♪ O'er the ramparts we watched ♪

♪ Were so gallantly streaming ♪

♪ And the rocket's red glare ♪

♪ The bombs bursting in air ♪

♪ Gave proof through the night ♪

♪ That our flag was still there ♪

♪ O say does that star-spangled ♪

♪ Banner yet wave ♪

♪ O'er the land of the free ♪

♪ And the home ♪

♪ Of the brave ♪

(audience cheering and applauding)

CHRISTOPHER LUNA: You may be seated. At this time, it is my pleasure to introduce senior class Vice President Valerie Martinez.

VALERIE MARTINEZ: Bear with me, I have allergies. Good afternoon and welcome to the 69th Commencement Ceremony in our school's treasured history. Highland's doors has been open for over 70 years and we are the oldest standing high school in Albuquerque.

(audience cheering and applauding)

It is with great pride that we stand before you. I am Valerie Martinez, Senior Class Vice President, and it is my privilege to introduce to you to our honored guests in attendance today. Please rise as I call your name. Ms. Shannon Barnhill, Executive Director of the APS Education Foundation.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Mr. Scott Elder, APS Chief Operations Officer.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Ms. Barbara Peterson, Board of Education Policy and Instruction Chair and District Four representative.

Ms. Yolanda Montoya Cordova,

Secretary of the APS Board of Education.

(audience applauding)

We also have honored students from the Class of 2019 on stage. Please rise when I call your name. Sushil Darjee, Senior Class President.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Marco Flores, Senior Class Secretary.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Briann Salaz, Senior Class Treasurer.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Annie Ruiz, Senior Class Historian.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Alyssa Ammerman, Student Body Treasurer.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Nyiah Doss, Student Body Secretary.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Emma Kostelecky, Student Body Vice President.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Megan Chavez, Student Body President.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Alex Andrade, Senior Class Salutatorian.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Ella McDonald, senior class valedictorian.

(audience cheering and applauding)

And now I would like to introduce you to two ladies who have been immensely involved in Highland activities throughout their four years. They have dedicated themselves to making Highland the best it can be, and I am pleased to introduce Student Body Vice President, Emma Kostelecky and Student Body Secretary Nyiah Doss. Emma and Nyiah, please come forward and introduce the administration of Highland High School.

EMMA KOSTELECKY: First, I would like to recognize the experienced and diverse faculty we have at Highland High School. They have supported us and encouraged our success in both academics and extra-curricular activities. We would like to thank them for their knowledge and contributions they have provided us, because this day means as much to them as it does our class.

NYIAH DOSS: The members of the class of 2019 would also like to thank our families who have been the most compelling and generous in helping us stand here today. Without the guidance we receive from our loved ones, we would not have achieved this goal of graduation.

EMMA KOSTELECKY: Our last thank you goes to our administration, who has helped us in so many ways these past few years. Please rise as I call your name. Dr. Christopher Luna, Curriculum Principal.

NYIAH DOSS: Ms. Lupe Martinez, Facilities and Attendance Principal.

(audience cheering and applauding)

EMMA KOSTELECKY: Ms. Eliza Romero, Special Education Principal.

(audience applauding)

NYIAH DOSS: Mr. Justin Woody, Dean of Students.

(audience cheering and applauding)

EMMA KOSTELECKY: Mr. John Barnhill, Athletics Director.

(audience cheering and applauding)

NYIAH DOSS: Mr. Justin Landis, Activities Director.

(audience cheering and applauding)

And last but certainly not least, I would like to introduce you to Mr. Marco Harris, our Highland High School Principal.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Mr. Harris, will you please come up and say a few words.

MARCO HARRIS: Good evening everybody and welcome to the 2019 graduating class. Really proud to be here this evening and I am going to now introduce our distinguished guests off to the right of our stage. And please when I announce your name, will you please stand and remain standing. First up, I'd like to introduce the Debi Cline who is honored teacher here for 30 plus years. Some of our teacher residents, Abigayle Goldstein, Chelsey Venaglia as well as Anna Adams.

(audience applauding)

Also our Community School Coordinator, Tessa Snyder. Our ENLACE Team or LULAG Team, John, Neyo, Carla and Jesus Villareal.

(audience cheering and applauding)

We also have our esteemed principals. We have Ms. Monica Olmstead from Jefferson Middle School.

(audience applauding)

We have Teise Reiser from Wilson Middle School, Mr. Shawn Morris, Van Buren Middle School. Ms. Rayetta Baty, Kirtland Elementary School. And I'm slightly embarrassed to introduce this individual not on stage but it's my boss, the Associate Superintendent of Learning Zone One, Dr. Gabriella Blakey, Highland grad.

(audience applauding)

I'd also like any staff member that is in the audience who is escorting our people who have interfaced with one of these seniors, please stand up and be acknowledged. Yes, that'd be you people on the floor too.

(audience cheering and applauding)

All right, I'm gonna go kind of quick and if you can hold your applause until I get through these folks. Please stand when I call your name. Class Officers, Annie, Marco, Brian, Sushil and Valerie. Our state winning band director, Ms. Josephine Gonzales. Our Choir and Course Coordinator Director, Mr. Farris Collins.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Also known as the soccer tease of the sound cloud, will Xavier Thompson please stand up.

(audience cheering and applauding)

This young lady, I'm acknowledging because many of our students go through a multitude of different adversity in their life but this young lady actually family left her to go move to Farmington as she stayed here to finish off her senior year. Will Angelica Abeda please stand up.

(audience cheering and applauding)

My admin team, you've already been acknowledged but please stand up because I wouldn't be standing here nor would they be sitting in their seats without you. Lupe, Eliza, Chris, please stand. I also would like to introduce, and please stand, Coach Washington along with Coach Houston who are actually our DECA coordinators, who are DECA for the first time in my existence here as principal finished top 10 in the international competition, top 10%. I'd also like Ms. Herrera as well as Mr. Montano to stand, they are our directors or coordinators of the FCCLA also brought us a state championship this year.

(audience cheering and applauding)

I'd also like every varsity athlete to please stand up who is a graduating senior and remain standing.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Ryse Negrone, she'll teach you anything, please stand, appreciate you. Any representatives from our School Based Health Center, Sean, Amanda, Tracy, James, Beth. We would not have the services and supports in which we do within our school based health if it wasn't for you, thank you very much.

Of course, AKA my father who is sitting behind me, Mr. Scott Elder, I want you to also know that he was the principal here not but six years ago and I really appreciate what he has left me because he has left me an immense amount of pride and gratitude. Thank you Mr. Elder. And he also taught me how to dress, I wore my shoes. 

Next up, Mr. Landis, please stand. This show wouldn't happen if it wasn't for Mr. Landis. Mr. Barnhill, his show wouldn't happen if it wasn't for you. Thank you.

Also, I wanna thank my family. My wife, if it wasn't for her, I'll just move on. Sierra, my daughter, Silona, my other daughter, my father-in-law Big J. and my mums Judith and Ruby. Wilson students, if you are in the senior class, will you please stand if you're not standing. I have a story to share with them but I will wait until later. 

Ms. Spratley, our senior mum, will you please stand.

(audience cheering and applauding)

And at last, will you please give this impactual change agent of a group a big round of applause.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Highland wouldn't be Highland without you. You guys may be seated, thank you very much. Now, it is with great honor that I have an opportunity to introduce our keynote speaker this evening. This particular keynote speaker isn't only a Highland grad but she is also a Highland staff member. In addition, she is an incredible role model that puts forth high energy everyday. I don't know if I've ever heard a negative thing about this young lady. I guess that's because because she is a Highland alum. With that, I would like to introduce you our keynote speaker for this evening, Dr. Annemarie Sheahan.

(audience cheering and applauding)

ANNMARIE SHEAHAN: Good evening. At the beginning of this school year, my senior English classes and I read Rudolfo Anaya's New Mexican classic, Bless Me Ultima. Though I have read and taught Anaya's novel several times in the past, for some reason, this year-with this particular group of brilliant and richly diverse students, it took on new meaning and new beauty for me. Together, as we discussed the struggles that mark our transition from childhood to adulthood and the events and people who shape our identities, I learned about the communities that formed you, my students, into the thoughtful, caring and fascinating individuals that you are. You reminded me that we are indeed the communities that breathe life into us. This past Saturday, I graduated from the University of New Mexico with my PhD.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Or as my wonderful student, Ernesto Godina where are you at, calls it my 'Big Degree'. But when I think about the communities that supported me and led me to this point in my life, one in particular stands out, my Highland community. As many of you know, Highland High School has been a part of who I am for half of my life. As a student here at Highland, I met intelligent and dedicated teachers and coaches who poured their time and energy into teaching me to think, to care, and to question. I grew close to my fellow students, a diverse group of individuals who taught me the value of other experiences, viewpoints, and backgrounds different from my own. I graduated from Highland only to return four years later as a student teacher, eventually doing everything in my power to teach here full-time.

I wanted to be at Highland. I wanted more than anything to work with my community, the community that formed me. I haven't left since. Highland is who I am, as a student, a teacher, and a person. When I think about the aspects of the Highland community that have impacted me the most, however, my mind always returns to my students, and in particular, this year's group of graduating seniors. Many of you I had as sophomores and as 12th graders, many of you I grew to know the first time this year and many of you I know through your achievements and dedication to our school's community. You are the heart of Highland, and what this community has at its core is heart.

When speaking of the setting of Bless Me, Ultima, Anaya argues, "Economically, New Mexico ranks low, but we know the real treasure lies in the people, the landscape, and the history of its many communities. Here, people have struggled and survived for years, and they have not lost sight of the prize."

I believe the same can be said for our Highland community. Though we are often criticized by outside forces that rank us, label us in certain ways, and cast us in a negative light, we know the truth. This community is a treasure. Its beauty is continuously created by you, the students, that form it. Here, you have struggled, here you have survived, and as Anaya says, you are here today as proof that you never lost sight of the prize. As you move on to shape and be shaped by new communities, I task you with this, remember your roots. Remember the communities that have molded your identity, that have made you who you are. Remember Highland.

Lastly, know that you are a part of who I am. So many of you have influenced me in ways I cannot adequately convey in words. You have changed the Highland community and me for the better. As such, I speak for our community and for myself when I say that I'm immensely proud of you. I will deeply miss you, and I will never ever forget you or the community that we shared together. Class of 2019, congratulations.

(audience cheering and applauding)

MARCO HARRIS: Dr. Sheahan. Hey Angela, counseling team, I meant to thank you as well, sorry. And now let me turn it over, actually I took a selfie for you, Annie Ruiz with your dad. So just FYI, you'll have a picture later Now please welcome Highland's Choir who will perform the Class of 2019 song, "I Lived" by One Republic.

♪ Hope when you take that jump ♪

♪ You don't fear the fall ♪

♪ Hope when the water rises ♪

♪ You built a wall ♪

♪ Hope when the crowd screams out ♪

♪ It's screaming your name ♪

♪ Hope if everybody runs ♪

♪ You choose to stay ♪

♪ Hope that you fall in love ♪

♪ And it hurts so bad ♪

♪ The only way you can know ♪

♪ Is give it all you have ♪

♪ And I hope that you don't suffer ♪

♪ But take the pain ♪

♪ Hope when the moment comes ♪

♪ You'll say ♪

♪ I, I did it all ♪

♪ I, I did it all ♪

♪ I owned every second that this world could give ♪

♪ I saw so many places ♪

♪ The things that I did ♪

♪ Yeah, with every broken bone ♪

♪ I swear I lived ♪

♪ Hope that you spend your days ♪

♪ But they all add up ♪

♪ And when that sun goes down ♪

♪ Hope you raise your cup ♪

♪ Oh, oh ♪

♪ I wish that I could witness ♪

♪ All your joy and all your pain ♪

♪ But until the moment comes ♪

♪ I'll say ♪

♪ I, I did it all ♪

♪ I, I did it all ♪

♪ I owned every second that this world could give ♪

♪ I saw so many places ♪

♪ The things that I did ♪

♪ Yeah with every broken bone ♪

♪ I swear I lived ♪

♪ Oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ I swear I lived oh oh ♪

♪ Oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ With every broken bone ♪

♪ With every broken bone ♪

♪ I swear I ♪

♪ I, I did it all ♪

♪ I, I did it all ♪

♪ I owned every second that this world could give ♪

♪ I saw so many places ♪

♪ The things that I did ♪

♪ Yeah, with every broken bone ♪

♪ I swear I lived ♪

♪ Oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ I swear I lived ♪

♪ Oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh ♪

(audience cheering and applauding)

NYIAH DOSS: It is my pleasure to introduce our first graduation speaker and the Highland High School Class of 2019 Salutatorian Alex Andrade.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Alex is the daughter of Imelda Martinez and Luis Manuel Andrade. Alex was very involved in Highland, including a devoted member of the marching band, tennis and DECA. Alex will be attending UNM in the fall and majoring in computer science. Please join me in welcoming your 2019 salutatorian, Alex Andrade.

(audience cheering and applauding)

ALEX ANDRADE: Congratulations class of 2019. Now, I don't know if you guys remember that episode of SpongeBob when he spends 14 years supposedly writing an essay and ends up with just the word 'the'? Well, that is exactly how I felt writing this speech. The difference is that instead of the word 'the' I had the words congratulations class of 2019. So I optimally decided to start off with a few personal thank yous. I would like to start off by saying thank you to the most amazing teachers that have allowed all of us to be here right now. Thank you for making our time at Highland High School an amazing experience. I would also like to thank all of my amazing coaches, Coach Washington, Coach Houston, and Coach Hershfield, thank you so much for allowing me so many memorable opportunities and creating an unforgettable high school experience for me.

I especially want to thank two teachers that have influenced my life in so many ways and continuously inspire me to be the best person I can be. First of all I want to thank my outermost amazing band director, Ms.G. Before high school I had always been called Ale and it wasn't until I went to my first ever band rehearsal that Ms.G asked me what my name was and when I said Alexandra she asked if it was okay to call me Alex instead. And if I'm being completely honest, that might have been the first time I had ever been called Alex. Ms.G has literally helped me become the person that I am today even by a simple nickname. The love and passion I have for music comes solely from the influence and experiences that Ms.G has provided for me throughout my high school career, and not only that but she is the reason I was able to meet my second family, my band. If you were to ask me to wake up at 5:30 in the morning for any other group of people I would have probably said no. So again from the bottom of my heart, thank you Ms.G for everything. 

The second teacher/coach is Coach Platt. I have never met someone that does so much for everyone but himself. With 10 kids, being the football and tennis coach, and the teacher of probably the most hated subject ever, math, I still don't understand how he deals with all of it. Maybe with the help of all those liters of diet soda he has everyday. Coach Platt is truly a huge inspiration and a figure to follow. And if I'm being completely honest, part of me decided to suffer through AP Calc. just so I could have a class with my fav Coach. Thank you for everything coach.

I think every student needs a teacher they feel comfortable going to when they have problems or just simply to annoy and I cannot thank you enough for being that teacher for me. Thank you to my best friends that have supported me throughout this whole journey, the snakes, Leo, Jackie, and Arianna along with Zully, Adal, Ben, Aja, Garron, Marina and my life partner, Tracy. There are no words to describe the appreciation I have for all of you.

(speaking in foreign language)

So this year I got to participate in the 2019 All-State conference playing the clarinet. And the conductor and composer of my ensemble, Dr.Fanin, explained how making chords is like cooking. He explained that children do not tend to enjoy chile until they grow older and gain more tolerance for spicy foods. Same with chords, he explained that cords can be spicy and said that musicians ears grow tolerance for chords the more they listen to them. He then proceeded to play a spicy chord and the shrill tone was not pleasing to listen to at all. But then he played the same chord two more times and the gross chord sounded natural. My ears had magically adjusted to the sound. I then proceeded to think about other gross sounding things such as Monaghan's homework and Baldwin's essay that's due tomorrow, and right now my ears have adjusted fairly well to those sounds. It is crazy how these things that we worried and stressed over throughout the years grow to be just memories and honestly meaningless. I know that we might not be fully adjusted to the sound of college, graduation and adulting but try saying those words to yourself two more times. I know that probably didn't do anything but now think about the way you'll hear those words five years from now. Even though it seems so far away from now these past four years in themselves have gone by so quickly. So just remember that one day these fears and gross sounding things will become some of our sweetest memories and the memories that we will cherish forever.

Finally, I just wanna say that I am beyond excited to see what we all do in the future, and as a wise friend of mine named Jordan once quoted from an Avengers movie randomly in the middle of a Spanish class, 'Part of the journey is the end'. Congratulations class of 2019.

(audience cheering and applauding)

ALYSSA AMMERMAN: Thank you Alex for that wonderful speech. Now please welcome your 2019 valedictorian, Ella McDonald. Ella is the daughter of Aleta McDonald and Larry McDonald. Ella has been very involved in her four years at Highland, including president of Model UN, devoted senate member, and various community work. She will be attending UNM this fall, major to be decided, Please join me in welcoming your 2019 valedictorian, Ella McDonald.

(audience cheering and applauding)

ELLA MCDONALD: Thank you guys so much. This year, I found myself in a class that I had no reason to be in, AP Calculus. I didn't particularly like math and had finally left my childhood curiosity in engineering behind in favor of law. In fact, the only reason I decided to take that class was because of some left over curiosity from when I was eight and saw calculus on the topic list on Khan Academy. And that class, that stupid, frustrating, confusing class has completely ruined the goals that I set myself for to study law and politics. That shift all happened one night. I was doing calculus homework at my boyfriend's house and was tired and confused and frustrated and I just broke. I started crying, surrounded by textbooks and papers and my boyfriend's family, I cried all over that textbook. Really quickly, I'd like to pause and apologize to Mr. Platt for that crinkled unit. But anyway, after I had recovered a bit, I couldn't shake this feeling of excitement that I had because the next day in class it'd be explained and I'd be able to understand. Because then I'd be able to beat that question. 

I am a very competitive person. I often pick fights with abstract concepts and inanimate objects, and have an extremely curious personality. I love to learn new things, to be challenged, and gut through hard problems to create solutions, something I decided my freshman year I was going to accomplish by studying law. And this all resulted in me feeling lost. I wasn't able to enjoy learning or foster my curiosity for a while during high school. Because while I was always curious, I became driven by a fear of failure. I was curious but I felt like I was constantly disappointing my family. I was determined but I was trying to be perfect and completely ignoring the fact that I just couldn't be. I felt like a burden to everyone around me. I had daily panic attacks and unmanageable anxiety. Yet now, I realize that I am closer to myself when I was five than I am to myself freshman year. That childlike curiosity came back. That childlike fearlessness came back. And my childhood determination to create my own path regardless of what others thought is growing stronger every day. This story doesn't have a beginning and middle and end. It has a beginning and middle and beginning. I became lost when I forgot my passion that I had when I was young that I had to be pulled back to. And that class, that stupid, confusing, frustrating, rewarding, exciting, incredible class helped me find my path again.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is let yourself be completely thrown off your path. Let yourself be excited. Let yourself go on that adventure. And if you do decide to go on that adventure, I'd like to share something from Winnie the Pooh that got me through my own. No matter how far apart we may be there is something you must always remember. You are stronger than you seem, braver than you believe, smarter than you think and more loved than you will ever know. Thank you.

(audience cheering and applauding)

MARCO FLORES: Thank you Ella and congratulations on being valedictorian. Give her a big hand.

(audience applauding)

Now, once again, I would like to introduce to you in welcoming our Highland Concert choir led by Mr. Farris Collins. They will be performing the senior tribute song "Showing Us The Way" by Jack Schrader.

♪ Here we are, tying up the loose ends ♪

♪ And saying last goodbyes to all our friends ♪

♪ Here we are, making all the right moves ♪

♪ Moving on to new things, starting over again ♪

♪ Where we're going to it's still hard to say ♪

♪ But I know we'll come back some day ♪

♪ Holding on to all the things you've taught us ♪

♪ Thanking you for showing us the way ♪

♪ There we were seeing things the first time ♪

♪ And sorting out the reasons from the rhyme ♪

♪ There you were, always there to guide us ♪

♪ Mapping out the mountains that we had to climb ♪

♪ You took us in your hands and shaped us like clay ♪

♪ And helped prepare us for this day ♪

♪ See us now, we're shining in your love light ♪

♪ And thanking you for showing us the way ♪

♪ You watched us all grow older ♪

♪ You helped us look ahead ♪

♪ You'll be there on my shoulder ♪

♪ In my times of need I'll hear the words that you said ♪

♪ The words that you said ♪

♪ Here we are tying up the loose ends ♪

♪ And saying last goodbyes to all our friends ♪

♪ Here we are making all the right moves ♪

♪ Moving on to new things starting over again ♪

♪ Where we're going to it's still hard to say ♪

♪ But I know we'll come back some day ♪

♪ Holding on, to all the things you've taught us ♪

♪ Thanking you for showing us the way ♪

♪ Holding on to all the things you've taught us ♪

♪ Thanking you for showing us ♪

♪ The way ♪

♪ Oh ♪

(audience cheering and applauding)

MARCO FLORES: Thank you for that performance. Now, we would like to introduce you your 2018-2019 Senior Class President, Sushil Darjee, who will be giving his senior farewell address. Please welcome Sushil Darjee.

(audience cheering and applauding)

SUSHIL DARJEE: Good evening. Students, graduating seniors, families and our respected faculty. Thank you for joining us in the graduation ceremony of Highland High School's class of 2019. I know we have been counting the days since senior year began. But today it is over but it seems like it just started. Each milestone in high school has made the journey even more memorable. Senior sunrise, homecoming, prom, senior sunset and everything in between and now our final walk as hornets. On a day of celebration, there is so much to be thankful for. We would not be here this evening without the support from our wonderful teachers, our incredible administrators and our loving parents. I especially want to thank my parents for making the decision to move to the United States from Nepal. As a refugee family we have been through a lot. From living in such poverty place in Nepal and moving to America and seeing the two different sides of the world, we are so incredibly thankful for the amazing opportunities we have received.

(audience cheering and applauding)

We arrived in New Mexico on April of 2009. As many of you may know during this time of the season in New Mexico the weather changes a lot. It would go from hail that is a size of a pebble to the sun blazing heat on your skin. But one day it snowed, well, it didn't really snow much but it was my first time ever seeing snow. As I stared from our living room window, it was the most pure and beautiful thing I've ever seen in my life. Just like seeing my first snow, I started to do and see things for the first time. I had my first bite of McDonald's Hot and Spicy and my first time stepping into a school with buildings and playgrounds, my first time holding a pencil and creating an image, and now after ten years I'm proud to say I'll be the first in my family to attend a university.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Not just refugees and immigrant parents have sacrificed so much for better for their kids but every parent has and I just want to say thank you to all parents for loving, giving us your support and being by our sides in every step of the way. Like our extraordinary parents, we have our remarkable teachers who helped us through this amazing journey and made classes memorable. First I want to thank our freshman teachers who don't get recognized by the time we graduate. Because of these amazing teachers, they led us to the path of success throughout high school. They were the first impressions we saw. I especially want to thank Mr. Snyder. I had Mr. Snyder for New Mexico history just for a semester. During this time, I saw him going all out for 'Human versus Zombies' and dressing up for assemblies. Seeing this encouraged me to join clubs and do things I would never do. Thank you Mr. Snyder and all the freshman teachers for getting us out of our comfort zone.

Next I want to thank Mrs. Spratley who was our senior class sponsor. I first met Mrs. Spratley at senate camp last summer where I learned about parcheesi. Mrs. Spratley has woken up four in the morning and stayed late in the afternoon helping us seniors in creating one of the best years of our life. So thank you Mrs. Spratley for everything you have done.

(audience applauding)

Art is my passion as many of you may know. I want to change the world with this ability that I have. I want people to see the world as I see it. I wouldn't be this confident about art without the teaching of Mr. Gomez. Mr. Gomez has inspired me to be creative in a place full of creative people and place with no creative people. Thank you Mr. Gomez for challenging me to make me a better artist. And I can't forget to thank the one and only Mr. Landis.

(audience applauding)

You have seen us grow and develop from freshmen jump start to our graduation day. You have inspired me to not let negativities get in my head and do what's best for me and to think about how my decisions can affect other people. You taught me that the mistake we'll make now will help us what we will do in the future. Lastly I want to thank my class. Being a foreigner and still having trouble speaking English, you made me feel like I belong. These past four years you accepted me for who I truly am and I thank you for that.

Well, class of 2019, as we all go our separate ways I want to wish you all the best of luck. Don't ever give up on what you believe in. I'm sure you'll succeed in anything you'll do. Congratulation class of 2019 and don't forget to be the first.

(audience cheering and applauding)

NYIAH DOSS: Thank you, Sushil. Now we would like to introduce to you your 2018-2019 Student Body President, my best friend, Megan Chavez, who will be giving her senior fellow address.

(audience cheering and applauding)

MEGAN CHAVEZ: With concluding thirteen years of school, I have grown as well as created countless memories. Highland has been most of our home for four years. We have screamed at football fields in the pouring rain, and danced on bleachers during basketball games, and even learned the US has a mixed economy, thanks to Seth. These moments in our lives allow us to connect and enjoy the small details. Though this year may appear to be the most memorable, I want you to consider the little moments too, like sneaking to the store or hanging out in activities a little too much. Appreciate the time spent with your closest friends, whether it was recreating 'The Office'or endlessly practicing for DECA Nationals. Each moment holds a true value. I'd like to thank my friends, whom I consider family, for the little moments in between the huge ones. Each one impacting me in the greatest way. And of course my family, for always pretending like they know my schedule but no doubt never missing any of my events. The support and motivation from the sidelines pushed me to be here today. I love you all.

As I reflect back on these memories, I know they have led up to today, our greatest achievement yet. We have earned this celebration. Take it in as it will appear to be gone in an instant. The future awaits us all and our goals and dreams will only prosper from here. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason, and whether our plans continue the way we expect them to or take a turn, I am eager to see how we continue to grow. Thank you Class of 2019.

(audience cheering and applauding)

EMMA KOSTELECKY: Thank you Megan and Sushil. At this time please welcome back to the podium our principal, Mr. Marco Harris.

MARACO HARRIS: All right, here we go. So first I just wanna talk about the senior class. This is one of the happiest groups I know. I went back to my yearbook back a few years ago and I remember looking at all the senior pictures. We had those seniors that were too cool to smile, constipated so I don't wanna smile, don't wanna crack my makeup so I'm not gonna smile. I looked through our yearbook this year of you, the seniors and you all were amazing. You had this little glow about you and I think that's what we feel today as an audience member and looking at you as seniors. Really proud of you guys. Before I get started, I do wanna send a big shout out to my daughter Sierra Harris. She's actually graduating senior, excuse me, I wish she was at Highland, actually at Albuquerque High. She's being robed right now. So that would be actually my youngest out of the house and I don't know what to do about this empty nester stuff but maybe you guys can counsel me.

I coin this senior class the forgotten class, why? Well, in sixth grade I was actually the principal at Wilson Middle School. I got to hang out with that sixth grade class for one year and then I left to go to Jackson. Yes, they were that big of a pain in the derriere. But with that said, I made a lot of promises and I think I broke a lot of promises so I am exuberant to be here with you to share your celebration, oh and by the way Nyiah, I got your Sprite. That was a sixth grade promise. So most of these young people are pretty darn mature. I mean, mature than most of the adults that I have an opportunity to interact with.

And once again, you ooze that opportunity for change. I'm sure you got tired of me, you Wilson students, talking about being responsible, staying focused, being respectful but jeez, look where it got you today. Now you're all part of the equity, engage and excellence journey. Today we live in a world of great inequalities and terrible gaps and wealth between you, me and a few rich people that dictate their economic terms to all the rest of us. So always keep in mind that Amazon, Apple and Facebook aren't exactly eager to sit you down and give you that million dollar contract over a Navajo taco and a Coke at Los Cuates. We must fight for equity. We have the democratic traditions of freedom that can give us hope. We're free to choose turkeys, horchata, excuse me, sneakers, that's what the first amendment tells us. In addition, our declaration of independence claims that all men are created equal, how about those ladies and minorities out there? That has not been true so far and many never become true unless you all fight to make it true.

My father-in-law is John Nichols. He wrote the book Milagro Beanfield War. I was hoping he would actually be up here this evening to be a keynote but I think we had a better keynote tonight for sure. But he wasn't feeling very well. He's a 78-year-old man, heart not in the best condition. But I take a lot of wisdom from some of his examples in which he has shared with me throughout his life. And so with that, I share a story. I like to call him a blue blood. Actually his great great great great grandfather, did I say that five times? Was actually the William Floyd who actually signed the declaration of independence. That's pretty interesting. It's interesting to me that he also has a first cousin currently that is running for president in 2020, Bill Weld, that is weird. 

With that said, during the time that William Floyd was signing the declaration of independence he had 600 acres on vine Long Island. If you all know, 600 acres on Long Island, I don't even think we can count how much that costs. His mother and father were actually affectionately buried in a nearby cemetery on the William Floyd Estate. Not far from there yet outside the white people's fence plot are the graves of the slaves who died on the estate on the same day in which he signed the declaration of independence. Stay engaged with the journey. I share this story for one reason. Not because white people are bad, not because rich people are bad or because we carry guns and those people are bad. I share this story to say this, Big J., my father-in-law, found his purpose through the contradictions of his family's belief system and practices to inspire others to become critical thinkers, problem solvers, risk takers to initiate the change he wanted to see. 

85% of the jobs in which you all will be participating in 2030, don't even exist today. How do we deal with that? You've already achieved excellence. We started this freshman class before 135 students. 240 of you made it to 2018 fall. 190 of you made it to January, there's 174 of you right now sitting out in this audience who endured the journey.

(audience cheering and applauding)

58 of you have committed to four year colleges, 24 of you have committed to CNM to go then to a four year college, UNM, and 26 of you committed to two years trade schools. You brought in over 1.34 million dollars in scholarships which is $400000 more than the previous year. Damn!

And when I look at you, I look at the sea of cords. Last night we celebrated over 50 clubs over 500 awarded cords, certificates and so forth. Man, you've achieved excellence. I've really tried to shift my thinking this year to give voice to the young people. I always try to go out and find that quote, that everybody's gonna leave here changed ready to grow from. The coolest thing by listening to you this year, I didn't have to look very far. The quote I'd like to share with you this evening is the senior quote. If you haven't read it, if you haven't heard it, here it is. "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change we seek," President Barack Obama.

With that said, at this time. I am going to offer up APS Chief Operations Officer, Scott Elder, APS Executive Director of the Education Foundation, Shannon Barnhill and our esteemed board members Barbara Peterson and Yolanda Montoya. The graduates before you duly met and completed all requirements set forth by the New Mexico Public Education Department and have also met all requirements as set forth by the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education and are hereby qualified to receive an official New Mexico High School Diploma.

(audience cheering and applauding)

These students are fully certified for graduation. It is my pleasure, it is my great honor to present to you Highland High School graduating class of 2019.

(audience cheering and applauding)

BOARD MEMBER BARBARA PETERSON: So your class motto is well chosen. You all have power to make the change that we need. You have the creativity, the energy, and you need to know that your community loves you and we need you. So on behalf of the Albuquerque Public School Board of Education, we are delighted to accept the Highland High School class of 2019.

BOARD MEMBER YOLANDA MONTOYA-CORDOVA: Congratulations. 

(audience cheering and applauding)

PATY CARREON: Will the first row of the class of 2019 please stand. (audience cheering and applauding)

- [Narrator] Cedric Rosales.

(audience cheering and applauding)

- [Narrator] Ledoux Alexis.

- [Narrator] Sifatullah Alkozai.

(audience cheering and applauding)

- [Narrator] Spogmai Alkozai.

- [Narrator] Aldo Alvarez.

- [Narrator] Angel Alvarez.

- [Narrator] Alexis Ledoux.

Alyssa Ammerman.

- [Narrator] Imelda Andrade-Martinez.

- [Narrator] Jordan Anguiano-Pena.

- [Narrator] Alexander Aragon.

- [Narrator] Monique Arrey.

- [Narrator] Alfredo Arroyos.

- [Narrator] Joshua Ashford.

Lenae Austin.

(audience cheering and applauding)

- [Narrator] Carlos Avilla.

- [Narrator] Zully Avilla.

Contee Reelyn Baker.

- [Narrator] Dafne Barquera-Hernandez.

- Jorge Beccera Huizar.

- [Narrator] Brian Beers.

- [Narrator] Oreste Borges.

- [Narrator] Joshua Calabaza.

- [Narrator] Aleandra Campos.

- [Narrator] Arely Canales.

- [Narrator] Ahtziri Cardona.

- [Narrator] Ivan Carrillo.

- [Narrator] Gabriel Caskey.

- [Narrator] Sheyana Castillo.

Xary Castillo Loza.

- [Narrator] Marli Castro-Luna.

- [Narrator] Alma Centeno.

- [Narrator] Carlos Chacon Nune.

- [Narrator] Faith Chavez.

- [Narrator] Joshua Chavez.

- [Narrator] Megan Chavez.

Imane Claiborne.

- [Narrator] Savannah Contreras.

- [Narrator] Diana Coriz.

- [Narrator] Benjamin Crocker.

- [Narrator] Miguel Cruz.

- [Narrator] Calvin Dakie.

- [Narrator] Sushil Darjee.

Annika De Arment.

Nyiah Dos.

- [Narrator] Madison Eckistein.

- [Narrator] Karina Esparza.

- [Narrator] Yaritza Esparza.

- [Narrator] Ramon Estrada.

- [Narrator] Leslie Favela.

- [Narrator] Henry Folkner.

- [Narrator] Mara Florentino.

- [Narrator] Luis Flores.

- [Narrator] Marco Flores.

- [Narrator] Fernando Fragosa.

- [Narrator] Daniel Garcia.

- [Narrator] Kansas Garcia.

- [Narrator] Kevin Garcia.

- [Narrator] Kristal Geronimo Jimenez.

- [Narrator] Raya Ghattas.

- [Narrator] Ernesto Godina.

- [Narrator] Alan Gonzalez.

- [Narrator] Anthony Gonzalez.

- [Narrator] Kavozio Graves.

- [Narrator] Zion Griffin.

- [Narrator] Olivia Grissom.

- [Narrator] Samantha Gutierrez.

- [Narrator] Abigail Hatcher.

- [Narrator] Desiree Henderson.

- [Narrator] Miguel Hernandez.

Yareli Hernandez.

- [Narrator] Vanessa Heron.

- [Narrator] John Hoang.

- [Narrator] Samuel Holguin.

- [Narrator] Gulsoom Ismail.

- [Narrator] Samantha Jaramillo.

- [Narrator] Sheyla Jimenez.

- [Narrator] Chandler Jones.

- [Narrator] Emma Kosteleckey.

- [Narrator] Jeanne Kwirinda.

- [Narrator] Dayasha Lampkin.

- [Narrator] Jose Landa.

- [Narrator] Angelina Leyba.

- [Narrator] Ramon Limas.

- [Narrator] Abraham Lindsey-Paek.

Galdina Llaguno.

- [Narrator] Janet Lopez.

- [Narrator] Brian Lopez Duron.

Aja Lujan.

- [Narrator] Asheleen Makin.

- [Narrator] Karely Malagon-Ruiz.

- [Narrator] Karina Malagon-Ruiz.

- [Narrator] Kenneth Mareko.

- [Narrator] Manuel Marquez.

- [Narrator] Andre Martinez.

- [Narrator] Andrea Martinez.

- [Narrator] Lorena Martinez.

- [Narrator] Ryan Martinez.

- [Narrator] Sonia Martinez.

- [Narrator] Valarie Martinez.

- [Narrator] Ella McDonald.

- [Narrator] Flor Medina.

- [Narrator] Alexys Medrano.

- [Narrator] Marina Melendrez.

- [Narrator] Kimberly Mendoza.

- [Narrator] Samantha Mercado.

- [Narrator] Alejandro Monreal.

- [Narrator] Jorge Mora Hernandez.

- [Narrator] Daniela Morales Gamboa.

Grace Mulemangabo.

- [Narrator] Eduardo Munoz Cepeda.

- [Narrator] Nigel Mwamba.

- [Narrator] Shekina Mwamba.

- [Narrator] Hayden Nash.

- [Narrator] Claude Ndacayisaba.

- [Narrator] Jasmine Neely-Garcia.

- [Narrator] Evelyn Nevarez Munoz.

- [Narrator] Bang Nguyen.

- [Narrator] Regina Nibigira.

- [Narrator] Taylor Noble.

- [Narrator] Gabriella Nolasco.

- [Narrator] Claude Nsabimana.

- [Narrator] Ashley Olvera.

- [Narrator] Jose Orozco.

- [Narrator] Sharaya Ortega.

- [Narrator] Benjamin Parrales.

- [Narrator] Brayan Pena.

- [Narrator] Kameron Pena.

- [Narrator] Cristian Perez.

- [Narrator] Melanie Pestana.

- [Narrator] Lisette Pineda.

- [Narrator] Jeremiah Placencio.

- [Narrator] Courtney Preece.

- [Narrator] Jesus Quintero.

- [Narrator] Carlos Ramirez.

- [Narrator] Rosa Ramirez.

- [Narrator] Andrea Regino.

- [Narrator] Joshua Rios.

- [Narrator] Saul Rodelas Montiel.

- [Narrator] Abril Rodriguez.

- [Narrator] Valentin Rojas.

- [Narrator] Jacqueline Romero.

- [Narrator] Luis Romero.

- [Narrator] Annie Ruiz.

- [Narrator] Andre Saavedra Pirir.

- [Narrator] Briann Salaz.

- [Narrator] Dulce Saldivar.

- [Narrator] Stephanie Saldivar.

- [Narrator] Jessica Saucedo.

- [Narrator] Anita Shukurani.

- [Narrator] Brianna Silva.

- [Narrator] Quetzal Simbron.

- [Narrator] Fabritzio Solorzano.

- [Narrator] Zahra Soltani.

- [Narrator] Kaden Steen.

- [Narrator] Sara Suarez-Mora.

- [Narrator] Michael Angelo Tejada.

- [Narrator] Chloe Terry.

- [Narrator] Xavier Thompson.

- [Narrator] Anthony Toledo.

- [Narrator] Arianna Toledo.

- [Narrator] Emily Torres-Escarcega.

- [Narrator] Phillip Trujillo.

- [Narrator] Inzhila Umed.

- [Narrator] Karla Valdez.

- [Narrator] Ayerim Varela Felix.

- [Narrator] Luis Vasquez.

- [Narrator] Mariah Watson.

- [Narrator] Jasmine Wood.

- [Narrator] Jacqueline Yanez.

- [Narrator] Isaac Martinez.

MARCO HARRIS: Almost a couple of tears out there. With that, I'd love to bring Annie and Briann back to the stage.

BRIANN SALAZ: We all have overcome many obstacles during our time at Highland. These obstacles have set us up to accomplish great things in the future. We all need to thank our great role models including our parents, teachers and peers during our educational journey. We now begin a new journey, the next chapter of our lives. I wish you all the best in all you do. As you walk out these doors today, you are in charge of what you become. Greatness awaits the class of 2019.

ANNIE RUIZ" Now's the moment we all been waiting for. Graduates, please stand.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Now, will you please move your tassels from right to left. Congratulations class of 2019.

(audience cheering and applauding)

BRIANN SALAZ: Parents, family members and friends, You may meet your graduates in the parking lot, next to the Creative Art parking lot, west of the colosseum. Thank you for attending. To the class of 2019, we wish you all the best of luck. And thank you for the contributions you've made to Highland High school. Thank you for all for coming to honor our graduating class.

("Celebration" by Kool & The Gang)

Graduates: 2019 List of Graduates (PDF)
Class Flower: White Rose
Class Song: "I Lived" by One Republic

Acknowledgments:

Special thanks to Highland High School Counselors, Staff, Student Senate, NJROTC, Band, Choir, Demetria Burrell, Rebeca Zimmermann, Bethany Spratley, and Campus Specialties.

Graduate Escorts:

David Baldwin, Sandra Dubois, Robert Frausto, Luis Guzman, Heidi Hawkins, Nick Madrid, Shannon Marrs, Michael Platt, Annmarie Sheahan, Matt Singleton, Bethany Spratley

La Cueva High School

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose." —Dr. Suess

La Cueva Graduation Transcript

("Pomp and Circumstance" by Edward Elgar)

(audience cheering)

ADDISON PORTMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the presentation of the colors and remain standing until the colors have left the floor. Gentlemen, please remove your caps. Today's color guard is presented by La Cueva High School Junior ROTC. They are Cadet Private First Class Hughes, Cadet Lance Corporal Fournier, Cadet Staff Sergeant Richefield. They are commanded by Cadet Chandler. Our national anthem will be sung today by La Cueva High School Concert Choir under the direction of Katherine Green.

- [Cadet Chandler] Color guard, march! Color guard, halt. Present colors.

♪ Oh say, can you see ♪

♪ By the dawn's early light ♪

♪ What so proudly we hailed ♪

♪ At the twilight's last gleaming ♪

♪ Whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪

♪ Through the perilous fight ♪

♪ O'er the ramparts we watched ♪

♪ Were so gallantly streaming ♪

♪ And the rockets' red glare ♪

♪ The bombs bursting in air ♪

♪ Gave proof thru the night ♪

♪ That our flag was still there ♪

♪ Oh say, does that star-spangled ♪

♪ Banner yet wave ♪

♪ O'er the land of the free ♪

♪ And the home of the brave ♪

(audience cheering)

- [Cadet Chandler] Right, face!

- [Man] Right, face!

- [Cadet Chandler] Posts, march!

- [Man] Posts, march!

(Cadet Chandler speaking indistinctly)

(men shouting indistinctly)

ADDISON PORTMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, you may be seated. Graduates, please remain standing. Graduates, please be seated. Good afternoon, parents and guests. Welcome to the 2019 La Cueva High School Graduation Commencement Ceremony. I am Addison Portman, your senior class president and mistress of ceremonies for this evening. Joining me onstage are valedictorians Anita Sumali, John H. Tran, and Jared Zhang. Your salutatorian, Brad Zhang, and the 2019 senior class officers, Julia Avery and Hannah Grenemyer, along with our La Cueva administrative team, which consists of La Cueva High School Principal Ms. Dana Lee, Assistant Principal Mr. Brett Rimer, Assistant Principal Mr. Brian Hubbell, Dean of Students Mrs. Ashley Keilbarth, Dean of Students Ms. Leigh Arnett, Athletic Director Ms. LeeAnn Moores, and Activities Director Ms. Lacee Metzger.

We are also pleased to have joining us onstage today President of the School Board Dr. David Peercy, Board Member Candelaria Patterson, APS Superintendent Raquel Reedy, and Associate Superintendent of APS Zone 4, Troy Hughes. Thank you also to the La Cueva Counseling team sitting just off the stage, Mrs. Megan Goodman, Mrs. Angela Hawes, Ms. Justine Garcia, Mrs. DeAnna Romero, Mr. Mike Reilly, Mr. Gillian Gordon, and Mrs. Jasmine Metzgar. Please give all of our guests a round of applause as we are very honored to have them here as part of our ceremony.

(audience applauds)

Please also give a round of applause for our teachers working here tonight and those leading us through our graduation: Emily Clauss, Alan Spencer, Lansing Freeman, Lena Eddings, Kimberly Conell, John Bryant, Richard Faulkner, Mary Robinson, and Aimee Wray.

(audience applauds)

JULIA AVERY: Thank you. Now I would like to welcome to the stage our salutatorian, Brad Zhang.

(audience applauds)

BRAD ZHANG: So apparently, what letter your last name begins with indicates how much time it takes to write your graduation speech, 'cause Jared and I both turned in our graduation speech several hours late. And yes, we're the same person. Thanks, Sanchez. Anyway, hi everyone. I think y'all know who I am, but if you don't, I'm a just-graduated La Cueva alumnus like everyone else here. Honestly, the only difference between you and me is that I was just a tad bit better at reading SparkNotes and watching Crash Course videos at two times speed.

(audience laughs)

It's graduation day, a time with mixed emotions, so to let y'all know how I feel right now, I'd like to start with a quote from a fellow violinist and an anime character. We're all afraid, you know, to get up on stage. Maybe you'll mess up. Maybe they'll totally reject you. Even so, you grit your teeth and get up on stage anyway. Yes, I'm scared out of my mind right now and I want to hide, but there's no place to hide. More importantly, we all have our own stage, our own dreams. We'll be afraid of being judged by others, temporarily abandoning our dreams in fear. But the opinion that matters most is yours.

Others might influence the shape of your stage, but you are the director, conductor, soloist. You are in control. My boy, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, once said, "AirPods are the most valuable investment you can make." Wait, sorry. That's the wrong quote. (laughs)

(audience laughs)

Dumbledore once said, "It does not do to dwell on dreams. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." Of course, the lamest cause of death is that someone forgot they were alive, and I hope none of you die that way, if you even can. But don't dwell on your dreams. Make your dreams a reality. Leave your dream in a way that makes yourself proud. Seriously, live like Thanos.

(audience laughs)

But we're not Thanos. We can't turn back time, and we can't solve our problems with a single snap, so the only thing we can do is do it right the first time. Take actions that won't leave any regrets behind. And as we move on to greater things, remember that as the graduating class of 2019, we are inevitable. I wish you all luck in your future endeavors if you need luck, but you'll have something better: brains. Cheers, DFTBA, and remember, the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.

(audience applauds)

HANNAH GRENEMYER: At this time, I am pleased to introduce your co-valedictorian, Anita Sumali.

(audience applauds)

ANITA SUMALI: Thank you so much, Brad and Hannah. You guys are amazing. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Anita Sumali, and I'm honored to be representing the talented, incredible class of 2019. I think most of us are familiar with the iconic high school environment. Narrow hallways lined with lockers, and full of students who fit general high school stereotypes. You have your mean girls, jocks, band geeks, and nerds. Four years ago, when we first entered high school, I think we all thought to an extent that we needed to fit into one of these stereotypes, or we at least had an idea of who we wanted to be.

Now, high school is over, but we still have most of our lives ahead of us, and one thing I've learned is that stereotypes should be challenged. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't be smart as a jock or that you can't be athletic as a band geek. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't be popular if you're smart, because Brad, our salutatorian, already proved that's possible when he became our prom king. Can we please have a round of applause for Brad?

(audience applauds) (Anita laughs)

My mother is a former Olympic swimmer, so who would have guessed that I would be standing up here as valedictorian, arguably the exact opposite of an Olympic athlete? One thing I've learned from having family members with such different interests and strengths than me is that as long as you have passion, determination, and drive, anything is possible. So as we begin new chapters of our lives today, I challenge each and every one of you to be more than what's expected of you. Be ambitious, but compassionate. Be intelligent, but insightful beyond academics. Be successful, but virtuous. As Hindu teacher Swami Sivananda once said, "Put your heart, mind, and soul into all of your smallest acts. This is the secret of success." Thank you all so much, and congratulations, class of 2019.

(audience applauds)

JULIA AVERY: Thank you, Anita. Now I would like to introduce our co-valedictorian, John Tran.

(audience applauds)

JOHN TRAN: Good afternoon, graduates, parents, and teachers. I want to take a moment to thank all of the teachers for the time and dedication that they have devoted to all of us here today. Thank you to my friends and peers that stuck with me to the end, enjoying every second we spent studying and having fun together. And finally, a special thank you to my family, my cousins and aunts, and my grandma for flying over here to be here today, and especially my sister, my mom and dad, and my uncle, for pushing me to be the very best I can be. All of you have fostered a deep fervor to challenge myself, while being there when I needed it the most, and it's comforting to know that I'll have your support wherever I go and a place where I can always call home.

First, I am deeply humbled for, again, the chance to speak to you, the class of 2019, on this eventful day. La Cueva will always have a special place in my heart, and when I joined a preschool program at La Cueva when I was a little kid, I remember bawling my eyes out during the first day. That was the first time I was alone, and I felt like I was alone at that time. But however, I will never forget the capricious, yet joyous times I had back then, eating fried potatoes in the shape of a smiley face during lunch time.

And here I am at the brink of crying again, but this time, leaving La Cueva behind. Ironic, isn't it? La Cueva has always been home to me, and I hope you all share the same sentiment with me. All of you have grown and changed over the last few years since our initial encounter, and I know you will all continue to do so in upcoming years, and as I continued to write this speech, the soothing patter of the rain outside my window reminded me of the quiet, yet joyous times we had together. To be honest, that was enough for me. Thinking to the snow we had this past winter, blanketing our neighborhood with a white velvet, a sight we haven't seen for ages. And the longest government shutdown we have experienced in American history, and tells us that sometimes things don't work out the way we want them to, and that change disheartened us as we have an opportunity to create lasting changes for future generations to build upon and cherish, and the first picture of the black hole we got to see, and of the many things yet to be discovered under the marvelous sky of ours.

Each and every one of you has the ability to make the world a better place. Whatever we decide to do, we should always try to help the people around us. And as Mr. Freeman says, the least we can do is to look out for each one another. This world will always be filled with injustices, and unfortunately, that's the way society works. So if you have time to give up or hold a grudge against that injustice, use that time to enjoy battling those injustices instead. If you don't gain anything from the obstacles you face, at least you will become a better person as a result. I will always treasure the memories we had together, no matter how brief they seem to be. I hope you all continue to fight on, no matter how grim it may look at times.

Lastly, remember that it does have to end here. Whether there are aches in your heart that won't go away or an urge to cry on a thing sorely missed, it's fine to feel like that. It's what makes us human. If you ever find yourself lost, I've got one last thing to say. Never forget who you want to be and the kind of person you want to become. If anything, trust your guts and enjoy the life around you. Thank you, and congratulations, class of 2019.

(audience applauds)

HANNAH GRENEMYER: Let's give one more round of applause to John Tran.

(audience applauds)

Now I would like to introduce your last co-valedictorian, Jared Zhang.

(audience applauds)

JARED ZHANG: Dear teachers, parents, friends, and fellow graduates, thank you all for coming to my TED talk.

(audience laughs)

Today is a special turning point in all of our lives, and I would like to quickly thank some people for being part of my journey. First, I would like to thank my mom, my dad, and my brother Roland. Special shout-out to my mother for everything she has done for me these last 18 years. There are no words that can describe how important you are to me, and I'm forever grateful. Next, cheers to my capstone and debate families. You've all been a megalith of a support for me throughout high school, and I love you all. Lastly, thank you to the Bestial Bills, Holden, Alex, Jason and Kylie, for being my closest and most trusted friends. 

It's on special occasions like today that we tend to sit back, yawn, and listen to boring speeches like this one. But we also tend to reminisce. We think back about our times at La Cueva, the good ones, the bad ones, our successes and our failures. Today I want to talk about the latter. High school has shown me that failure is inevitable, and it happens to everyone, especially to Mr. Freeman at the gym.

(audience laughs) (Jared chuckles)

If failure is inevitable, that must also mean that perfection is forever unattainable, and in my opinion, both these statements are true. But as my amazing calc teacher, Ms. Conell, taught me, there exist asymptotes, lines that get infinitely close to each other. I like to imagine an asymptote of perfection, something we can never reach, but we can always ceaselessly strive towards, and the fact that we are graduating today is proof that we are already striving towards this asymptote. It's proof that the seeds for success have already been planted within us. I guess the question is will we nurture these seeds to produce tomorrow's dreams, or will we get sued by Monsanto?

(audience laughs)

Today we reminisce about the past. We look at our last four years and think about all the things that we've accomplished and the things we could've done better. But after today, I think it's time for us to look forwards towards the future. We should look at the future without regret. After all, we can't change what's already happened. And when I look towards our future, it's brighter than any class before it. In the words of Malcolm X, the future belongs to those who prepare for it today, and if these last four years have shown me anything, I know that the future belongs to us, so let's full send it, class of 2019. Thank you, and of course, cheers.

(audience applauds)

- Let's give one more round of applause to our valedictorians and salutatorian.

(audience applauds)

At this time, would the seniors and choir please come forward? On behalf of the graduates, the choir would like to thank the family, friends, and educators who have always been there for us. Please welcome our La Cueva Concert Choir for their presentation of Underneath the Stars, directed by Katherine Green.

(audience applauds)

♪ Oh, go gently ♪

♪ Oh, go gently ♪

♪ Underneath the stars I'll meet you ♪

♪ Underneath the stars I'll greet you ♪

♪ Then there beneath the stars I'll leave you ♪

♪ Before you go of your own free will ♪

♪ Go gently ♪

♪ Go gently ♪

♪ Underneath the stars you met me ♪

♪ Underneath the stars you left me ♪

♪ I wonder if the stars regret me ♪

♪ At least you'll go of your own free will ♪

♪ Go gently ♪

♪ Go gently ♪

♪ Here beneath the stars I'm landing ♪

♪ And here beneath the stars not ending ♪

♪ Oh, why on earth am I pretending ♪

♪ I'm here again, the stars befriending ♪

♪ They come and go of their own free will ♪

♪ Go gently ♪

♪ Go gently ♪

♪ Go gently ♪

♪ Go gently ♪

♪ Go gently ♪

♪ Go gently ♪

♪ Go gently ♪

♪ Underneath the stars you met me ♪

♪ Underneath the stars you left me ♪

♪ I wonder if the stars regret me ♪

♪ I'm sure they'd like me if they only met me ♪

♪ They come and go of their own free will ♪

♪ Go gently ♪

♪ Gently ♪ ♪ Go gently ♪

♪ Gently ♪

♪ Gently ♪ ♪ Go gently ♪

♪ Gently ♪

♪ Gently ♪ ♪ Go gently ♪

(audience applauds)

DANA LEE: It is now time for the class of 2019 to receive their diplomas.

(audience cheering)

It is the request of the La Cueva High School administration that we honor each and every graduate by holding applause until the end. Many friends and family members have traveled far to honor their graduates. I would like to present the class of 2019. They have met all of the graduation requirements set forth by the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education, along with the New Mexico Public Education Department. To you, Dr. David Peercy and the school board, I present the class of 2019.

(audience applauds)

BOARD MEMBER DAVID PEERCY: Hello, class of 2019. It's our honor from the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education to accept this great 2019 graduation class from La Cueva High School. Congratulations and best wishes to all of you. Thank you.

(audience applauds)

- [Male Announcer] Quinn I Abate.

(audience applauds)

Rebekah L Abeyta.

Ashante A Adam.

Jonah Adams.

Jewell V Airhart.

(man cheering)

Brik J Albach.

(audience cheering)

Saad Aleem.

(audience cheering)

Myriam Sophie Josephine Lynn Allred.

Alexander J Alunday.

(audience cheering)

Lane Kristopher Manuel Aragon.

(audience cheering)

Shauni K Ausman.

(audience cheering)

Phoenix J Autrey.

(audience cheering)

Julia G Avery.

Nafiqa F Awwad.

(audience cheering)

Aspen N Babnick.

(audience cheering)

Jensen R Baca.

(audience cheering)

Jordyn N Bachmann.

(audience cheering)

Zeynep M Bahadirli.

(audience cheering)

Nicholas A Baker.

Isabella B Barnett-Green.

(audience cheering)

Scott Bass.

(audience cheering)

Kailand T Begay.

Louis A Bercier.

(audience cheering)

Spencer R Bergamo.

(audience cheering)

Grace Bernhart.

(audience cheering)

Trinity A Berry.

(audience cheering)

Alexander B Bethel.

(audience cheering)

Katie L Bingham.

(audience applauds)

Chase Blackwood.

(audience cheering)

Cooper J Blair.

(audience cheering)

- [Male Announcer] Kamryn Bohlken.

Tyler Scott Borin.

(audience cheering)

Kameron L Bowers.

(audience cheering)

Martin Brandt.

Lorelei R Breitfeld.

(audience cheering)

Sara Brightwell.

(audience cheering)

James Brining.

(audience cheering)

Adam H Britton.

Parker A Brosious.

(audience cheering)

Jack J Brown.

Pierce Buck.

(audience cheering)

Annie Bui.

(audience cheering)

Lawrence Bussey V.

(audience cheering)

Jamie Butikofer.

(audience cheering)

David C De Baca.

(audience cheering)

Karsen N Calvert.

(audience cheering)

Kate A Calvert.

(audience cheering)

Mason Calvert.

(audience cheering)

Alyssa Noel Capuano.

Sebastian Carbajal.

(audience cheering)

Alissa Cardiff.

Roger R Carman Jr.

(audience cheering)

Michelle Maria Casanova.

(audience cheering)

Tzion M Castillo.

(audience cheering)

Madison N Cervantes.

(audience cheering)

Rohit R Chalamala.

Lauren E Chang.

(audience cheering)

Charles Chau.

(audience cheering)

Antonio J Chaves.

(audience cheering)

Brooke Chavez.

(audience cheering)

- [Male Announcer] Marcos A Chavez.

(audience cheering)

(person whispers indistinctly) Cael C Chavez-Kerr.

(audience cheering)

Akshay Chellappa.

Brandon Chen.

Shyann Chischilly.

(audience cheering)

Brett Thill Clark.

(audience cheering)

Megan N Clark.

(audience cheering)

Ruth Catherine Clark.

(audience cheering)

Michael A Cole.

(audience cheering)

Benjamin J Corey.

(audience cheering)

Elliot W Cortese.

(audience cheering)

Tony M Covino.

(audience cheering)

Zoey Craft.

(audience cheering)

Trinity M Crouch.

(audience cheering)

Ameen Dajani.

(audience cheering)

Austin T Denton.

(audience cheering)

Sarah J Dakofsky.

(audience cheering)

Nathan V Dao.

- [Man] Yeah, Nathan!

- [Male Announcer] Cheri Davis.

(audience cheering)

Cody Davis.

(audience cheering)

Taylor A Davis.

(audience cheering)

Alexander James Denetdale.

(audience cheering)

Simi Dhaliwal.

Jack T Dillon.

(audience cheering)

Connor Dix.

(audience cheering)

Vincent R Domina.

(audience cheering)

Marcelo Dominguez.

(audience cheering)

Benjamin G Doughty.

(audience cheering)

Madison N Driscoll.

(audience cheering)

Julia R Dubois.

(audience cheering)

- [Female Announcer] Sean Eckert.

(audience cheering)

Hannah J Duffy.

(audience cheering)

Lilburn L Dukes.

(audience cheering)

Elaine, Ellen, sorry.

Ellen N Duong.

(audience cheering)

Karissa R Eames.

Jacob Everett Eanes.

(audience cheering)

Brynn E Elson.

(audience cheering)

Tyler M Erickson.

(audience cheering)

Kaitlyn E Esplin.

(audience cheering)

Aaryona N Estrada.

(audience cheering)

Madisyn R Estrada.

(audience cheering)

Zachary K Fitch.

(audience cheering)

Isabella Ford.

(audience cheering)

Karina E Ford.

- Go, Madisyn! - Sean M Ford.

Ryan G Foteio.

(audience cheering)

Morgan J Fortin.

(audience cheering)

Jayden E Fox.

(audience cheering)

Daniel A Fuentes.

(audience cheering)

Giovanni S Gabaldon.

(audience cheering)

Carin N Gallegos.

(audience cheering)

Jack S Gallegos.

(audience cheering)

Alexis R Garcia.

(audience cheering)

Elena M Garcia.

(audience cheering)

Zachary B Garcia.

(audience cheering)

Hailey C Garde.

(audience cheering)

Eve Gardenswartz.

- Yeah, Eve! (audience cheering)

- [Female Announcer] Audrey M Gates.

(audience cheering)

Charlotte E Gates.

(audience cheering)

- [Male Announcer] Eric A Givens.

(audience cheering)

Connor Gates.

(audience cheering)

Kelsey Gates.

(audience cheering)

Preston Gatewood.

(audience cheering)

Kassim Gauba.

David Gibson.

(audience cheering)

Forrest Gill-Ehlen.

(audience cheering)

Irfan Gillani.

(audience cheering)

Garrett Golleher.

(audience cheering)

Kassandra Gregos.

(audience cheering)

Hannah Grenemyer.

(audience cheering)

Sabina Griebel.

(audience cheering)

Hannah Grunwald.

(audience cheering)

Adam Gutierrez.

(audience cheering)

Grant Guttromson.

(audience cheering)

Jade Regina Hagins.

(audience cheering)

Troy William Harbaugh.

(audience cheering)

Hannah Delaney Harlow.

(audience cheering)

Jennifer W Harned.

(audience cheering)

Daniel B Harrod.

(audience cheering)

Sedona B Hart.

Rachael Y Hathoot.

(audience cheering)

Jacob Scott Hayden.

(audience cheering)

Kaleb Hella.

(audience cheering)

Shane Henry.

(audience cheering)

Antonio Herrera.

(audience cheering)

Mikayla Raine Herrera.

(audience cheering)

Natala Hesch.

(audience cheering)

Jack Walker Hoagland.

(audience cheering)

Jeremiah Holland.

(audience cheering)

- [Female Announcer] Parris S Hollingshead.

(audience cheering)

Savannah W Holmes.

Razine K Hossain.

Ethan J Hudgens.

(audience cheering)

Brandon R Hunt.

(audience cheering)

Ilhamuddin Hussaini.

- Let's go, Ilhamuddin! (audience cheering)

- [Female Announcer] Nathaniel B Hutchinson.

(audience cheering)

Jashua S Hwang.

(audience applauds)

Caroline H Jamharian.

(audience cheering)

Harry G Jamharian.

(audience cheering)

Mia O Jaramillo.

(audience cheering)

Christopher T Jarek.

Sameen F Jawadi.

(audience cheering)

Hannah G Jenson.

(audience cheering)

Natalie C Jones.

(audience cheering)

Nicholas B Jones.

(audience cheering)

Damian H Jordan.

Thomas M Judkins.

(audience cheering)

Alexandra Kaminsky.

(audience cheering)

Jared L Kane.

(audience cheering)

Anum S Kassam.

(audience cheering)

Julia G Kim.

(audience cheering)

Jacob R Knighton.

(audience cheering)

Stephen S Koss.

(audience cheering)

Vanessa N Krajeck.

(audience cheering)

Destiny A Kuehn.

Emma J Kunzler.

(audience cheering)

Kallista A Kunzler.

(audience cheering)

Madison N Lacy.

(audience cheering)

- [Male Announcer] Halie M Lalande.

(audience cheering)

Jacob E Lamanna.

(audience cheering)

Adam A Lambert.

- Yeah, Adam! (audience cheering)

- [Male Announcer] Daniel J Lastine.

- Attaboy, Dan! (audience cheering)

- [Male Announcer] Austin Stephen-Lee Laven.

Julian J Lee.

(audience cheering)

Steven I Lee.

Rebecca E Leischner.

(audience cheering)

Maggie R Bachicha-Liston.

(audience cheering)

Jiahao Liu.

(audience applauds)

Alyxandria M Loidolt.

(audience cheering)

Emma G Long.

(audience cheering)

Jalen S Lopez.

(audience cheering)

Nyah Lopez.

(audience cheering)

Serena Rose Lopez-Mackaness.

(audience cheering)

Runqi Lu.

(audience cheering)

- [Male Announcer] Hudson Thomas Lueker.

(audience cheering)

Izaak P Luna.

(audience cheering)

Madison T Lund.

(audience cheering)

Rebecca Faith Luten.

(audience cheering)

Joseph S Lutz.

(audience cheering)

Robert M Lutz.

(audience cheering)

Jason Michael Lyons.

(audience cheering)

Joana Macklin.

(audience cheering)

Fred Musa Mady III.

(audience cheering)

Jordyn Ann Maes.

(audience cheering)

Parriss Anisa Mahan.

(audience cheering)

Dylan William Mahan.

(audience cheering)

Ryan Alexander Malone.

(audience cheering)

Sarah Marie Mann.

(audience cheering)

Diana Rose Manzanares.

(audience cheering)

Samantha E Martin.

(audience cheering)

Dru Bailey Martinez.

(audience cheering)

Michael Christopher Martinez.

(audience cheering)

Thomas Robert Martinez.

(audience cheering)

William Cash Martinez.

(audience cheering)

Marissa Renee Mathias.

(audience cheering)

Questin Matthew Maurer.

(audience cheering)

Brian P Mayers.

(audience cheering)

Cameron Conrad Mayo.

(audience cheering)

Robert M McCourt.

(audience cheering)

Grayson McDonald.

(audience cheering)

David DJ McDowell.

- Yeah, DJ! (audience cheering)

- [Male Announcer] Blake Milne McGee.

- Blake! (audience cheering)

- [Male Announcer] Ryan M McGuire.

(audience cheering)

- [Male Announcer] Margaret Daisy Mee.

(audience cheering)

Tina Memarian.

(audience cheering)

Joshua Mendoza.

(audience cheering)

Lance Von Kendrick Milford.

(audience cheering)

Meriel Milligan.

(audience cheering)

Nizhoni Pony Milton.

(audience cheering)

Joey Mok.

(audience cheering)

Ava Rae Molina.

(audience cheering)

Briana Montoya.

(audience cheering)

Nathaniel Montoya.

(audience cheering)

Adelyn Bette Moore.

(audience cheering)

Ryan Lynn Moreland.

(audience cheering)

Tyler E Morgan.

(audience cheering)

Briana Karrie Mortensen.

(audience cheering)

Tari Alexandra Morton.

(audience cheering)

Holden Nathaniel Mueller.

(audience cheering)

Cecilia Michela Munoz.

(audience cheering)

Madeline M Murphy.

(audience cheering)

Anam Z Nadeem.

(audience cheering)

Farnosh Naeemi.

(audience cheering)

Han B Nguyen.

(audience cheering)

Ngoc D Nguyen.

(audience cheering)

Niles H Nguyen.

(audience cheering)

Ellen A O'Brien.

(audience cheering)

Lauryn Faith O'Brien.

(audience cheering)

Abigail Lynn Opperman.

Isaiah Gabriel Ortega.

(audience cheering)

Adan Luis Ortega-Garcia.

(audience cheering)

Starla Marie Osterman, Osterman, sorry.

Osterman. (audience cheering)

Debbie K Oyinatumba.

(audience cheering)

And Chrysten Pacheco.

(audience cheering)

- [Female Announcer] Katlin Reed Pacheco.

(audience cheering)

Sofia E Palacios.

(audience cheering)

Justin J Paques.

(audience applauds)

Shaun M Paques.

(audience cheering)

Sungmin Park.

(audience cheering)

Aayushi P Patel.

Nicole Patrizi.

(audience cheering)

Ethan A Pearson.

(audience cheering)

Alia A Pedersen.

(audience cheering)

Sergio Pena.

(audience cheering)

Brenden Pepin.

(audience cheering)

Pepe Barraza.

(audience cheering)

Brianna Alexis Perry.

(audience cheering)

Evan Thomas Pfeiffer.

(audience cheering)

Kevin M Phan.

Dominic T Pimentel.

(audience cheering)

Rose K Pineda.

(audience cheering)

Jakob A Pirkl.

(audience cheering)

Nisali A Piyasena.

(audience cheering)

Katrina A Poindexter.

(audience cheering)

Victoria R Pompeo.

(audience cheering)

Addison K Portman.

(audience cheering)

Davis M Pratt.

(audience cheering)

Tyler D Pyzel.

(audience cheering)

Andrea Quintana.

(audience cheering)

Elijah X Quintana.

(audience cheering)

James A Quintana.

(audience cheering)

Alex Quintana.

(audience cheering)

Neha Rajput.

(audience cheering)

Tharindu Ranasinghe.

(audience cheering)

- [Female Announcer] Yasmeen Rasheed.

(audience cheering)

Isabel Sophia Rawson.

(audience cheering)

Morgan Claire Reasonover.

(audience cheering)

Joseph R Redmond.

(audience cheering)

Benjamin Matthew Daniel Reed.

(audience cheering)

Megan Grace Remington.

(audience cheering)

Joslyn Ellen Repichowski.

(audience cheering)

John Albert Richardson.

(audience cheering)

Hannah Leigh Rivera.

(audience cheering)

Madeline Leslie Rivera.

(audience cheering)

Aabis W Rizvi.

(audience cheering)

Asim W Rizvi.

(audience cheering)

Sahar Rizvi.

(audience cheering)

John Roberts.

(audience applauds)

Hayley Raine Robinson.

(audience cheering)

Taylor Jaden Robles.

(audience cheering)

Kade Christopher Rockett.

(audience cheering)

Allison E Rodas.

(audience cheering)

Christian James Rodriguez.

(audience cheering)

Liliana Rodriguez.

(audience cheering)

Taryn Jessica Roe.

(audience cheering)

Nickolaus Karl Roeseberg.

(audience cheering)

Jacob Matthew Romero.

(audience cheering)

Jenna Elise Rorem.

(audience cheering)

Noah S Rose.

Sophia Rose Salazar.

(audience cheering)

Aditya V Sambandam.

(audience cheering)

Aaron Reed Sanchez.

(audience cheering)

Brianna R Sanchez.

(audience cheering)

Kiley Madison Sanchez.

(audience cheering)

- [Female Announcer] Ajay Sandoval.

(audience cheering)

Deja J Sandoval.

(audience cheering)

Joseph A Sandoval.

(audience cheering)

Ariana R Santistevan.

(audience cheering)

Kylee P Sawaya.

(audience cheering)

Mackenzie L Schenk.

(audience cheering)

Eliza K Schmitt.

(audience cheering)

Gabriel S Schoenmann.

(audience cheering)

Thomas B Schoneman IV.

(audience cheering)

Hannah B Schum.

(audience cheering)

Alycia L Schwartz.

(audience cheering)

John R Scott.

(audience cheering)

Caden W Seery.

(audience applauds)

Jillian R Selwyn.

(audience cheering)

Camila S Sharp.

(audience cheering)

Cedric J Sierra.

(audience cheering)

Jordynn L Sills.

(audience cheering)

Angelo Simone.

(audience cheering)

Kayla B Singer.

(audience cheering)

Kelsey P Slayton.

(audience cheering)

Bethany R Smith.

(audience cheering)

Blaine T Smith.

(audience cheering)

Chevy Smith.

(audience cheering)

Dylan D Smith.

(audience cheering)

Katelyn R Smith.

(audience cheering)

Amanda T Sommer.

(audience cheering)

Jeanine O St. George.

(audience cheering)

William H. A. Stewart.

(audience cheering)

Tristan J Stone.

(audience cheering)

Andrew C Stoughton.

(audience cheering)

- [Male Announcer] Anita X Sumali.

(audience cheering)

Dylan J Summer.

(audience cheering)

Jerry Sun.

(audience cheering)

Brittney A Supple.

(audience cheering)

Geoffrey P Suter.

(audience cheering)

Israel A Swanson.

(audience cheering)

Madison L Tevistownes.

(audience cheering)

Sheymah Mahir Thabata.

(audience cheering)

Vincent A Thomas.

(audience cheering)

Lily R Thompson.

(audience cheering)

Citlali A Tierney.

(audience cheering)

John H Tran.

(audience cheering)

Teresa T Tran.

(audience cheering)

Truc Tran.

Devin C Trujillo.

(audience cheering)

Diego J Trujillo.

(audience cheering)

Victoria Katrina Vasquez.

(audience cheering)

Bryan Vega.

(audience cheering)

Adam A Vellani.

(audience cheering)

Samuel J Vigil.

(audience cheering)

Emma L Villas.

(audience cheering)

Lluvia Azul Villescas.

(audience cheering)

Cori R Walker.

(audience cheering)

Amanda T Ward.

(audience cheering)

Annika Warder.

(audience cheering)

Autumn Weinberger.

(audience cheering)

Reece A Wiggins.

(audience cheering)

Ryan J Wolfe.

(audience cheering)

Jason Xiong.

(audience cheering)

Teagan S Yan.

(audience cheering)

- [Male Announcer] Lucy Yang.

(audience cheering)

Malak Youssef-Arafat.

(audience cheering)

Sang Weon Yu.

(audience cheering)

Siyi Yu.

(audience cheering)

Shawna Zabel.

(audience cheering)

Brad Zhang.

(audience cheering)

Jared Zhang.

(audience cheering)

Tristin Zimmer.

(audience cheering)

And Shane Zottnick.

(audience cheering)

ADDISON PORTMAN: We're almost done, just a few more minutes. First and foremost, I would like to say thank you to every person who has touched my life and helped me become the person you all see standing before you today. To my family, thank you for your constant love and support. To my friends, for being my village, and to all of my teachers for never letting me settle for good enough. To Mr. Sanchez and Ms. Soto, along with Ms. Conell and Ms. Eddings, all of which challenged me academically while teaching me valuable life lessons and skills. Lastly, thank you to Rose, Megan, Jenna, Julia, Hannah, Ms. Lee, and of course, Ms. Metzger, who made it possible for all of us to have the best year ever.

This speech has been taunting me for several weeks now, and I wasn't sure how to put the meaning of our class into words, that was until I realized none of us are ever on any journey alone. While I am the only one standing before you now, each and every one of you is shown through me. So I ask the people who will always be on your journey, your parents and guardians, if they could give you one piece of advice going forward, what would it be? The messages I received included: You learn something from everything you do. Trust in yourself. Everything in your life depends on your actions. And my personal favorite, if you fail, it's not the end of the world. Try again and you might succeed, or at least fail better.

Four short years ago, I would have thought these to be cliche, but now we have all learned in many ways, whether hard or easy, that the simplest ideas are the hardest to achieve. I can't tell you that there's a secret to surviving whatever comes next in your journey, because I don't believe there is one. What I can tell you is a message that has helped me push through the hardest parts of my life, and that message is to choose your own happiness. Happiness means something different to everyone, and that's okay. In fact, it's a good thing. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think."

As we all move forward into our future endeavors, whatever that holds, I hope that each of you chooses your own happiness, to find positivity in your worst moments, to allow yourself not to be perfect, and especially to be true to your own values. Now, I would like to say a final thank you and congratulations. Thank you to La Cueva for four amazing years. Thank you for the memories, the lessons, the hard times, the early mornings and late nights, but most importantly, thank you for the laughs. I am beyond excited for every single person in this room. It wasn't always easy to get here, but we did it. Congratulations, class of 2019. Here's to our future.

(audience cheering)

- [Dana] I was flying through mine.

- [Addison] Yeah.

DANA LEE: Class of 2019, you are sitting here today because of a variety of factors. Family, friends, and teachers have guided your journey. Athletics activities and events have added depth to the experience, but personal choices have dictated the results. No matter how bumpy or smooth the road has been, you have reached your destination because you have persevered. You are ending one chapter and beginning another, and while high school is awesome, my hope is that everything that comes next is even more so. Often, graduating seniors will hear about the joys and challenges ahead. They will listen to speakers tell them they are equipped for whatever is to come, and that the possibilities are endless. 

I love that your class motto is a quote from the last book Dr. Seuss wrote, Oh the Places You'll Go. You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself any direction you choose. I sincerely hope that your years at La Cueva have given you the tools needed for the future. But instead of focusing on how La Cueva has prepared you, the class of 2019, for the world, I'd like to emphasize what the class of 2019 has done for La Cueva High School. 

It would not be an overstatement to claim that this class of seniors has been extraordinarily generous with their time, appreciative of their teachers and coaches, and kind to their peers. The class of 2019 has challenged historical traditions to set a new tone. They've gained national recognition for their inclusive spirit. They've taken every opportunity to demonstrate their Bear Pride, while practicing humility and developing the habit of giving back. This improved climate of collaboration, celebration, and school and community spirit has been years in the making, but this senior class has been the common denominator. Change takes time, but change that takes time will endure. The class of 2019 is leaving a legacy of kindness behind, and we are a better school because of it. 

As we prepare to send you off, there are two things I'd like to emphasize. I apologize to the audience members here today who are not Twitter-savvy, but Twitterspeak is very much the language of La Cueva High School. Seniors, first and foremost, I am a #proudprincipal. Secondly, after four years, a couple of dozen final exams, and much success in the classroom, on the field, the stage, and the court, you are #finished.

(audience cheering)

Congratulations, class of 2019.

ADDISON PORTMAN: Graduates, please stand.

(audience cheering)

Together, we share our final moments as high school students as we move our tassels.

(audience cheering)

Now, we the graduates of the class of 2019, would like to show our appreciation with applause to our families, teachers, and friends, whose love and support has made it possible for each and every one of us to be standing here today.

(audience applauds)

My fellow graduates, congratulations. Good luck in all that life has to offer you. Please remove your caps and your tassels.

(audience cheering)

I'm struggling. I can't get it, okay. We made it. You may now throw your caps.

(audience cheering)

Is this yours? This concludes this La Cueva 2019 Graduation Ceremony. The La Cueva Band, directed by John Converse, will now recess the 2019 alumni of La Cueva High School.

(audience cheering)

("Pomp & Circumstance" by Edward Elgar)

Graduates: 2019 List of Graduates (PDF)
Class Flower: Lily
Class Song: "I'll be there for you" by The Rembrants

Top Students

Anita X. Sumali, John H. Tran, Jared Zhang, Brad W. Zhang, Charles Chau, Allison E. Rodas, Akshay J. Chellappa, Lauren E. Chang, Adelyn B. Moore, Jason Xiong, Jerry Sun, Audrey M. Gates, Charlotte Gates, Brynn E. Elson

Manzano High School

Manzano Graduation Transcript

BRIANA MATHIS: Good afternoon. The administration, staff, and students of Manzano High School would like to extend a special welcome to loved ones, friends, and community members to our 2019 Commencement ceremonies. The administration of Manzano High School request that we honor each and every graduate. Many friends and family members are in attendance this afternoon to honor their graduates. Please refrain from air horns and extended hollers so that every graduates name can be heard and honored. We would like to continue with the tradition of hosting a dignified graduation. This includes standing respectfully and quietly during the presentation of colors as well as waiting until the colors have left the floor. At this time, will you please stand to greet our graduates?

EDWARD GRIFFIN: We ask that you remain standing for the Star Spangled Banner as performed by the Commencement Manzano High School Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. Daniel Cummings and Manzano's Naval Junior ROTC under the direction of Commander Mike Beno and First Sergeant Matt McMenimen will present the colors.

- [Matt] Forward, march. Company, mark, march Color Guard halt. Present, colors. ♪ Oh say can you see ♪ ♪ By the dawn's early light ♪ ♪ What so proudly we hailed ♪ ♪ At the twilight's last gleaming ♪ ♪ Whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪ ♪ Through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ O'er the ramparts we watch'd were so gallantly steaming ♪ ♪ And the rockets red glare ♪ ♪ The bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there ♪ ♪ O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave ♪ ♪ O'er the land of the free ♪ ♪ and the home of the ♪ ♪ Brave, of the brave ♪

EDWARD GRIFFIN: Please remain standing respectfully and quietly until the color guard has exited.

- March. Right face, march. Forward, March.

EDWARD GRIFFIN: You may be seated. Parents and guests are asked to keep all aisles cleared during the entire ceremony. This is by request of the fire department. Those wishing to take pictures must do so from their seats and we ask that you remain seated so you do not block the view of others. An official photographer will be taking a picture of each graduate receiving a diploma today.

KAREN WEBB: Good afternoon, welcome. I'm Dr. Karen Webb, Principal of Manzano High School. Please allow me to introduce everyone accompanying me on stage. We have Student Body President, Brianna Mathis. Student Body Vice President, Edward Griffin Student Body Treasurer, Maya Vo. Student Body Historian, Breanna Williams. Valedictorian, Rebecca Tresise. Salutatorian, Faith Lopez. APS Board Member, Ms. Elizabeth Armijo. APS Board Member, Ms. Barbara Peterson. APS Superintendent, Superintendent Raquel Reedy. And APS Associate Superintendent, Dr. Gabriella Blakey. Assistant Principal, Mr. Jason Sanchez. Assistant Principal, Mr. Arvis Vonner And Assistant Principal, Mr. Dean Leh. It is my distinct honor to welcome you again and to thank you for coming to celebrate the graduation of Manzano's High School's Class of 2019. We, your administrators, teachers, family, friends, and our distinguished guests are extremely proud of each one of you and your accomplishments. The Class of 2019 is extremely special to me. Four years ago we entered Manzano as freshman, and that was my first year as Manzano Principal. It was your first year as brand new bright eyed ninth graders. Throughout these years, I have watched you grow and learn. I have watched you build confidence, courage, and compassion. You have learned perseverance, dedication, self discipline, and have acquired the academic skills and knowledge to set you on your path to success. Each of you is well prepared for your next journey. Soon you will be entering various colleges, universities, the military, or the world of work. Your tenaciousness, knowledge, and heart will guide you towards excellence. Albert Einstein wrote, your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions. Imagine your future life. Imagine your success. Imagine how you will change the world and make it a better place. Work towards the life you desire as it is definitely within your reach. To paraphrase a Native American quote, live as strong as the mountains, be as gentle the spring winds, keep the warmth of summer sun in your heart, and be a life long learner as your potential, graduate, is as vast as the universe. Thank you. You know yours is in the back right?

REBECCA TRESISE: Huh?

KAREN WEBB: Your speech is in the back. 

REBECCA TRESISE: Yeah, oh gosh. This is so scary. Oh gosh. Hi guys. I remember the other day at work. I dropped someone's dollar bill outside the drive-thru window. So I jumped out the window to grab it for them. I remember almost drowning in Mexico, because the waves kept pulling me back and I didn't know how to swim. I was told by Hannah, come on Becca, swim. And I responded by choking on some water. I remember riding bikes with one of my best friends Kara, and she was trying to get out of the way for a car that was going like five miles an hour. So she crashed into my neighbors mailbox and broke it. I remember in second grade. In order to impress our my male friends, we had a spitting contest off the swings. One of my friends spits and it smacks me right in the face deeming that game unplayable. Some pretty important memories, like today. I remember waking up at five to get ready. Taking a three hour exam, and now I'm here speaking in front of all of you. A memorable day it is. The plan is to remember this day for years to come and tell my grandkids and stuff, like yeah kids, I was pretty cool. But if my body continues to dwindle at the rate it is, who knows. I probably need glasses, but I don't know 'cause I cheated on my eye exams. Always gotta be winning you know. And I have poor hearing which I would like to credit to the fact that I sat in front of the first trumpet player every morning and he only knows how to play loud. So if I can't hear you after the first few times, I'm gonna nod and laugh and hope I didn't need to respond. I also have a really bad knee that causes me to hobble sometimes. So you know regular 18 year old stuff with 80 year old symptoms. I can only imagine what it'd really be like when I've hit that age. Anyway, today is a big day right? We yeehawed our way through high school, and now we get to do more school, and more school, and a little more. But we should be proud, because for many of you, you are first generation high school graduates, and for others along with those getting your GED's, you are first generation college students. And it is now time to acknowledge that we will no longer spend mornings in the library with Ms. Eaton or join Mr. Mcguinness in the Smart Farm on Friday afternoons. We won't hear Edward mess up the morning announcements anymore. We don't get to high five Big Dog Robyn in the plaza. We don't get to tell Teal Galleta or Mr. Cooke when we see him in the hallway. And we can't tell Mr. Houser that the federal government is our daddy. Our favorite teachers will have to say goodbye to us and us goodbye to them. But that is okay. It is okay, because we survived. And we're allowed to be a wee bit sad. But just remember these teachers, counselors, administrators, and staff will always be there if we need them. We are moving on or moving out, but we still have a family here. Thank you.

FAITH LOPEZ: Hello, I am Faith, or Pap, or disappointment Lopez, or whatever you wanna call me, whatever.

KAREN WEBB: It's in the back. It's in the back.

FAITH LOPEZ: There it is. So on my last day of high school, after the bell rang, after seventh period, I walked into the K Hall bathroom and after doing what one does in a bathroom, I was confronted with the startling reality that there was no toilet paper and if I'm being honest, the entire scenario was very indicative of what my high school experiences was like. Like uncomfortable, and just kind of disappointing, so while I stand up here, and I can't speak to any of your high school experiences, and trying to would be baseless and inappropriate, I can speak to broadly as what we experienced as a class in 2019. Some of us spent four years diligently taking notes and turning in assignments. Some of us skated just straight through. Some spend high school having actual fun and some of us drank coffee at 3:00 a.m. Just trying to get through the night. Some of us may have had a job or two or three. Some of us may have had to care for siblings or parents or grandparents. Some students woke up at 5:00 a.m. each day to go to negative one hour, then zero hour, then first period. And some of you have spent the last four years working day in and day out and now you're here. Some of us are discouraged by the results. Some of us are ecstatic to leave. Some are giddy about the future and some are really sad to go. But high school has taught us all one thing. One solitary unified lesson. And that's that life promises nothing outside of the daily grind. Life doesn't hand us lemons. That's idiotic. Life doesn't have hands. But life, our existence, our consciousness, everything that's makes up us, gives only the daily nine to five, or in our case, the daily 7:25 to 2:25. We will work the rest of our lives through college, or the military, or trade school, or our jobs, or our careers for an end that we may never see. You may spend another four or eight or 12 years working towards another diploma, another ceremony, another unflattering cap. You may spend the next century on a job or a relationship or fighting for a position. But successes aren't guaranteed even for the hardest workers. And you may devote the rest of your life to finding a universal truth through scientific experimentation. Or you'll devote your time to nailing the perfect free throw or finding the love of your life or starting a family. But nothing is for certain. The earth may be engulfed in climate catastrophe, 'caused by years of our inability to change it. One day America may find itself the laughing stock of the world, and that day might be sooner than we thought. One day India and Pakistan may just decide that cashmere is worth a nuclear winter and one day aliens may abduct us all. That could be right now. I think we're good, we're good. What I'm trying ultimately to say is that what happens after this ceremony is unknown. Our futures are nebulous, they're hazy, they're unclear, but your future is just that, yours. And while the world may be held in the hands of people that like to break things at least your future is yours, and you can do with it what you will. One day you may find that your hard work has been done in vain. Your passions may have fallen through the floorboards. Your goals may never shake your hand on meeting, but Class of 2019, I hope only one thing for us. I hope that wherever you end up in life, wherever the dust of our life settle, wherever it is that we find ourselves in four, or six, or 17 years, I hope the bathroom's there have toilet paper and that you can think back to high school fondly, but glad to be where you are then. Because then you can pee with comfort of knowing that graduation isn't the only thing that ends with a piece of paper. Thank you.

BRIANA MATHIS: Okay hello. So good afternoon everyone. My name is Brianna Mathis and I have had the greatest honor this year of being Student Body President. We constantly hear about the cliches of high school. Evidently they are true. Nothing can compare to the moments we've experienced throughout the last four years. So freshman year, we constantly heard, when are you guys going to graduate? Or what are you gonna do after high school? Sophomore year we heard, so do you know where you're gonna go to college yet? Junior year we heard, what are you going to study in college? And finally Senior year we have heard, you're at the end, are you ready to be done? Now here we are about to graduate with all of these questions racing through our heads. We've all made memories. Whether it's letting about econ through Houser's Daily office clips, stressing about assignments we waited 'til the last minute to do, or winning every single spirit assembly this year. These memories are what have made our high school experiences their own. Oftentimes we hear high school is about discovering yourself. This is false. We never stop learning and growing. We will never truly live up to discovering ourselves, because it's not just who you are and what you wanna be, but it's a process you must be active in. Life is forever moving at a fast pace, so it's your job to take a step back and realize that you are the only person that can mold your future. You are what you need to keep striving for your highest goals. Take the initiative to discover what you want from this life and what your future is. Remembering exactly what you can do for yourself and knowing that there are endless amounts of success. In life you must invent your own meaning. As it may be difficult, it is completely worth it. Now remember, high school's not the end for us. It was simply a stepping stone to the larger things in life for what we will do beyond here. This is a time for us to live a life full of optimism. The inspiration we possess on the inside must be planted, watered, and grown into something truly impeccable. Take a moment, even if you don't want to, to look to your left and to look to your right. You may be sitting next to someone you've spoken to from time to time, or maybe your best friend, or maybe someone you don't know at all. But we've all experienced this journey together and we've had the privilege of doing it with someone by our side. Seeing someone familiar in class everyday can remind us that we're all in the same boat. There's always that moment where one student asks the question in calculus class that everyone else had. So I guess you can say there's someone who can relate to the struggles of senior year. Throughout high school I have had the most amazing support system. And I hope all of you will recognize and appreciate those that have pushed you to your greatest extents. Whether it was a teacher, friend, or family member, someone has helped you get to where you are today. High school is a time of immense tears and stress. But through this, we realize that it is worth it. As we embark upon our journeys of life, remember that it's okay to get stuck, and it's okay to ask for help, because there may be a moment that you don't know what's next. But remember that you will accomplish every goal in life with grace and determination. Now I would like to leave you with a quote from my most inspirational beings, Michael Scott. And he says, "When it comes to adulting, I know exactly what to do. "But in much more real sense, I have no idea what do to." Thank you.

- [Audience Member] Marcus!

KAREN WEBB: Thank you very much. Now it is my pleasure. Actually, ah Jazel, it's a song right? Okay, sorry guys. Now Jazel Moridia will perform "I Will Always Remember You".

♪ I always knew this day would come ♪ ♪ We'd be standing one by one ♪ ♪ With the future in our hands ♪ ♪ So many dreams ♪ ♪ So many plans ♪ ♪ Always knew after all these years ♪ ♪ There'd be laughter ♪ ♪ There'd be tears ♪ ♪ Never thought I'd walk away ♪ ♪ With so much joy and so much pain ♪ ♪ And it's so hard to say goodbye ♪ ♪ But yesterday's gone ♪ ♪ We gotta be moving on ♪ ♪ And I'm so thankful for the moments ♪ ♪ So glad I got to know ya ♪ ♪ The times that we had ♪ ♪ I'll keep like a photograph ♪ ♪ And hold you in my heart forever ♪ ♪ I'll always remember you ♪ ♪ Hey ♪ ♪ Hey, aye, yay, yay, yay, yay, yay, yeah ♪ ♪ Another chapter in the books ♪ ♪ Can't go back but you can look ♪ ♪ And there we are on every page ♪ ♪ Memories I'll always save ♪ ♪ Up ahead only open doors ♪ ♪ Who knows what we're heading towards ♪ ♪ I wish you love ♪ ♪ I wish you luck ♪ ♪ For you the world just opens up ♪ ♪ And it's so hard to say goodbye ♪ ♪ Oh yesterday's gone ♪ ♪ We gotta keep moving on ♪ ♪ And I'm so thankful the moments ♪ ♪ So glad I got to know ya ♪ ♪ The times that we had ♪ ♪ I'll keep like a photograph ♪ ♪ And hold you in my heart forever ♪ ♪ I'll always remember you ♪ ♪ Oh, everyday that we had ♪ ♪ All the good, all the bad ♪ ♪ I'll keep them here inside ♪ ♪ Every time that we shared ♪ ♪ Every place, everywhere ♪ ♪ You touched my life ♪ ♪ And one day, we'll look back ♪ ♪ And we'll smile and we'll laugh ♪ ♪ But right now we just cry ♪ ♪ 'Cause it's so hard to say goodbye ♪ ♪ Yesterday's gone ♪ ♪ We gotta keep moving on ♪ ♪ I'm so thankful for the moments ♪ ♪ So glad I got to know ya ♪ ♪ The times that we had ♪ ♪ I'll keep like a photograph ♪ ♪ And hold you in my heart forever ♪ ♪ I'll always remember you ♪ ♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh ♪ ♪ You ♪ ♪ And I'll always, and I'll always remember, ♪ ♪ Remember you ♪

KAREN WEBB: Wow that was beautiful. Let's give her another round of applause. Okay Class of 2019, let's give her the Monarch clap. Thank you. It is now my pleasure to invite the Class of 2019 to the stage to receive their diplomas. Teachers from Manzano will present the names of the graduates. Please welcome Mister Dan Shanley and Mister Andy Cook.

- V starts so yeah. Rebecca Tresise. Faith Lopez. Katelyn Alam. Matthew Morse. Ian May. Samantha Minchak. Vivian Stitelman. Alyssa Aragon. Thomas Minchak. Libby Zamora. Karen Aceves. Hashim Al Kurdi. Emily Allen. Tyler Allen. Marisol Alvarado. Nathan Amaya. Felicity Andrade. Majorine Andrews. Dena Araiza. Daniel Archuleta. Wyshanna Archuleta. Esteban Arguello. Harmony Armendariz. Sarah Armijo.

- [Teacher] Desiree Baca. Savannah Baca-Garcia. Victor Baldonado. Lourdes Barrera. James Beasley. Aaron Bedah. Bryahna Belton. Alex Besse. Sierra Beverly. Maria Bishop. Jack Blankenship. Cheyenne Blay. Nataly Booth. Ruger Bravo. Karis Brennan. Isabelle Bromley. Jacob Brotz. Michel Bruce. Tim Burke. Issa Bustria Montana C De Baca. Ashley Candelaria. Micah Carlen. Savannah Carreon.

- [Teacher] Gabriel Ceniceros. Cortez Chacon. Emannie Champion-Walker. Adrina Chavez. Angel Chavez. Christopher Chavez. Kayera Chebahtah. Imani Chelf. Courtney Clark. Sarah Cooley. Alicia Cordova. Isabella Costales. Mason Cronrath. Reece Davis. Jacqueline Deleon-Jarquin. Jose Delgado. Gia Dismuke. Ezekiel Duran. Logan Durham. Jedidiah Edgar. Tyler Eldred. Whitney Erler. Evelyn Evora. Johnathon Fajardo.

- [Teacher] Steven Fernandez. Cecelia Flewelling. Alexandra Flores. Jacqueline Flores. Marvin Flores. Citaly Flores Morales. Mario Flores Shold Jordan Forsythe. Ezekiel Fox. Tyler Fox. Caitlin Frazier-Wiggins. Samuel Gallart-Martin. Lorena Gallegos. Destiny Garcia. Isabella Garcia. Izaiah Garcia. Jacob Garcia. Jaime Garcia. Jesse Garcia. Mariah Garcia. Noelle Garcia. Santiago Garcia. Chloe Garza. Carly Gatchell.

- [Teacher] Kimberly Gay. David Glenn. Jasmine Gonzales. Bionce Gonzales. Shae Gonzales. Sierra Gonzales. Olivia Gonzales. Sierra Gonzales. Estacie Gonzales. Matthew Graham. Vivian Green. Elijah Green. Charizma Gray. Edward Griffin. Seth Griffin. Lucas Griffin. Christian Grogan. Maryn Guida. Georgiana Guy. Montel Guzman. Andres Hadder. Bailee Hall. Bryannia Hall. Zane Hall.

- [Teacher] Ray Hardy. Gerald Hazel. Adamari Hernandez. Loren Hernandez. Zoe Herrera. Shannon Hirdman. Jet Ho. Joshua Hohnstreiter. Carlos Hollingsworth. Irvin Hoyos. John Hutson. Alexis Ibarra. Grecia Ibarra. XavierIvey-Saud. Megan Jackson. Kevon Jaramillo. Cody Jenkins. Sebastian Jimenez. Andrea Johnson. Tameka Johnson. Demitri Johnson-Lucero. Anthony Keever. Marissa Kline. Dominique Krupp-Maguire.

- [Teacher] Lizbeth Lara. Ruby Lara. Brandon Largo. Jeremy Lawrence. Jacque Le. Nathalie Le. Tu Le. Madison Lebeau. Hunter Lee. Beau Lemoine. Saige Logan. Felicia Lopez. Reina Lopez. Jesus Lopez. Gabriel Lucero. Maximiliano Luera. Alexander Luke. Danny Luong. Doanh Luong. Torrey Luong. Yocelyn Madera. Jude Madrid. Mackenzie Marchbanks. Marlon Mora.

- [Teacher] Gabriel Marquez Spencer Marsh. David Martinez. Deandra Martinez. Emilio Martinez. Jennesis Martinez. Brianna Mathis. Stephan May. Castalia Mayerhofer. Dylan McCabe. Tobin McCoy. Julia McGhee. Jacob Meese. Ruben Mendez. Jose Mendoza. Alexia Mira. Kane Miller. Alec Mills. Haylea Mitchell. Leontina Mlelewa. Citlali Montes Rico. Diego Montoya. John Moore. Kaymen Moore.

- [Teacher] Kyndra Mora. Niya Mora. David Morales. Jazel Morinia. Janine Morris. Zenzi Morris. Michael Moss. Jordyn Munoz. Morgan Nakai. Samantha Narvaez. Joshua Nelson. Sandy Nguyen. Bich Nguyen. Diana Nguyen. Diana T. Nguyen. Jack Nguyen. Lam Nguyen. Tien Nguyen. Joyce Norton. Marcus Olgin. Kinley Oneal. Jayleen Padilla. Ijane Parker. Adriana Pas.

- [Teacher] Julian Perez. Savannah Perrone. Laura Peters. Bruce Phifer. Nigone Phommachack. Jalen Pino. Quintin Pino. Shayanne Pinto. Salma Ponce Ramos. Desae Quillen. Omar Raad. Jaime Ramirez. Karla Ramos. Gisselle Rascon. Perla Risueno. Hannah Robbs. Janeli Rodriguez. Destiny Rolle. Xiamara Romaniz-Aguilar. Jessie Romero. Louis Romero. Avrielle Rowe. Kyala Russell-Owens. Glen Antonio Rutherford.

- [Teacher] Nolan Salazar. Anmol Sandhu. James Sandoval. Victor Sandoval. Fernando Sarabillo. Melody Scolis. Katrina Scott. Rohan Sena. Marissa Sena. Gisselle Serrato. Sydney Simpson. Reese Smith. Cody Smith. Tavian Sneddy. Ashley Steen. Ryan Suazo. Manoj Subedi. Madison Thomison. Kiona Tinney. Jaden Titus. Tina Toa Rosa Torres Garcia. Valerie Tran. Vukha Tran.

- [Teacher] Juliana Jules Tsosie. Destiny Ulibarri. Martin Urbieta. Alberto AJ Urqueta. Jaylena Van Etten. Chadae Velasquez. Maya Vo. Natosh'Ja Wagner. Austin Walker. Amber Weaver. Jack West. Zachary West. Tanner White. Kaitlyn Whiting. Alexandria Williams. Breanna Williams. Zachary Willis. Aurora Winchell. Brandon Wolff. Britney Woods. Lothario Yazi. Cuzcito Zamora. It is now my pleasure to share with the Albuquerque Public School's Board Members the graduates before you have met all of the graduation requirement set forth by the Albuquerque Public School Board of Education along with the New Mexico Public Education Department. To you, I present the Class of 2019.

BOARD MEMBER CANDELARIA PATTERSON: On behalf of the APS Board of Education, we accept the Mazano Class of 2019!

BOARD MEMBER BARBARA PETERSEN: Congratulations.

- It's us, now.

- You guys now.

- Thank you. I don't know why they did that.

EDWARD GRIFFIN: Okay in a moment, the seniors will recess to receive their diplomas. We request that all family members and guests remain seated until the final graduate has recessed.

BRIANA MATHIS: Upon the conclusion of the commencement ceremony, graduates will be escorted to the post commencement meet and greet site located at the Creative Arts parking lot, southwest of Tingley Coliseum. You may enter the meet and greet site by exiting through the west doors. You are welcome to gather and share in the commemoration of the academic achievement of the graduates. But I'm kindly reminded to share a brief congratulations then move to personal celebrations. To the Class of 2019, I would like to say to you that the memories we have shared throughout the high school will always be deep within our hearts. Now as our final act of unity, we will follow the Manzano tradition that the class move their tassels together. Will you please stand? You're stood already. Please move your tassels with me from right to left.

- [Seniors] Woo!

BRIANA MATHIS: Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Class of 2019.

Top Students (Listed Alphabetically)

Katelyn E. Alam, Alyssa C. Aragon, Faith E. Lopez – Valedictorian, Ian K. May,
Samantha C. Minchak, Thomas C. Minchak, Matthew L. Morse, Vivienne S. Stitelman, Rebecca Z. Tresise – Salutatorian, Libby N. Zamora

New Futures School

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." —Ralph Waldo Emerson

New Futures Graduation Transcript

JASMIN POLLOCK: Can I please have Denise Montoya and Vianey Flores for the Pledge of Allegiance?

DENISE MONTOYA: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

VIANEY FLORES: (repeats pledge in Spanish)

JASMIN POLLOCK: You may be seated.

JINX BASKERVILLE: I would like to welcome the family members, friends, and guests who are gathered here this afternoon to honor and celebrate the successful journey of our seniors. My name is Jinx Baskerville, principal of New Futures School. I would like to begin our celebration this afternoon by recognizing some very special guests. We are honored to have with us today, Raquel Reedy, Albuquerque Public Schools superintendent. Dr. David Peercy, Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education president. Yolanda Montoya-Cordova, Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education secretary. Dr. Antonio Gonzales, associate superintendent, Leadership and Learning-Zone 2. And Lucinda Sanchez, associate superintendent over special education. Also on stage, I would like to recognize Cristin Calhoun, dean of students. Jasmin Pollock, college and career counselor. I would also like to thank the New Futures staff that are here today, as well as the others who are back at school teaching. This is a very special day, a day to celebrate the graduates on stage and the memories we have shared with them as they walk up to receive their diplomas. I have always, always been in awe of our students, the responsibilities they have being teens and also parents. I've always admired their stamina and determination to be fabulous parents and successful students. It isn't easy. Some of our students come into the school after traveling on the school bus for at least an hour. I watch them every day as they come in juggling their children, car seats, backpacks. They console their sleepy infants as they take them out of their car seats and set the car seats in cubicles, or some walk their tired toddlers into the school building holding their hands, getting ready to go into the cafeteria and eat. Unfortunately, they do not have a whole lot of time because after breakfast they have to hurry and check their children into the daycare, but not before having to change diapers, label bottles, and leave a change of clothing in case of a diaper blowout. After all of that, the school day begins for them. The students go to class, but duty calls. They get called out of class because their child might be sick. They get called out of class for testing. They get called out of class for WIC. They get called out of class for the teen clinic. And it goes on and on during the school day. But they still have to pass their classes, pass multiple mandated tests, and achieve all of their credits needed for graduation. I admire each and every student sitting on stage today. You are an inspiration. Today, the students sitting in front of you will close one door but open up another. Stand proud when you take your walk around this room after receiving your diplomas. Hold your heads up high knowing that all the roadblocks that go in your way, you smashed 'em and you are stronger and wiser because of it. It's time to wipe clean your slate and begin to paint whatever picture you want that captures who you are and what you want to be in life. You don't have to decide right away. Take your time to explore and make your mark. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, "You don't have to see the whole staircase, "just take the first step." When you receive your diplomas today, I will remember the interactions we have had, laughs we have shared, disagreements we might have had, celebrations we've been apart of, but most of all, in that split second, I will remember what a gift I have been given for knowing each and every one of you. This is a time for family and friends to stand up and celebrate the joy of seeing their graduate on stage today accomplish a dream that might not have happened without the love and support of all of you in the audience. I would like at this time to have family members and friends of our graduates stand and be recognized. Of the seniors sitting in front of you, 90% have received the Federal Student Financial Aid Pell Grant for the 2019-'20 school year, 20% of the students have received the Bridge to Success Scholarship to CNM, and one of our students received The Alice Faye Kent Hoppes Legislative Statewide Scholarship, and another-- And another of our students received the Darl Patrick Scholarship. I think they deserve a round of applause. I'm not really sure how to introduce our next guest speakers. How do you do justice introducing Toni Berg, our school nurse, who has been at New Futures for 43 years, or our health assistant, Olivia Higgins, who has worked with Toni Berg for 21 out of 28 years. They are the famous duo and an integral part of our school. But, unfortunately, things must come to an end, and today they are here to say goodbye. Both will be retiring at the end of the school year. And to tell you the truth, I'm really not sure what we will do without them. Toni and Olivia, we all love you and we will miss you greatly.

OLIVIA HIGGINS: Good morning. My name is Olivia Higgins and I have worked at New Futures School for 28 years. Out of those 28 years, 21 have been spent working with Toni Berg in the health office.

TONI BERG: My name is Toni Berg. I have spent more than half my life working as a school nurse and teacher at New Futures School. For 43 years, I have had the opportunity to grow and learn with the thousands of students who have attended New Futures School. Like the students themselves, Olivia and I came to New Futures from different life circumstances and experiences. Today, we've been asked to tell you some of our experiences working together at New Futures School as we pay tribute to the Class of 2019.

OLIVIA HIGGINS: I was a teen mom. In 1971, I found out I was pregnant and I soon discovered that my whole world was about to change. I couldn't relate to my friends anymore and I no longer had a social life. While my friends stayed up late talking on the phone, I went to bed early because I didn't feel well. The high school I was attending treated me differently. And although I wasn't asked to withdraw, I wasn't encouraged to stay. I wanted to continue going to school, but I didn't know where to go. I was discouraged and depressed. I couldn't find resources to get information and I was scared to go to the doctor. I felt lost, lonely, and very isolated.

TONI BERG: I grew up in a small town with a lot of pressure on me to go to college. At the same time, my family never talked to me about the birds and the bees, so I was very, very naive. I knew nothing. I really knew nothing about the life outside my own little world. During my senior year, my mother went back to work and I drove her to her job each morning. One morning, I got my first glimpse of reality when I saw a school-age child sitting on the street curb wearing no shoes and no coat. I was shocked. My parents weren't wealthy by any means, but I never went without these necessities. I believe that set me on my path of finding ways to help other people.

OLIVIA HIGGINS: The first time I met Toni was at her childbirth class. My daughter Laura, who was a student at New Futures, asked me to accompany her to Toni's classes. We had fun and I learned a lot. Toni would set up a table full of fruit, cheese, juice, popcorn, and her seasonal homemade goodies. Toni didn't know at that time that several years later I would become her health assistant and that she had started a lifetime commitment of feeding me.

TONI BERG: Many of you don't know that New Futures School started out as the Pregnant Teen Aid Program, PTAP, in 1970. There were two students in that first class and the whole staff was made up of volunteer teachers and a volunteer nurse. When I joined the staff of New Futures, the school was very much a part of APS and we were in the old Albuquerque High building, now the lofts. When I first met Olivia and Laura, the school was in the current building we're in now and I'd been teaching childbirth classes about 10 years. I believe that our young pregnant students and their families deserve to have researched and resourced information about pregnancy and birth. I also knew that teens weren't known for their good nutritional status, so food provided at the classes was designed to serve as an example and to fill some of those gaps. I became familiar with Olivia when she was hired to work in the childcare centers. I had heard that she had started practical nursing school, but hadn't finished due to her life circumstances. When I found myself in need of a new health assistant, I asked for Olivia. She possessed skills like taking blood pressures that I would not have to teach her. This was very much self-interest on my part because there were a lot of other skills that I would have to teach her, such as immunization requirements and recordkeeping. When her grandson, Laura's son, was six months old, I had to exclude him from childcare because Laura had not given me a shot record. That is now called the Derrick Policy and it's been in effect ever since then.

OLIVIA HIGGINS: People have often asked us how we have managed to work together for 21 years in a small office. It has been a journey with a few occasional bumps. We have worked hard and accomplished amazing things. There were late nights. We made friends with our clinic staff. We laughed together, we cried together, and always there was mutual respect. At times, it seemed we communicated without ever saying a word. We learned new things every day and we had fun. I will never forget our shock when a student's mom brought us her daughter's placenta. Toni, ever the teacher, conducted a lesson on the anatomy of a real placenta that day, and we had quite an audience.

TONI BERG: We have never had a baby born at school and we are not gonna start today, thank you very much-- But we have had several very close calls. One very young student couldn't find the words to tell me what she was feeling as she labored and her family was driving in from Laguna. The student and I spent about 30 minutes standing together in the health office rocking back and forth, almost dancing while we waited. The student had her healthy baby 15 minutes after arriving at the hospital. We've taken care of students having seizures and we've taken care of students and staff having life-threatening asthma episodes while we waited for family and EMT help to arrive. We've cared for babies having breathing difficulties and made countless referrals for medical care for students, babies, and staff members.

OLIVIA HIGGINS: As we leave together, Toni and I share many good memories. We have worked with an amazing staff that has felt like family. We have enjoyed lunches with friends and read silly books to colleagues. We have laughed with each other and with students too. One student told us that we were more entertaining than cable TV. Because we treat students with dignity and respect, we have been treated with dignity and respect in return. Students have told us that they feel safe in the health office. They are comfortable asking us anything and know we will give them a straight answer and listen without judging.

TONI BERG: Over the years we've worked together in the health office, we have developed a strong friendship. We help each other out in tight spots and we comfort each other when things don't go well in our lives. We are the Rescue Rangers for each other. Olivia drove me to the emergency room when I broke my arm and when I gashed my forehead and needed stitches because my husband was no longer capable of doing those things. Our families are also friends and we share many holiday meals and other special occasions. How has each of us stayed at New Futures all these years? Been asked many times. We believe in the program. We believe that young parents are good parents and have great potential, they just need a little help along the way. Our students are capable and worthwhile individuals and have beautiful healthy children. We have some right down here. It is so important that we continue to provide resources needed to help our students reach their goals.

OLIVIA HIGGINS: Life doesn't always follow the plans you have made for yourself. Being pregnant and a young parent does not have to be the end of the world. Be prepared for highs and lows. Celebrate the highs and never, never be afraid to ask for help during the lows.

TONI BERG: As you begin the next chapter in your life, each of you can look with great pride on your accomplishments. You have faced many challenges to be where you are today. You have overcome great obstacles I can only imagine, but you are resilient and have great persistence. You have made it.

OLIVIA HIGGINS: Hold on to hope and expect joy. Life is offering you amazing opportunities. Take them and run.

- Congratulations.

OLIVIA HIGGINS: Congratulations--

- [Both] Class of 2019.

JINX BASKERVILLE: At this time, I'd like to have Mary Rafferty, one of our teachers, come up and recognize our National Honor Society members.

CRISTIN CALHOUN: Mary will be presenting students with academic honors. Mary will be draping them with a gold sash, which represents being a National Honor Society member. She will also be draping them with a pink cord, which represents a high GPA. Erica Dadey. Congratulations, Erica. Bria Smith. Congratulations, Bria. Maxine Yazzie.

- [Woman] Yeah!

CRISTIN CALHOUN: Congratulations, Maxine. And Anjelica Juarez.

- [Man] That's my daughter!

CRISTIN CALHOUN: Congratulations, Anjelica. I have the pleasure today to introduce the New Futures salutatorian and valedictorian. Erica Dadey is the New Futures 2019 salutatorian. Erica came to New Futures in 2016. I have had the pleasure of watching her grow into the wonderful young woman she is today. Erica has been a very dedicated student. She took two additional classes online and attended summer school to make up course credits. Erica is looking forward to attending CNM in the fall and she is interested in taking courses at CNM to complete a certification in gas fitting and plumbing. Erica, will you please join me at the podium?

ERICA DADEY: Good morning and welcome to New Futures, graduating class of 2019. I want to thank classmates, teachers-- Administration, and parents for being here today to wittiness the results of perseverance in the face of adversity. First, I want to thank our children for being here today. Our children, no matter how early they wake up, how many times they say mom and dad or run down the hallways, they have been our inspiration for being here today. Second, I want to thank our families for their endless support. As parents, I know you never envisioned being grandparents before we graduated high school. However, there are perks. You can still run after a two-year-old, carry a car seat, and have enough energy to have a tea party or build a fort. Most of all, you have been our rock, when we had to much homework, had to work, or just when the baby would not stop screaming. Third, I want to thank teachers for getting us to this day. New Futures teachers are not just our teachers, they are our support system, our counselors, our shoulders to cry on, and someone just for everyday guidance. Thanks for teaching us through crying babies, breastfeeding mothers, non-stop calls to the nursery, morning sickness, and lots of hormones. Some of my favorite classes that I will never forget are PE, health, chemistry, math, language arts, New Mexico history, film, and drawing. A special thank you to our front desk secretary, who is the face of compassion at our school. And to our administration, without your support we'd be different people. Thank you for dedicating your lives to us. Oh wait, we can't forget to say thank you to the teachers that teach our children. Thank you for all the daycare teachers for changing diapers, wiping noses, chasing children, and listening to my son say, "Me, me, me," over and over again. This moment reminds me of everything we have overcame and the bright future that awaits us. As for myself, I have applied and been accepted to CNM in the fall, where I will work towards pursuing an associate's degree in plumbing and gas fitting. I not only want to motivate but also inspire my children to do their best and to overcome any and all obstacles that life throws at them. I believe I am proof to great things ri-- I believe I am great proof that great things rise from adversity, and encourage you all to pursue your individual journeys. Lastly, to my classmates. With our children on our hips, we have overcame all odds and can say, "Yes, a teenage parent can graduate "and raise children at the same time." As New Futures Butterflies, I leave you with this poem by John Read, Life is Precious. The gracefulness of a butterfly, how gentle and fragile they seem. Gentle fluttering on a calm summer's day. Floating like a dream, but sadly their time is over, hardly before it began. So enjoy your special moment like a butterfly In the sun. Congratulations, Class of 2019, and good luck. Thank you.

CRISTIN CALHOUN: Congratulations, Erica. Bria Smith is the New Futures 2019 valedictorian. Bria started at New Futures in 2017. Words teachers and peers use to describe Bria are sweet, kind, and a great mom. She has worked diligently to complete her graduation requirements on time. Bria will begin taking courses in the fall at CNM. After she completes two years of liberal studies and receives her associate's degree, she will transfer to UNM to complete her bachelor's of science degree in pharmacology. Congratulations, Bria. Please join me at the podium.

BRIA SMITH: Good afternoon. I'm happy to be here as your 2019 valedictorian. My name is Bria Smith and I'm excited to be finishing high school today. When I first found out I was pregnant, it was hard. I had to make a lot of changes in my life. I had to change schools, I had to change my lifestyle, and I was honestly not motivated to come to school. When I started at New Futures, there was a huge adjustment, not only because of the class schedule but also because there was a cafeteria that my old school didn't have. The teachers at the school made it more welcoming and made me feel more comfortable being pregnant. Getting through high school was not easy. There were a lot of late nights doing homework, working in advance to make sure assignments are completed, and, of course, balancing the responsibilities of parenting. Growing up, my family didn't have much financially. I want my son to have more opportunities than I did, so receiving my high school diploma today allows us to open up more doors for success. I'm teaching my son that being a teen mom, a teen parent and graduating high school is possible. I want him to know that anything he works hard for he can achieve; there's no limit to his potential. There is no limit to anyone's potential. All of us graduating today have the ability to overcome our challenges and to be the best version of ourselves for our children. My plan after I graduate is to attend CNM in the fall and to work towards my degree in liberal arts. I then plan to transfer to UNM and to get my pharmacy degree so I can work in a pharmaceutical industry. Ever since I was a little girl, this has been my interest and will someday be my career. No matter how hard the struggle is, there is always an end point. Never give up despite how difficult things might be at the time. Each of you is capable of reaching your dreams and having an enjoyable life. Thank you all for supporting the New Future graduates. Congratulations to the Class of 2019.

JASMIN POLLOCK: I would again like to congratulate the Class of 2019. I know each one of these students sitting before you today have overcome many obstacles to graduate. I am proud of these graduates and look forward to hearing about their success in the future. I am honored to introduce our student speakers for today. Our first student speaker is Joseph Carrasco. Joseph is a bright young man who has many goals for his future. He wants to excel in many different areas so he can have more opportunities throughout life. I have seen Joseph grow so much while at New Futures and becoming more and more dedicated to his education as well as his role as a father. Please congratulate Joseph Carrasco. Please come forward.

JOSEPH CARRASCO: Welcome everyone and thank you for being here. My name is Joseph Carrasco and I am a teen father, and I'm proud to say I'm graduating today. At times, it's hard to say how we got here, but it's not hard to say how we made it. With all the courage, hope, and doubts of those who said having a child at a young age would affect our lives, well, you know what? I made it. We made it. Throughout high school, I encountered many challenges, so standing here before you all today is an achievement beyond belief for me. Believe it or not, two years ago I was a ninth grader. I was lacking so many credits because I was not motivated for school. This caused me to feel disconnected and I did not want to continue high school. Last summer, I paid for summer school, wait. Last summer, I paid for summer school because I wanted to catch up on credits. I also took many online classes these past few years to bring me a step closer to graduation. When my girlfriend and I started at New Futures, it was a new beginning for us both. My son, Joseph Carrasco, Jr., is now a year old and his mom, Brianna, is amazing. She is the one that keeps me moving forward with hope and support every day, and I love her for that. She has guided me to be a better person and a loving father to our son and she will always have a special place in my heart. To the ones that feel like there's no hope, you can still achieve your goals and never let negative thoughts bring you down. We are strong human beings, especially the females, in my opinion. To all the teachers, staff, and all the childcare workers at New Futures, I appreciate everything you've done for the school and for us individually. Thank you for your support and love that you gave for us and our children. We did it, 20-- We did it, Class of 2019! Now, let's go out there and change the world and make our children and teachers proud. Thank you.

JASMIN POLLOCK: Our next student speaker is Bernice Garcia. Ever since I met Bernice, she has had a smile on her face and a positive attitude towards any situation. Seeing her graduate today brings a smile to my heart. She has strived for this moment and deserves to continue smiling because of all her achievements. Please congratulate Bernice Garcia. Come forward.

BERNICE GARCIA: Good afternoon. It's a pleasure to be here today as a graduating senior. My name is Bernice Garcia. I'm 19 years old, and I've been looking forward to this day ever since my sister, who is my role model Deeandra, graduated from high school. I feel very proud speaking at my graduation ceremony today. The New Futures staff and teachers have been understanding and providing me with guidance to help me reach this goal. I want to thank the teachers and staff for continuously motivating me to strive for success. I want to thank my friends and family for helping me get through this year strong. I left my mother's house when I was 15 years old because I believed I could create a better life for myself. A couple years later, I dropped out of high school and found out I was pregnant. There were times I was told I would never receive a high school diploma. Towards the end of my pregnancy, depression hit me hard in many different ways. I started to lose hope in myself, so once again I dropped out of school, feeling so powerless. One day, I woke up and realized I didn't wanna hurt anymore. A new chapter in my life was about to begin. I knew I wanted a better life for my child. My boyfriend, who is my son's father, encouraged me to go back to school, and I was dedicated more than ever. I am humble being here today, standing in front of you all, because people often doubted my potential. Over time, I've come to discover that no matter what, you always have to keep trying, you always have to get back up. Seeing your child's face after a hard day makes everything worth it. When we had a child, a lot of us were scared because we were still children ourselves. The experience soon became new and exciting, and all the possibilities of the world seem endless. They still are; for me, for you, and for all of us. Somewhere along the way, we grew up and accepted who we've become. When something breaks, if the pieces are large enough, you can fix it. And there are times when things don't break, they shatter. In those moments, just remember how beautiful reality can be, because after every storm, there's a rainbow. All of our stories are different. We've all worked so hard to get here. In the words of Bob Marley, "You never know how strong you are "until being strong is the only choice you have." So, let's continue this journey and stay strong. I wish you all a successful future, Class of 2019.

JINX BASKERVILLE: At this time, if board members Dr. David Peercy and Yolanda Montoya-Cordova, will you please join me at the podium? I would like to present the Class of 2019. The young women and men seated before you have met all the graduation requirements as set forth by the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education, along with the New Mexico Public Education Department. To you, I present the Class of 2019.

BOARD MEMBER YOLANDA MONTOYA-CORDOVA: I'm very honored to be here today to accept the class. You guys are just an amazing group of people. The first teen parents I ever met definitely demonstrated that point of resilience, hard work, and showed that being a teen parent is also just being a teen parent; there's no stigma, there's no shame just being a teen parent. Those teen parents were my parents. My parents were wonderful people and, through their dedication and commitment to us as a family, gave us a great path and showed us the way forward. So, I honor the work that you're doing and I know how hard it was. I've heard my parents describe that. And you're right, the best part of it was was that when I was in high school, my mom was really young. It was so cool. She could keep up with me. So, just, on behalf of the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Directors, accept the Class of 2019 for New Futures. Congratulations.

JINX BASKERVILLE: And now, the event you have all been waiting for. Will our honored guests please meet me at the podium to congratulate our graduates? Cristin Calhoun and Jasmin Pollock will call our graduates forward to receive their diplomas.

- Bria Smith.

- [Jasmin] Erica Dadey.

- [Cristin] Martin Baca.

- [Jasmin] Alejandra Bolivar.

- [Cristin] Joseph Carrasco.

- [Jasmin] Vianey Flores.

- [Cristin] Bernice Garcia.

- [Jasmin] Anjelica Juarez.

- [Cristin] Kyleigh Lee.

- [Jasmin] Angela Lopez.

- [Cristin] Denise Montoya.

- [Jasmin] Savannah Morrow.

- [Cristin] Divine Perez.

- [Jasmin] Yaninna Perez.

- [Cristin] Alejandro Quinonez.

- [Jasmin] Ashley Roacho.

- [Cristin] Cristina Serrano.

- [Jasmin] Kyle Weekoty.

- [Cristin] Brianna Wylie-Noriega.

- [Jasmin] And Maxine Yazzie.

JINX BASKERVILLE: Graduates, please stand. You may now switch your tassels. Ladies and gentlemen-- Ladies and gentlemen, it's my honor to present to you the New Futures Class of 2019. Congratulations, graduates. Please stand. If everybody will stand as our graduates exit. Thank you for coming.

Graduates: 2019 List of Graduates (PDF)
Class Flower: White Rose
Class Song: "Mama's Hand," Queen Naija

"You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." —Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

nex+Gen Academy

nex+Gen Academy Graduation Transcript

- [Man] Of allegiance.

- [Woman] Raise colors. Forward march.

- [Man] Stand on my left.

- [Woman] Color Guard halt. Southern face. Present colors.

- [Man] I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

(repeats pledge in Spanish)

- [Woman] Left face. Forward march. Color Guard halt. Order colors.

DAVID LYNCH: You may now be seated. I am sure that over the last four years at nex+Gen you have heard many times about our third pillar, responsibility. However, I'm not sure that you've heard how much transformative power, taking responsibility can bring to you. Do you remember the first time you were given an important responsibility, and you were able to rise to the occasion? I certainly do. I remember my first job, and being given the responsibility of driving the forklift. It was a big step up from stacking lumber. I did not have one accident, and I didn't damage any product, well maybe just a little product, but not a lot of product. The feeling of accomplishment, pride, self confidence, that's the part I remember. Responsibility will do that for you. It is the point where you take control of some aspect of your life and then the outcome of that becomes yours. Chase those feelings. You will run into many people on your journey who are desperate to find the path that will make them happy.

Unfortunately happiness is an elusive state of mind, as you probably already know, it is very difficult to identify what will make you happy, and how to make it more than just a fleeting emotion. Taking responsibility on the other hand will give you predictable results. You will feel that sense of accomplishment and pride. Your belief in yourself will grow. The range of what you believe is possible in your life will expand, in short, it's a better investment. Take a moment and think of someone in your life that you truly admire. In my case I think of my grandfather. I bet I know something about the person that you have in mind, I bet they pushed themselves, I bet they strived to achieve some sort of goal, I bet they provided a model for others to follow, I promise you that person took responsibility for themselves and others. When you walk through that door, a new chapter will begin. Don't miss it. It is an incredible opportunity to make changes. Start by examining each area of your life and take personal responsibility for as much of it as you possibly can.

Remember from here forward, there is very little that will happen to you that you did not have a hand in. Never complain about or blame others for the obstacles that are before you. It signals that you are waiting for someone else to solve these problems. And what is worse, is it will make you miserable. Your job, your boss, your significant other, your friends, the city you live in, all of these things you control. Take responsibility for them. Manage them, develop a plan, make the necessary changes, get it done. When you take responsibility the door of reflection opens.

Reflection is the only way to learn from your experiences and become the person you want to be. It enables you to become the protagonist of your own story, I want that for you. I have no idea what will make you happy, and I doubt at this point you do either. But by taking responsibility for every aspect of your life you will give yourself a much better chance of figuring it out. Good luck, we will miss you.

(audience applauding)

RYIL ADAMSON: The nex+Gen valedictorian for the class of 2019 is Alana Tobias. Alana Tobias is the daughter of Matthew and Carolyn Tobias. Alana will attend the University of New Mexico next fall. In addition to her school accomplishments, Alana just graduated from the preprofessional dance program at the Cosette Dance Studio. In fact we took a senior field trip last fall to see her dance the role of Alice in "Alice in Wonderland." Alana feels like her greatest accomplishment over the last four years is coming into her own, learning to be herself.

The nex+Gen salutatorian for the class of 2019 is Jeffery Micono. Jeffery Micono is the son of Jeffrey Micono and Ellen Shepherd. Jeffrey recently developed a Discord bot that people can use for remote communication. It is currently being used by over 100,000 people worldwide. Not surprisingly, Jeffrey will attend New Mexico Tech in the fall. Jeffrey cited finishing high school and setting himself up for success is his greatest accomplishment over the last four years. 

It's not easy to earn an academic ranking this high. We know this is true because it's not easy to go to high school at all. High school life is hard. With just the social stuff alone, high school students learn to drive, to date, and to work, it's actually not fair how much we give them to master in only four years. Then on top of all the rest of it, there are academics. That part of high school is hard too. In fact it might be harder than any other school they're gonna go to next. Dr. Richard Lavoie, one of the great educational minds of our era, once remarked that "High school is the last time you have to be good at everything. We make them take all the subjects, even the ones they don't really like."

To go through all that then and still earn grades like theirs is an amazing feat. It impresses us so much, we're gonna give them a title and ask them to make a speech. Ladies and gentlemen, Jeffrey Micono's title is Salutatorian, and it's his turn to give a speech now, please welcome Jeffrey.

(audience applauding)

JEFFREY MICONO: Thank you Dr. A. In his TED Talk entitled "The Agony of Trying to Unsubscribe," James Veitch said and I quote, "Anything, everything, even something as mundane as getting out of a car, can be fun if you find the right game." He is, without a doubt, completely correct. Going to school by itself isn't anywhere near the list of my top of activities, but going to school and having fun simultaneously sounds like something I'm willing to do a little more frequently. Now ordinarily I'd give my challenge to the audience near the end of my speech, but it's a little more fitting here at the beginning. I challenge the class of 2019 and everyone listening to this speech to find a way to spice up the monotony of everyday life. 

For those of you that need inspiration or wish to expand upon the ideas you just thought of in the time it took me to say that last sentence, here are the best games the class of 2019 has played during the course of our 4 years. In freshman year, clapping at everything was huge. Someone (coughs) Trenton would fall off their chair and rather than doing the normal human thing of making sure they're okay, a storm of applause would start. This didn't just happen in classrooms, though it continued into the common area during lunch. Frequently, a single kid would be able to start clapping and within seconds the entire lunchroom would be clapping with them. Nobody knew what they were clapping for, but it was a splash of entertainment randomly inserted throughout the day. The clapping wasn't the only form of random entertainment throughout the day. One kid would just yell "enthusiasm"

- [Fletcher] Enthusiasm!

(audience laughing and applauding)

JEFFREY MICONO: Thank you Fletcher. As we continued our journey through nex+Gen, we became more sophisticated, and the games we played reflected that transformation. At one point, every single whiteboard-marker-friendly surface had a red stick figure drawn on it. When there were no more clean surfaces to write on, people started writing on post-it notes and sticking them to the walls, the ceiling, chairs, you name it. One time I opened up my computer and found a stick figure on a sticky note. In this case, all we needed to keep ourselves entertained was something as simple as drawing a stick figure, I think that's something we can all do.

In junior year, we crossed that threshold of being more comfortable messing with teachers, and so a lot of our games began to include them. The most notorious of course was the circle game, where you have to try to get someone to look at one of these while it's below your waist. If they do, you get to punch them in the arm and wipe it off. I have a lot of fond memories of punching teachers in the arm after they looked at my hand, and a few of getting punched by teachers, most notably Ms. Davis, for looking at their hand.

(audience laughing)

Hiding technology and having it make noise was another fantastic game. One time, Ebin took his phone and hid it under some papers on Mr. Potter's desk while Mr. Potter was out of the room. When Mr. Potter returned, and started working on some grading Ebin used his Apple Watch's find my iPhone feature to make the phone make noise, while it was on Mr. Potter's desk. It took Mr. Potter a few minutes to find the phone, but he laughed about it once he found it. Another time, a few of us calc kids took a small Bluetooth speaker and hid it in a tissue box and then we had it play music at a very low level throughout the entirety of class. It took Ms. Haack a good 15 minutes to find it and, when she first heard it, she thought it might have been coming from outside. She even went as far as opening the window and sticking her head out in attempt to find the source of the sound.

Now I've been told our senior prank was one of the best at nex+Gen Academy, and I can't begin to describe everything that happened, but as part of it, we had some students dress up as teachers, like at nex+Gen Academy. You know Fletcher, who just yelled enthusiasm dressed up as Mr. Steele and walked around carrying a coffee cup all day, it was amazing. But that wasn't the only awesome thing about that, because on a total whim, those who dressed up as senior teachers started teaching the senior classes. You know the teachers had no idea that their evil twins were going to be showing up that day but they all were fantastic sports about it and they changed everyone's schedule to accommodate it. 

So what's my point in telling you about all this? One more time I want to say this, anything in life can be fun if you find the right game to play. Sometimes, the creativity needed to come up with those games or apply them can be hard to come by. But I think it's something that we all can do. Learn from the imagination and uniqueness of the class of 2019 and let me restate this, find a way to spice up the monotony of everyday life.

Class of 2019, congratulations on making it to graduation. I'm so proud of each and every one of you, and I believe these past 4 years have given you the skills you need to succeed in whatever you set your mind to. Don't stop the games, don't stop memeing, good luck, and have fun.

(audience applauding)

RYIL ADAMSON: Alana Tobias is next, her title is valedictorian, please welcome Alana Tobias.

(audience applauding)

ALANA TOBIAS: Thank you Dr. A. Natural Selection, the process by which favorable traits and characteristics of a population are selected for over time. Four years ago, over one-hundred young, naive, and hopeful freshmen walked through the doors of nex+Gen. Today, almost eighty wiser, stronger, and more resilient seniors sit before you to celebrate the favorable traits and characteristics that enabled us to accomplish one of life's greatest feats, high school.

These students comprising nex+Gen's biggest graduating class, the Class of 2019, are some of the most unique and diverse people I have ever met. From the beginning, our fiery personalities established us as a force to be reckoned with. We are a group of people who made it our mission to be known by name across all grade levels. We set out to change the school, not just have attended it, and we purposed to leave its doors having made it nearly impossible to ever be forgotten.

Individually, we have all contributed something to this group that has turned us a well-oiled machine, a creative powerhouse, a supercomputer of intelligent minds that have all worked together to be better than we could have been separately. We are passionate and hungry. Hungry for knowledge that will drive us forward and develop our minds to think differently about ourselves and the world around us. Our class was great at dragging out the Reeces' lectures with questions. Many of them further informing us on the content, but some of them just enough related to where we could spin the conversation off topic and accidentally not have enough time to move on to the assignment they had planned, oops.

We are stubborn. Always questioning the knowledge that is presented to us, challenging it with our own thoughts and beliefs to further craft our ideals and values. From debates that border-lined arguments in Concentric Democracy, to period seven Chemistry, or really any class with Austin Kirin for that matter, we always found a way to poke academic holes in each other and it made us better students because of it. 

We are creative. The skill sets, and talents that these people possess never cease to blow my mind. Our capability to think both logically and creatively has allowed us to produce many out-of-the-box final products that we can be so proud of, such as our films in Computer Graphics, hand-crafted artifacts in American History and even a functioning card game in World Studies. Our coupled artistic and rational minds set us apart as well-rounded individuals that can analyze and problem solve any situation that comes our way. 

We are driven and hardworking. Very few obstacles have been able to hold us back. We have mastered the ability to have a good time, but we also buckle down and get our work done when the time calls for it. We coupled NaNoWriMo with epic forts and managed to get a Nerf bullet stuck on the teacher's lounge window while somehow also writing thirty thousand-word novels. We inflated bouncy castles in the Cyber Hall for Senior Prank and successfully distracted the other school kids while we dutifully attended our classes, only slightly sad they appeared to be having more fun.

As Jeffrey mentioned, we are goofy. With no other individuals have I laughed the hardest than with the people who join me here today. I have many memories of crying so hard from the ridiculous things that we said and found funny over the years. I remember always cracking up so hard in Art and Mrs. Parker eagerly letting us work in the Cyber Hall any time we asked. Coincidence? There were many late night FaceTime calls that started as a collaboration on homework and always ended in me laughing so hard I couldn't breathe. And there was even the annoying airdropping of memes during class that always had someone laughing under their breaths and greatly confused the teachers.

We are uplifting. The unwavering support I have seen you all give to each other and to me is priceless. Every single one of us could share at least one unique thing about every other person in our class. We care for one another, we have purposed to get to know each other, and we want everyone to succeed. We are real humans. Our class has done well to defy the stereotype that nex+Gen is the little building behind Del Norte or a school simply for nerds. While that might not be a far-off adjective for some of us, we are not incapable of connecting to others from a social and emotional standpoint.

We have big hearts! Our capability to be cool as well as nerdy, destroys any labels we might receive from those who don't know the complexity of who we are. Our class' party animals attend Game Nights and the computer nerds are caught breaking it down at Homecoming. But truly, our distinct lack of divided cliques has made our class very accepting and encouraging of everyone, nerdy or not!

Finally, we are a family. No better word could possibly describe the Class of 2019, but that we are family. We love each other, sometimes hate each other, often times simply just tolerate each other, but at the end of the day, we have always been there for one another, no matter what. From playing Ninja every week in Garcia's advisory, to paper soccer on the tables behind Mr. Smo's back. From constantly laughing under our breaths at Profe Carlos' awkward attendance calls, to begging White and Steele for a 5-minute break to go outside as if we were seven years old, we have gone through so much good and bad together but have always found a way to make the most of everything as a collaborative group. These traits and characteristics have led us here to graduation, although not without its challenges. Graduation was something that at one point or another all of us likely questioned if it would ever come. Don't tell me you haven't thought at 2:00 am in the morning, "One more packet of annotations might be the death of me!" Or my personal favorite, "Why in the world did I leave this to the very last minute?"

Regardless, we overcame. Although it seems like everything we have worked for our whole lives has culminated to this one moment, our lives are only just beginning. Today we close one tiny chapter from our book to look ahead and find that there is still a novel ahead of us that has yet to be written. As intimidating and exciting as this is, I encourage you to leap full force into the unknown. We have acquired many experiences and gained many tools thus far that will enable us to discover who we are and what our place in this world is. We are on the cusp of making a difference and we have to believe that! May we be the generation who believes that we have a purpose, believes we have potential!

If the 80 of us each reach 10 people, that is 800 people who have been positively impacted. If those 800 people reach 10 more people, then 8,000 people are manifesting good within this world. Those 8,000 people turn into 80,000, 800,000, eight million people and it all starts with you. The amount of power we have to truly make a difference is not as far away as it may seem. We have worked so hard and come so far. Don't let this be the end. As we head off onto the next pathway of our journey, may we fearlessly crave more knowledge, stubbornly question information that is fed to us, and creatively problem solve every situation we encounter, purposing to laugh and love the little things every single day. May we continue to uplift those around us, never shy away from the emotions that make us human, and may we always find a family of people to stand by through the thick and the thin. This is only just the beginning.

I would like to say a big thank you to our teachers for investing in us as learners and as individuals and for always treating us like young adults with infinite potential. You were an essential part in this journey for us and your teachings and wisdom we will carry with us for the rest of our lives. Thank you nex+Gen for allowing us to be a part of a culture that encouraged us to be ourselves. Thank you for requiring the absolute best of us and giving us an environment that was conducive to achievement and learning.

Finally, thank you to my peers for accepting me for who I am. For allowing me to make mistakes and grow into the person I am today. You have given me memories of a lifetime and each and every one of you holds a special place in my heart. I am forever grateful. Congratulations Class of 2019. We have made it. Here's to how far we have come and cheers to how far we are going to go!

Thank you.

(audience applauding)

DAVID LYNCH: Thank you valedictorians. I would like to ask board members, Dr. Peercy, Miss Muller-Aragon, and Miss Pearson to come forward please. Superintendent Reedy, Dr. Peercy, Miss Muller-Aragon, Miss Patterson, I would like to present to you the class of 2019. They have met all the graduation requirements as set forth by the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education, along with the New Mexico Public Education Department. To you, I present the nex+Gen Academy class of 2019.

(audience applauding)

BOARD MEMBER DAVID PEERCY: You know I was part of the original development of the nex+Gen Academy, Nex plus Gen Academy I always call it. And so really on behalf of the Albuquerque Public Board of Education, it's really all of our honor to accept this wonderful class of 2019 from Nex plus Gen Academy. So thank you, congratulations.

(audience applauding)

DAVID LYNCH: All right, with that I'd like to introduce Miss Reece.

BOARD MEMBER BARBARA PETERSON: Would you like us to go back to the stage?

DAVID LYNCH: I think so yeah.

("Pomp and Circumstance" by Edward Elgar)

- [Amy] Jesus A. Aguilar.

(audience applauding)

Corrina J. Angel.

(audience applauding)

Theresa G. Apodaca.

(audience applauding)

Tegan Apostle.

(audience applauding)

Savannah Baca.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Rebecca L. Barkley.

(audience applauding)

Justin C. Bejcek.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Layton M. Blackmon.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Kylie Bowling.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Cole Burke.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Tucker A. Burnett.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Jonae U. Carriaga.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Aaliyah M. Castillo.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Patrick N. Chavez.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Sofia G. Chavez.

(audience applauding)

Kamirah Cruz.

(audience applauding and cheering)

- [Woman] Trinity De Vargas.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Quentin P. Dye.

(audience applauding)

Nicholas Edwards.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Edgar Enriquez.

(audience applauding and cheering)

D'Etta N. Farmer.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Giavanna N. Gonzales.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Wesley M. Gordon.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Nicole Granone.

(audience applauding)

Reia K. Gray.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Maliah R. Hansana.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Rudolpho A. Herrera.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Auric S. Hewitt.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Ehren H. Hillmeyer.

(audience applauding)

Robert Holloman.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Raymond A. Hyde III.

(audience applauding)

Gavin B. Jarvies.

(audience applauding and cheering)

- [Man] Nathan R. Kaplan.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Kailie Z. Kentopp.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Nathan King.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Owen King.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Austin S. Kirin.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Daphne Law.

(audience applauding)

Alisia M. Lee.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Ariana Lopez.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Elizabeth Lopez.

(audience applauding)

Miguel Magallanes.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Jeffrey H. Micono.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Nicholas V. Miller.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Ethan B. Oesch.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Destiny Olivarez.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Munia M. Omer.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Micheal P. Pavelko.

(audience applauding and cheering)

- [Man] Josiah C. Payne.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Kristen A. Payne.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Martin R. Quintana.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Nathan Reyes.

(audience applauding)

Ebin L. Roache.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Justin D. Roblyer-Barraza.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Ross V. Romero.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Desmond T. Rowley.

(audience applauding)

Carlos F. Salazar.

(audience applauding)

Chase R. Sanchez.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Elias Sanchez.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Marissa R. Sanchez.

(audience applauding and cheering)

James F. Schneider.

(audience applauding)

Quinn A. Smith.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Leanne E. Sprouse.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Aidan M. Stewart.

(audience applauding)

Alana Tobias.

(audience applauding)

Domanique A. Valles.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Sebastian J. Vaughan.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Stephanie D. Vela.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Carla Venegas.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Zachary F. Vigil.

(audience applauding)

Lux C. Vossen.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Kristen M. Vukcevich.

(audience applauding)

Fletcher Wallace-Hente.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Kayla Westerfield.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Jesse Wirth.

(audience applauding)

Chloe C. Wolne.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Elijah Woltz.

(audience applauding)

Alexander F. Wylde.

(audience applauding and cheering)

DAVID LYNCH: Class of 2019, as you stand at the finish line, know that you have not run the race alone. Your teachers have been there for you every step of the way to guide and encourage you. Would the teachers please stand for a round of applause?

(audience applauding and cheering)

Graduates, share this moment of success with your parents. They have been there to support you through both challenges and victories. No job is more challenging or more important. Would our parents rise for a round of applause.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Class of 2019, please stand.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Move your tassels from right to left.

(audience applauding and cheering)

I am confident to send you off today to be the creators of a new tomorrow. Know that my best wishes go with you. Everyone please rise as our graduates now process out. We can all join them in the northwest corner of the parking lot after their last class picture.

♪ Is this the real life? ♪ (audience cheering)

♪ Is this just fantasy? ♪

♪ Caught in a landslide ♪

♪ No escape from reality ♪

♪ Open your eyes ♪

♪ Look up to the skies and see ♪

♪ I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy ♪

♪ Because I'm easy come, easy go ♪

♪ A little high, little low ♪

♪ Anyway the wind blows, ♪

♪ doesn't really matter to me, to me ♪

♪ Mama, just killed a man ♪

♪ Put a gun against his head ♪

♪ Pulled my trigger, now he's dead ♪

♪ Mama, life had just begun ♪

♪ But now I've gone and thrown it all away ♪

♪ Mama, oh oh ♪

♪ Didn't mean to make you cry ♪

♪ If I'm not back again this time tomorrow ♪

♪ Carry on, carry on, ♪

♪ as if nothing really matters ♪

♪ Too late, my time has come ♪

♪ Sends shivers down my spine ♪

♪ Body's aching all the time ♪

♪ Goodbye everybody I've got to go ♪

♪ Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth ♪

♪ Mama, oh oh ♪

♪ Anyway the wind blows ♪

♪ I don't want to die ♪

♪ Sometimes wish I'd never been born at all ♪

Rio Grande High School

Rio Grande Graduation Transcript

AMANDA DEBELL: Good evening. Tonight we are here for a very special celebration, and it is the request of Rio Grande High School administration that we honor and recognize each graduate. Most of you are here today to celebrate the accomplishments of one graduate special to you. Please allow those around you to celebrate their special graduate, and kindly be reminded to refrain from excessive cheering and the use of noisemakers, so that each graduate's name may be heard and honored by the family and friends. Ladies and gentlemen, please rise, and please remain standing for the presentation of colors by our own Marine Corps JROTC. This evening, the national anthem is being performed by flautists Makayla Martinez and Jonathan Murillo. Gentlemen, please remove your caps at this time, and please remain standing until the colors have left the arena floor. Thank you Makayla and Jonathan. Gentlemen, you may now re-don your caps. And Class of 2019, please be seated.

JESSICA LUEVANO: Good evening. I'm Jessica Luevano, Class of 2019's president. Welcome to the Rio Grande High School Class of 2019 Commencement Ceremony. In addition, we are celebrating Rio Grande High School's 60 year anniversary. It is my honor to introduce to you our platform guests. Albuquerque Public School associate superintendent for leadership and learning, zone two, Dr. Antonio Gonzales. APS Board of Education Members Candelaria Patterson and Yolanda Montoya‐Cordova. Senator Michael Padilla. Our principal, Amanda DeBell. Assistant principals Anthony Branch, Benjamin Garcia, and Thomas Piper. Our deans of students, Veronica Valencia and Michelle Morris. Our Senior Class sponsor, Mrs. Barrett, also known as Ms. Archuleta. Valedictorian, Alicia Tafoya. Salutatorian and student body present, Laura, president, sorry. Laura Latisa Medrano Rodriguez. Student Body vice president, Shykah Marquez. Senior Class vice president, Amy Hernandez. Student Body president-elect, Cesar Chaparro. Student Body vice president-elect, Selena Perea. And again, myself, Senior Class president, Jessica Luevano. Our first graduate speaker plans to go to UNM, and hopes to become a cardiac surgeon. Please welcome Fernando Carrillo.

FERNANDO CARRILLO: Hello fellow graduates of 2019, and distinguished guests. I stand before you today, humbled by this great opportunity to speak to my class. Now in these two short minutes, I'm supposed to leave more than 200 people inspired. I think that is a harder task to achieve than passing those dreaded AP tests. Friends, as our last year comes to a close, there is one question that is in our minds. What do I do from here? As a fellow classmate who has this same question, I advise you to do these following things as you plan out your future. Number one, dream big, but make sure those dreams have goals, because what our generation seems to do a lot of is confuse movement with progress. For example, I remember the first day I saw The Avengers. I jumped from the couch as I turned to my mom and said, mom, I want to be a superhero. And she said, "Son, grow up. "You graduate in two weeks." That dream was shot down, so now I guess I'll stick with being a surgeon. Number two, do not settle just because the people around you could not do it. Try and try and try again, as many times as it takes to achieve your dream, because as long as you do not give up on yourself, there will never have, you'll always have a shot at success. Number three, if the time comes when it seems that you can't seem to succeed, do not get down on yourself, because it is not from success that we learn, but it is from failures that we learn and evolve from. Number four, do not get distracted by others people's success, or apparent success, because social media only shows you what people want you to see. Now, as I conclude this speech, I want to leave you with two quotes from two of my biggest inspirations in life. As Rocky Balboa once said, "Ain't nobody going to hit hard as life, "but winning is not about how hard you can hit back, "but it's about how hard you can get hit "and keep moving forward, and that is how winning is done." And as our generation is driven by monetary gain, I leave you with this quote from the street philosopher Drake, "I guess you lose some and win some. "As long as the outcome is income, "you know I want it all and then some." Class of 2019, shoot for the top of the world and never be forgotten.

SHYKAH MARQUEZ: We now are honored to welcome our Bilingual Seal representatives, Jasmin Garcia-Montes and Sonia Zavala Barreras. Jasmin plans on attending UNM to study criminology, Sonia plans on attending UNM to become a radiologic technician. Please welcome our bilingual representatives.

JASMIN GARCIA: Good afternoon. We are here today to represent the Bilingual Seal Program. My name is Jasmin Garcia, and here with me is Sonia Zavala Barreras. We are the two recipients of the Bilingual Seal of Distinction, something we are very privileged and honored to receive because of our hard work, determination, and vision. Fellow Bilingual Seal recipients, we all worked hard to obtain our Bilingual Seal. We made sacrifices and spent our spring break working hard, writing essays, doing community service hours, portfolios, and PowerPoint presentations to meet the deadline. You guys must all remember Snapchatting each other in the middle of the night, trying to figure out what we needed to finish, and how the day before our presentation, we couldn't sleep because we were nervous, but even after all that work, we never gave up. We all had one goal, and that was to obtain our Bilingual Seal. Guys, we did it. Now we are here proudly representing our Hispanic culture and making our parents very proud, as well as our peers and our teachers.

SONIA ZAVALA BARRERAS: The bilingual program has allowed us to meet new people and be more involved within our community. We have learned to love volunteering and helping others. We wouldn't have been able to accomplish this without our mentors, family, and peers supporting us throughout the process. So thank you all for supporting us in this rigorous journey of our high school career, and the Bilingual Seal path. We would like to thank all the students, parents, and staff here today, and for supporting us throughout the whole process. Students, just remember our journey starts now. We need to put our Bilingual Seal to use. As we conclude, we would like to recognize the fellow Bilingual Seal recipients. Those receiving the Bilingual Seal, please stand up to be recognized. Ladies and gentlemen, the 2018-2019 Rio Grande High School Bilingual Seal recipients. Please have a seat.

- [Both] Thank you.

JESSICA LUEVANO:  It is my honor to introduce your 2019 valedictorian. She plans to go to UNM in the fall, and hopes to become a neurologist. She should like to be remembered for her intelligence and hard work. Please welcome Alicia Tafoya.

ALICIA TAFOYA: What feels like the end is often the beginning. While the majority of us are sad about the ending of this chapter of our lives, we must remember that the ending of one chapter leads to the beginning of another. I've known some of you my whole life, and some of you, I've just met last year. But in the time we were together, we made memories that we will cherish for a lifetime. The last four years have been both the best and worst of our lives, and now we're on to a new chapter, that will also have its highs and lows. And if you got through that one, you can get through the next. A big part of the reason why I'm here today is because of my family. My Mamo, Nina, grandma and grandpa, my Nino, because I wouldn't have been able to do any of this without them. And I'd also like to thank my best friends for always being there when I needed it, for making me laugh, and for all the great memories. And of course, my classmates, who made me feel better about procrastinating because everyone else procrastinated too. And I could never forget Mr. Kornegay, for always being my biggest fan, even before I took his class. Hopefully one day, we make him proud and become millionaires. And if not, I'm sure he'll still be at least a little proud. Regardless of what you all decide to do in life, I know it'll be great, and I wish you the best of luck. And remember, as a wise woman once said, "If you're not cheating, you're not trying."

AMANDA DEBELL: I don't know about that, Miss Tafoya. Class of 2019, last week, no, two weeks ago, was prom, and the prom theme this year was really cool. It was To the Moon and Back. What a fun night that we had at the museum. I want you to imagine that for a second. Going to the moon and back. It's hard to think of how few people will ever experience that, but it is a great dream. This year as you, Class of 2019, get ready to walk across this stage, think of a dream that you have. What is that dream? What is it that you want to experience? What is your to the moon and back? Maybe your dream is actually to go to the moon. Maybe your dream is to be a pilot, a train engineer, an accountant, a software engineer, a game designer, a coffee barista, or perhaps your dream is to become a mother or a father. How about a teacher? Maybe you have a dream to climb Mt. Everest, or to explore the bottom of the ocean. There are endless possibilities for what can happen with the rest of your life. And now it is up to you to start working on your next step. What is important as you move out of high school and on to the next chapter of your life, is that you dream. As you go after your dreams, know that life itself wants you to find your dreams, and then know this. That a dream doesn't become reality through magic. It takes sweat, determination and hard work. No cheating, Alicia. That is a quote that is said by the former Secretary of State, Colin Powell. He said it and it's true. You must work to achieve your dreams. You must give dreams everything you've got. You must strive. To get to the moon and back, you must have a plan. Hard work is something that you all know. You have had to put in sweat and tears in getting to these very chairs that you are sitting in right now. Maybe you had to re-do a test. Maybe you had to read and re-read a paragraph 20 times before you really, truly understood. Maybe you had to go to tutoring, stay after school, or stay up texting everybody that you know to find someone who could help. Whatever it was, your hard work has paid off in earning credits for graduation today. Often times, you have to literally sweat to get your moon and back. That sweat may actually be physical sweat. Maybe you have to exercise in order to accomplish your goals. But really, your sweat might be figurative. Ask yourselves, how do you persevere to get where you are? Lastly, I want you to know that hard work is important. You all have what it takes in order to put in the hard work. After all, you're graduating, and many of you already have some plans. Hard work makes you stronger. It demonstrates fortitude. Each of you has the ability to achieve your dreams because take a look around. 240 of you, to be exact, are here because you determined that today was the day, and voila. Here you are, your last day of high school. Graduation. Here is what I say. Dream big, and when your dream becomes a reality, then start dreaming again. Allow yourself time to dream. You can daydream, night dream, you can even dream while you're driving to work. Get your to moon and back. And in the famous words of Buzz Lightyear, "To infinity and beyond." You've got this Class of 29, to the moon and back. And now, I know this is what we've all been waiting for. I would like to present the Class of 2019. School Board members, Candelaria Patterson and Ms. Yolanda Montoya‐Cordova, the graduates seated before you have met the graduation requirements that are set forth by the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education, along with the New Mexico Public Education Department. To you, I present the Class of 2019.

BOARD MEMBER YOLANDA MONTOYA-CORDOVA: Congratulations. Home of the Ravens. Rio Grande High School, my home. I'm a Rio Grande graduate too, and it gives me, yeah. Go Ravens! And guess what? Your school's as old as I am. So I just have a couple of notes. I just want you to remember, you are never alone. Be authentic, live your dreams, be proud of who you are, but remember where you come from. South Valley pride. Ms. DeBell, as a member of the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education, we accept this Class of 2019. Go Ravens.

AMANDA DEBELL: Excellent. Go Ravens!

- [Woman] So then just like, just like look at each other and make sure they know when to switch, yeah?

- [Man] One 1,000, Two 1,000, Three 1,000, Four 1,000.

- [Announcer] Gunnar Bishop. Shawn Elwood.

- [Man] Two 1,000, Three 1,000, Four 1,000.

- [Announcer] Nicholas Gallardo.

- [Man] One 1,000, Two 1,000, Three 1,000, Four 1,000.

- [Announcer] Bertha Acosta.

- [Announcer] Bryanna Acosta. Desire Acosta. Ariana Aguilar. Johnny Aguilar. Abigail Aguirre Alvarez. Vanessa Alvarado Gonzalez.

- [Announcer] Lynae Andrade. Uriel Andrade Huerta. Brenda Andrade Landeros. Izaih Apodaca. Sergio Arellano. Mario Armendariz. Lucero Arreola Bustos. Diana Arzate. Roberto Avila Zaleta. Destiny Bainbridge.

- [Announcer] Jocelyn Barraza. Jesus Barrios. Johanna Barrios. Abimael Barrios Talavera. Mark Beltran-Tadeo. Oscar Bencomo Garcia. Mali Benitez. Cruz Bolivar. Vanessa Burciaga.

- [Announcer] Manuel Bustillos. Damian Canales. Alan Carrete Breceda. Fernando Carrillo. Alexia Carrillo Cena. Javier Castaneda. Reyna Cazares Alfaro. Dorothy Chavez. Felipe Chavez.

- [Announcer] Miranda Chavez. Perry Chavez. Saul Chavez Moreno. Jasmine Cordero. Nayeli Corral. Veronica Diaz. Jackson Diaz Ponce. Jason Dixon. Arleth Dominguez Caro. Joshua Dominguez. That's you, that's you.

- [Announcer] Magda Dominguez Varela. John Du Bray. Gerardo Duran. Justin Earnest. Ashley Echavarria Munoz. Melissa Erives Dominguez. Hector Espinoza. Marcos Eylicio. Jose Federico. Britonya Fleming-Ponce.

- [Announcer] Jesus Flores Martinez. Samantha Gallegos. Jordan Garay.

- [Audience Member] You did it, Jordan!

- [Announcer] Derek Garcia. Isabella Garcia.

- [Girl] I saw that old lady standing up.

- [Announcer] Valeria Garcia. Yiselle, Yiselle.

- [Announcer] Yiselle Garcia. Megan Garcia Barrera. Samuel Garcia Garcia.

- [Announcer] Edgar Gonzalez Garcia. Jasmin Garcia Montes. Jacqueline Gil Saucedo. Francisco Gomez. Nayeli Gomez Escobar. Isaiah Gonzales. Alejandro Gonzalez. Jesus Gonzalez Rodriguez. Jewel Goodhart. That's you. Dominic Griego.

- [Announcer] Fernando Griego. Claudia Guardado.

- [Woman] You gotta go.

- [Announcer] Jahir Guillen Rodriguez.

- [Woman] All right.

- [Announcer] Elena Gurule. Mateo Gurule. Alejandro Gutierrez. Francisco Gutierrez.

- [Announcer] Jesus Gutierrez Ruiz. Isaac Guzman. Abrianna Hernandez. Anthony Hernandez. Aryam Hernandez. Daniel Hernandez. Erik Hernandez. Gilbert Hernandez. Amy Hernandez Marquez. Andy Hernandez.

- [Announcer] Brandon Hidalgo. Ramon Ibarra. Amenity Jake. Adrianna James. Cristina Janzen. Naomi Jimenez. Frida Jimenez Lara. Jesus Jimenez Medina.

- [Announcer] Santana Jones. Victoria Jones. Bobbie Juarez. Jordan Kean. Gavin Kerns. Phillip King. Joseph Lajeuenesse. Eternitti Latimore. Alyssa Limon. Brianna Lopez.

- [Audience Member] Go Brianna!

- [Announcer] Jeramy Lopez.

- [Announcer] Alexis Lucero. Dulce Lucero Flores. Jessica Luevano. Kayla Lugones. Jessie Madrid. Alexa Magallanes. David Magana De La Rosa. Hans Malubay. Gabriela Manriquez Sosa. Shykah Marquez. Jazmin Marrufo Gonzalez. Michelle Martinez Marquez. Kershawna Maryboy. Rodrigo Mauricio.

- [Announcer] Jillian McGee. Elena Medina. Laura Medrano Rodriguez. Luis Michel. Emmanuel Mondragon. Samantha Montano. Yasmiley Montelongo Almanza. That's you.

- [Announcer] Berenice Montelongo Flores. Makayla Montoya. Cynthia Moran Guevara. Serena Munoz. Sergio Munoz Torres. Armando Munoz-Zarate. Monique Nelson. Yasmin Nevarez. Alexandro Nevarez Rodriguez. Perla Nieves Aguilar. Bernardo Nunez Avila.

- [Announcer] Katelin Ohayon. Jonathan Orozco Chavez. Raymond Ortega. Angelo Padilla. Miranda M. Padilla. Miranda N. Padilla. Aaron Pavia. Joshua Peralta. Reyanna Peralta.

- [Announcer] Jude Perea. Alvaro Perez Carmona. Saul Perez Hernandez. Leslie Prieto. Michelle Prieto Pacheco. Isabel Purcella. Guadalupe Quezada Fuentes.

- [Announcer] Jeremiah Quintana. Eddi Quintana Reyes. Martin Ramos. Nayeli Rangel. Denalia Redd. Yuliana Rios. Juan Carlos Rivas. Eduardo Rivas Quinones. Jaylynn Rodriguez. Jose Rodriguez Diaz. Kimberly Rodriguez Flores. Angel Romero. Bryan Rodriguez Gardea. Hana Romero.

- [Announcer] Jacob Romero. James Romero. Leila Saenz. Andres Salazar. Cipri Salazar. Isaiah Salazar Falcon. Laura Salcido Meza. Alejandra Salinas. Cesar Salinas. Dulce Salto Loya.

- [Announcer] Adam Sanchez. Ahryanna Sanchez. Alexis Sena. Christopher Sernas. Tyree Sewell. Monique Silvas. Izaac Smith. That's you.

- [Announcer] Rosalinda Villa. Johnathan Sosa. Daysha Stanley. Anthony Stapleton. Alicia Tafoya. Kevin Taylor. Angelique Teixeira. Jesus Tello. Misael Tinajero. Eric Tonihka. Mark Torres. This is you.

- [Announcer] Alexis Trejo. Zoe Trujillo. Mello Tweeten. Violet Vaquera. Angel Varela. Alejandro Vargas. Jose Vargas. Rosa Vargas. Angela Vasquez. Alexis Vasquez Villa.

CESAR CHAPARRO: Samuel Vazquez Quintana. Jesus Velazquez Cibrian. Evelyn Vidal Blanco. Yaxeni Villarreal. Britta Ward. Donovan Williams. Adrianna Winnikoff. Nicole Winnikoff. Diana Wong. Cruzito Flores. Jasmine Zarate. Nancy Zarate-Leyva. Sonia Zavala Barreras. The Class of 2019 President, who is here with her parents David and Eloisa, and siblings Susana, Lorena and Jorge. She plans on attending UNM, and hopes to become a dental hygienist. She wants to be remembered as the best lazy leader. Jessica Luevano.

JESSICA LUEVANO: Since my very first day of high school, I promised myself I would stand up here, on this day, and deliver this very speech. And here I am, a whole four years later, standing before all of the people that have gone through the same, yet unique, journey as me, all of my classmates, and the people that have helped us make all of this possible. These are the very last moments we will spend as proud Ravens, although we all know that once a Raven, always a Raven. For some of us it came easy, for some of us it did not. But one way or another, we all faced challenges that we had to overcome, and being here today proves that we did surpass any of the obstacles presented to us, whether it was just late nights completing assignments, or things we can not say out loud. We all now have this experience to speak about. Although we all have different feelings about it, we can all agree that at some point, these four years truly consisted of some of the best times of our lives. They have left us with memories that are completely unforgettable. But out of these four years, we all know the one memory we have anticipated to make the most, is the one we are making now. The goal we have worked so hard for to accomplish, is finally being accomplished now. I would like to take a second to thank the two girls on stage, Amy and Letty, because without them, my accomplishments in high school would not have been possible. And to some of the boys out on the floor, you know who you are, you'll always have a mom in me. With that being said, I ask for the Class of 2019 to please rise. I am so proud to have had such an amazing class to have to served to as president. You all truly made this the best year that Rio Grande has seen in a while. I am so excited to see how much we all will succeed, even though we are all parting ways, but we finally did it. Class of 2019, you may now move your tassels from the right to the left. Congratulations!

Sandia High School

Sandia Graduation Transcript

(crowd murmuring)

LARRY D'ANZA: Good morning, and welcome. Today we are here to honor every graduate. Many friends and family members have traveled far to honor their graduates. Please refrain from excessive cheering and the use of noise makers so that every graduate's name may be heard and honored by family and friends. Sandia High School thanks you for respecting the dignity of the ceremony. Let us all please stand and welcome the class of 2019.

(audience cheering)

("Pomp and Circumstance")

(audience applauding)

Please remain standing for the presentation of colors by the Sandia High School Air Force Junior ROTC under the direction of Captain David Plaster and Senior Master Sergeant Joe Britton. The National Anthem will be sung by the Sandia Choir. It is the tradition at Sandia High School that we stand in silence, gentlemen please remove your hats, and please remain standing until the colors have left the floor.

♪ Oh say can you see ♪

♪ By the dawn's early light ♪

♪ What so proudly we hailed ♪

♪ At the twilight's last gleaming ♪

♪ Whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪

♪ Through the perilous fight ♪

♪ O'er the ramparts we watched ♪

♪ Were so gallantly streaming ♪

♪ And the rockets' red glare ♪ ♪ Rockets' red glare ♪

♪ The bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ Bursting in air ♪

♪ Gave proof through the night ♪

♪ That our flag was still there ♪

♪ O say does that star-spangled ♪

♪ Banner yet wave ♪

♪ O'er the land of the free ♪

♪ And the home of the brave ♪

(audience applauding and cheering)

(muffled speaking)

(audience applauding)

LARRY D'ANZA: Seniors, please be seated. At this time, I want to introduce Senior Class President AJ Saiz-Ortiz, Vice President Tyler Shepherd, and Secretary Shea McEvoy.

(audience applauding)

AJ SAIZ-ORTIZ: Good morning. The class of 2019 would like to extend a special welcome to our honored guests. Please stand when I introduce you. Audience, please hold your applause until all guests have been introduced.

APS Board Member, Ms. Elizabeth Armijo.

APS Board Member, Dr. David Peercy.

Associate Superintendent for Zone 4, Troy Hughes.

APS Leadership Team Member, Mr. Todd Torgerson.

And Sandia High School Principal, Mr. Larry D'Anza.

TYLER SHEPHERD: Sandia Vice Principals, Ms. Camille Gonzalez,

Ms. Amy Lissick,

Ms. Frances Chavez,

Ms. Mary Cade.

Sandia Athletic Director, Mr. Brian Weems.

Our class sponsors and readers for today,

Ms. Kathy Browning,

Ms. AnneMae Gold,

Mr. Charles Steele.

And offstage, Sandia Activities Director, Ms. Ann Holmes.

In addition, we would like to thank our school counselors who are here with us today to present flowers to each senior.

SHEA MCEVOY: We would also like to recognize and thank all of our distinguished and talented faculty members here with us today, and ask them to please stand.

(audience applauding)

I will now introduce our valedictorians for the class of 2019. First we have Alyssa West.

(audience applauding and cheering)

ALYSSA WEST: Okay. As I look out at all of you today, my dear friends and classmates of Sandia High School, you know what I see for our future? I see a whole lot of student loans and absolutely no social security benefits.

(audience laughing)

In all honesty, I see a generation that is being thrown into a political, environmental, and social hurricane and that is being told by our predecessors that we are too lazy, too self absorbed, and too addicted to those darn cell phones to claw our way out. But more importantly, I see a strong, intelligent, innovative group of people who, by joining together in the complete and diverse beauty of unity, through the power of our Creator, will find a way to be the answer to the extensive challenges facing our society.

You might feel insecure right now, as though you are incapable of achieving success in whatever path of life you may choose, but honestly, we all feel that way at one point or another. The important thing is that we are never alone. Throughout my time at Sandia, I have felt completely insufficient countless times, but it was in those moments that I felt the power of my community the strongest as people like my family, and Aniela, Lorenzo, Naima, Courtenay, Erin, and so many more came together to support me. So maybe it is true that we are a lost group of kids, facing obscene obstacles and challenges that no generation before us has had to overcome, but I see that as an opportunity to prove our value, creativity, and intellect like no generation before us has been required to do.

We will accomplish more than we could ever imagine by cherishing the immense importance of the families that we have been blessed with, by seeking out the roots of injustices both in our communities and around the world, and by utilizing these darn cell phones and other such new technologies in order to discover real-world solutions to the environmental and social problems facing our world. If we love each other despite our differences, if we seek truth in the midst of all the lies, and if we sacrifice our selfishness and comfort for the betterment of those in need, there is no challenge that we will not be able to overcome, even something as hard as sitting in front of Michael during English class.

Together, we will stand strong. Wherever we go from here, we will be the light in this dark world and we will not be shaken. Thank you all so much, God bless you and keep you as you embark upon this journey in this next season of your life.

(audience applauding)

SHEA MCEVOY: Kiana Frederick from our IB program.

(audience applauding)

KIANA FREDERICK: Parents, friends, teachers, mentors, administrators, and of course, the graduating class of 2019, we did it. Let me start off by saying this speech will be blunt. I'm not going to give advice on how to be successful in life. There's plenty of older, wiser, more educated people who can give better advice, Mr. Beck. And maybe when I'm 60 and hopefully well off, I can give that advice, too. However, I wouldn't be up here today if I hadn't learned a thing or two the past 18 years. And I'm not talking about the quadratic equation or the cell cycle. 

So here are 10 things I've learned. Number one, a number, ACT or GPA might be important, but it doesn't define your intelligence or your future. 

Two, what makes you gifted or talented is not straight A's in school, but a different way of looking at the world and learning.

Number three, sometimes you get everything you want in life and realize that it's not enough.

Number four, being popular and being a leader are two very different things, and I hope by now you are beginning to figure this out.

Number five, no is a complete sentence. You do not have to justify every decision you make and ask for others' approval.

Number six, you do not have to hold your tongue. It's okay to voice an opinion, even if it's controversial, as long as it is done with respect and reason.

Number seven, do not let others take credit for your successes, but give credit where credit is due. So thank you to the teachers and administration who have helped us get here today, and thank you to my mom, dad, and little brother Jared for supporting me along my journey to success.

Number eight, there is a difference between giving up and knowing when you've had enough.

Number nine, there is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.

And number 10, education is more than going to school and getting a degree. It's about widening your knowledge and absorbing the truth in life. While I may not fully understand how to do my taxes, what a credit score really is, or even the best investments to make, I do understand that every experience we've been presented with is a learning experience. And as we go our separate ways, dream big, work hard, and most importantly, always have faith in yourself.

Thank you.

(audience applauding)

SHEA MCEVOY: Olivia Nail-Beatty from our IB program.

(audience applauding)

OLIVIA NAIL-BEATTY: Hey, guys, I just wanted to start this off by saying whoo-hoo, we made it. But before you clap, don't clap yet, I have two minutes to sum up our high school career and our entire future. So let's go back to the basics, the alphabet.

A is for academics and achievements and all the world that's in front of us.

B is for belief that got us through, from ourselves, family, and teachers, too.

C is for celebration and counting our blessings.

And D is for that one drinking fountain in admin that everybody likes. And you know, also determination and our dreams for the future and everything.

And E is for the experiments and for our experiences and also those energy drinks right before exams.

F is for fears overcome, the support of our family, and from our friends, and now for our future.

G is for growth and gratitude and also the gross Yucca bathrooms, let's be real.

H is for heroes who finished high school.

And I is for ideas, intelligence, and the individuals we're all growing into.

J is for everything we juggled and the jump we're about to take.

K is for kill, because we killed it, guys.

L is for lockers and lunches and lowriders that couldn't quite make it over those speed bumps in senior lot, and also for the new lives in front of us.

M is for Matador, because after all, we're one in a melon.

N is for never giving up, ole!

P is for our principal and for our principles, and you know, also prom.

Q is for quizzes we weren't quite prepared for and for quick questions.

R is remembering the time that we had here.

And S is for the Sandia Senior Song, because apparently life is a highway and we're gonna ride it all night long.

T is for trying, which totally paid off today thanks to some teachers.

And U is for you, you did it.

V is for varsity, for victory, and for venturing out of here with our diplomas.

And W is for

♪ We're all in this together ♪

X is for excellence and for extra credit which saved a lot of us.

Y is for Yucca and for all the exercise we got going back and forth, and also for our years at Sandia.

And Z is for the zillions of possibilities in front of us.

Thanks, guys, we did it, now you can clap.

(audience applauding)

SHEA MCEVOY: At this time, the chorus will sing "Climb Every Mountain."

(bright piano music)

♪ Climb every mountain ♪

♪ Search high and low ♪

♪ Follow every byway ♪

♪ Every path you know ♪

♪ Climb every mountain ♪

♪ Ford every stream ♪

♪ Follow every rainbow ♪

♪ Till you find your dream ♪

♪ A dream that will need ♪

♪ All the love you can give ♪ ♪ You can give ♪

♪ Every day of your life ♪

♪ For as long as you live ♪

♪ Climb every mountain ♪

♪ Ford every stream ♪

♪ Follow every rainbow ♪

♪ Till you find your dream ♪

♪ A dream that will need ♪

♪ All the love you can give ♪ ♪ You can give ♪

♪ Every day of your life ♪

♪ For as long as you live ♪

♪ Climb every mountain ♪

♪ Ford every stream ♪

♪ Follow every rainbow ♪

♪ Till you find ♪

♪ Your dream ♪

♪ Your dream ♪

♪ Your dream ♪

(audience applauding)

SHEA MCEVOY: It now gives me great pleasure to introduce our 2019 Senior Class President, AJ Ortiz.

(audience applauding and cheering)

- [Man] AJ!

AJ ORTIZ: Good morning, and welcome all parents, family, and friends to the graduation for the class of 2019. Well, class of 2019, we made it. First, give yourselves a round of applause for getting here.

(audience applauding)

Now I'm sure not only my classmates, but some of you out there in the audience are probably saying, oh gee, another class president speech. Well, I can't assure you I won't say some of the things that have been said before. But I do know that I will say some of the things that you either never hear or very seldomly hear at all. A little over a year ago, I had someone very close to me graduate, and once they were all said and done, that's the moment I realized that not only my life, but the lives of others around me were going to change drastically. This includes my parents, and especially my classmates. Things were going to change, and it wouldn't be that long before they did. Well, it looks like that day has come before us.

May 18th, 2019, is a day I've always dreamed about and looked forward to, but never thought it would come. As of today, it is here. And after the dust has settled, it will never come back. So I encourage everyone to take it all in and enjoy this great moment bestowed upon us today. The time has come today to get out into the thing we call the big blue world and give it all you got and make the best of the things that come your way. This will be an experience full of excitement, fear, happiness, sadness, and a whole bunch of other emotions rolled up into one.

Now, I'm not here today to sugarcoat things and say things are always going to be great, happy, or easy. I'm here today to give a speech and to give a true speech. I've always been a believer in truth, and I would like to leave not only my classmates, but all of you a little truth today. The thing we call truth is a very hard thing to hear sometimes, but could be just the thing some people need to hear. Through this journey we call life, there will be ups and downs, and not everything is going to be easy. There will be struggles and challenges. And just when you think you got over one, there will always be another. Life is a great thing, but it also throws curve balls and strikes you out sometimes.

The world is a great and broad place with so much to offer. It is waiting out there for all of you. Now, I'm not going to lie. Not all of you will succeed. Some of you will fail and have to work harder than the next person over. But these things such as failure and loss is what makes the success so much sweeter. I wish everyone luck in the journeys they're about to embark on. Looking back on high school and the past 12 years, it's flown by so fast and things have come and gone. After today, they're just memories and things to reflect on. They become stories to remember and relive. Now, I'm sure some of you are sitting out there saying, why would I want to relive high school? Well, maybe not now, but someday you will. Some of you I will never see or hear from again, and that's okay.

(audience laughing)

That's called life, and it leaves a little bit of mystery for you to think about, the mystery of where certain people ended up or the things that they are doing. Wow, it sure is a beautiful sight to see all of you ready and eager to graduate. This moment that we have been training for is finally here. I'm so happy and glad I've gotten to meet so many of you, and I will cherish many memories with lots of you out there. I wouldn't have gotten through high school if it weren't for many of my family, friends, and others. I would like to say thank you to some of them as I close my speech today. Mom, Dad, I love you. Thanks for putting up with me for all these years. Carlos and Dalton, thank you for being by my side. And last but not least, Carlissa, thank you for doing all you do, I love you. So I guess it comes time to say goodbye, Sandia, and goodbye, class of 2019. Thank you for all the memories, hardships, and good times that I will always remember. 

But before I end my speech, I would like to say one more thing. Two little mice fell into a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse wouldn't quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he turned that cream into butter and crawled out. Ladies and gentlemen, family and parents, faculty and staff, Ms. Gold, and lastly, the graduating class of 2019, as of today, we are that second mouse. Thank you for listening to my speech, and I have one more thing. As of right now, high school is officially over.

(audience cheering and applauding)

(muffled yelling)

LARRY D'ANZA: Board members Dr. Peercy and Ms. Armijo, I would like to present the class of 2019.

(audience cheering)

They have met all the graduation requirements as set forth by the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education along with the New Mexico Public Education Department. To you I present the class of 2019.

(audience applauding and cheering)

BOARD MEMBER ELIZABETH ARMIJO: On behalf of the APS Board of Education, we accept the 2019 graduating class of Sandia High School. Congratulations.

(audience applauding)

(muffled yelling)

- [Announcer] Shyann Nicole Duarte-Adame.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Adrian Angello Agonizante.

Reaghan F. Allison.

Haneen S. Amer.

Elise R. Anaya.

Aniela M. Aragon.

Leopoldo Aragon III.

Marisa Elena Aragon.

Nyah T. Aragon.

Stephen R. Armijo.

Steven Lawrence Ashby.

Alexander C. Atencio.

Anistasia L. Baca.

- [Announcer] Renee M. Baca.

Claire Marie Baldonado.

Joseph M. Barreras.

Abigail L. Bass.

Nichole F. Batt.

Katriel S. Bawden.

Madison R. Beauchamp.

Jessica G. Bell.

DeAnte J. Bernard.

Rachel E. Berry.

Mathias B. Bertram.

Ana Bhandari.

Nicole A. Bloomfield.

- [Announcer] Gabrianna Bonilla.

Amber Nicole Brack.

Jocelyne Brazfield.

Sapirah Broussard.

Darryl Jordan Bryant.

Shylon M. Buck Elk.

Hai T. Bui.

Alice Burk.

Shea Margaret Burrell.

Austin M. Burt.

Sklar R. Cain.

Rayetta E. Calderon.

Cameron M. Calhoun.

- [Announcer] Claire M. Carter.

Manuel E. Casias.

Seth T. Casias.

Damian Jude Cates.

Joseph S. Cecco.

Julian A. Chavarria.

Elias R. Chavez.

Maya N. Chavez.

Noah Orlando Ciurczak.

Alexandra Marie Clark.

Chase Cullen Connelly.

Steven Cooper.

Latina Angel Cordova.

- [Announcer] Victoria Rose Coverdale.

Connor L. Currier.

Katelyn Madison Dallas.

Autumn M. Dalton.

Lamarr Allen Damon.

Rae'Qkwon Daniels.

Zoe Ameris Davila.

John S. Davis.

Karina De Santiago.

Emily Breanna DeBoo.

Paul K. Dinh.

Darian K. Dixon.

Jasmine E. Dixon.

- [Announcer] Blaizze V. Duke.

Adriana Dukes.

Tugger Tyrann Duran.

Crystal J. Edge.

Paige E. Ellison.

Milka Abigail Espinoza.

Edwin Falcon.

Danny Fang.

Royce Alexander Farmer.

Michael Ryan Farrell.

Ethan Edgar Fenstermacher.

Kaelyn F. Fenstermacher.

Elijah D'Ante Ferguson.

- [Announcer] Robin Armando Fernandez.

Xandria Sahsha Figueroa.

Richard Fonseca.

Skylar Rae Foster.

Kiana R. Frederick.

Bethany Faith Frew.

Hazel A. Galanis Woodward.

Hannah Claire Gallegos.

Vincent P. Gallegos.

Emily M. Ganderton.

Jessica J. Ganley.

Brandon Alexander Garcia.

Serena A. Garcia.

- [Announcer] Venicio C. Garcia.

Sebastian Cole Gionfriddo.

Christopher M. Gomez.

Lorenzo R. Gomez.

Ciarra Grace Gonzales.

Jacob Allen Gonzales.

Christopher Elijah Grayson.

Stanley Charles Grieco III.

Candice Lynn Griego.

Rayne D. Grisson.

Sydney Nicole Groth.

Raelyn L. Guerrero.

Kaia K Guscott.

- [Announcer] Malaina Marie Gustafson.

Carlos Andres Gutierrez.

Devin J. Gwynn.

Echo Nichole Halbert.

Taylor Sage Hall.

Samantha Jane Moran Hampshire.

Alexea Theresa-Darlene Hanson.

Kensley Harmon.

Carena J. Harrison.

Maxwell J. Hawton.

Ella L. Haynes.

Olivia Isabella Hemenway.

Nadia E. Hennigan.

- [Announcer] Asjann M. Hentsch.

Michael B. Hess.

Lillian N. Heuertz.

Jonathan A. Higuera.

Joe F. Holian.

Hailee Lauren Hoskie.

Colin J. Howard.

Ali Munadhil Hussein.

Justin M. Husted.

Gavin Thomas Jahn.

Sabrina Rae Jaramillo-Romero.

Sierra Marie Jewell.

Trazon Tyrik Jimerson.

- [Announcer] Michael Luther Johnson.

Naima Lee Johnson.

Jacob Jones.

Kaylamarie Rose Jones.

Noah Gregory Jones.

Jonica Sophie Jordan.

Lucas Michael Jordan.

Dylan Ryan Keck.

Mikaela A. King.

Daniel P. Langley.

Loren L. Lawson.

Imari Rochell Lee.

Alexa Katrin Lees.

- [Announcer] Courtenay Alexandra Leonard.

Celina A. Leos.

Gilberto E. Leyva.

Mariah Nitcholett Livingston.

Gekhari M. Loftis.

Gabriel Thomas Lopez.

Christian A. Lowe.

Rio M. Lucero.

Jacquelyn N. Lujan.

Arianna M. Lumanog.

Ashley Nicole Luna.

Joshua Christian Lyons.

Lori Oishan Ma.

- [Announcer] Brandyn J. Macphee.

Kaitlyn K. Maestas.

Zaida M. Maldonado.

Isaiah G. Marsh.

Carolina Martinez.

Christina Rose Martinez.

Mark B. Martinez.

Joseph J. Martinez Jr.

Amber Kelly Mascarenas.

Zachary E. Mathes.

Seth D. Matteucci.

Aidan M. Matthews.

Kai Bjorn Mattson.

- [Announcer] Shea Abigail McEvoy.

Jemeni Mychal McGee.

Taiya Aspen Rose McKay.

James W McKinney.

Trevor Daniel McMains.

Karissa V. McMullen.

Zoe Dylan Meizlesh.

Valeria Alejandra Mejia.

Madelyn Taylor Melton.

Dylan Michael Membrila. - Come on, Dylan.

- [Announcer] Eric Tod Meyer.

Ibraheim Basel Mheirat.

Stephanie E. Middleton.

- [Announcer] Arianna Marie Miller.

Ian P. Miner.

Juan M. Moguel-Gooden.

Allora Marie Montalvo.

Gabriel Mooney.

Alyssa M. Moraga.

Seth Morgan.

Ariana Irene Morris.

Janna Elaine Morrison.

Marisa Marie Moya.

Nolan Vincent Murphy.

Olivia J. Nail-Beatty.

Evangeline Frances Nanez.

- [Announcer] Shai A. Nau.

Lyndsay Anne Navarette.

Leif A. Nelson.

Taylor Louise Nestor.

Jeffrey C. Neuber.

Serena Renee Nevarez.

Dung T. Nguyen.

Hannah Truc Nguyen.

Lucia M. Noll-Upshaw.

Andreana Marie Nourie.

Anna K. Ogren.

India J. Orlando.

Carlos J. Ortega-Lujan.

- [Announcer] Jaden H. Powell.

Mateo T. Ortiz.

Madison Nicole O'Toole.

Alexis Lauren Padilla.

Ryan K. Patterson.

Nakooma T. Pelt.

Dakota Joe Pena.

Talyn James Perez.

Gary Phillips.

Erin M. Pitcher.

Olivia B. Portillos.

Matthew Prieto.

Nicholas J. Quintana.

- [Announcer] Brianna K. Rivera.

Abraham J. Ramirez.

Ella Sinclair Ransom.

Jaiden Redhouse.

Sophie Gabriella Reynolds. - Yeah, Sophie!

- [Announcer] Keon G. Rhinehart.

Jayda Cassidy Rhodes.

Jonathan Matthew Rivera Jr.

Zirce Robles.

Kara S. Rodeheaver.

Edwind Alexandro Rodelas.

Victoria Carolina Rodriguez.

Leonardo Roldan-Cid.

- [Announcer] Danielle Anne Romero.

Maxwell C. Romero.

Ryan Anthony Romero.

Elena A. Rosales.

Benjamin D. Roscoe.

Renee M. Rose.

Natalie J. Roy.

Antonio M. Rubio.

Celeste Rudolfo.

Kevin Ruiz.

Lea Juanica Sabado.

Morgan Hope Sainz.

Charlie M Saiz.

- [Announcer] Anastacio J. Saiz-Ortiz.

Alyssa Rene Salazar.

Dacia Angelica Salazar.

Awisia Salik.

Julia M. Salvo.

Noah Thomas Samaniego.

Analicia Lynn Sanchez.

Ethan Marcus Sanchez.

Lauren Monica Sanchez.

Laurie Sutherland Sanchez.

Sela Francisca Sanchez.

Yazmin Arielle Sanchez.

Tessa R. Sanders.

Brooklyn Sandoval.

Rodrigo Sarmiento.

Charlene Sattanak.

Jack Ross Augustine Schafer.

Alexandra R. Scott.

Jacob Ryan Segura.

Samantha Aubrey Sena.

Victoria Sena.

Isidro Ricardo Serrano.

Sydney Nicole Settecerri.

Devin R. Shearer.

Briana S. Shell.

Tyler S. Shepherd.

- [Announcer] Spencer Shoberg.

Jonathan T. Shoemaker.

Skyla Rose Sice.

Preet Singh.

Hannah E. Smiset-Ortiz.

Cameron Zachary Smith.

Randy Soumphonphakdy.

Elijah Brooks Stamper.

David Stapleton.

Monique Staub.

Sadie Alexis Steadman.

Carlos W. Steele.

Kinsey Steingreaber.

- [Announcer] Bailey K. Stevens.

Madison Elizabeth Stewart.

Patia-Ann Marie Storey.

Stephen J. Strasser.

Juliet Mary Sturge.

Shannon E. Talley.

Sayli DeAnn Taylor-Dehoyos.

Breanna M. Teschner.

Liam M. Thome.

Keona Florence Tillman.

Andrew AJ Torgerson. - AJ!

- [Announcer] Dylan Torres.

Shayla Kay Torres.

- [Announcer] Diana Le Tran.

Damian Julian Trujillo.

Sean J. Tsikteris. - Sean!

- [Announcer] Jase R. Tsosie.

Makaela J. Tunell.

Jillian McKenna Urbane.

Cierra Janel Venable.

Sydney A Vickers.

Matthew J. Vivian.

Daniel C. Walter.

Jazmine T. Way.

Bryce Weatherford.

Jason D. Weaver.

- [Announcer] Alyssa Joy West.

Joseph M. West.

Jason R. Weston.

Mikayla K. Whitmore.

Aya R. Williams.

Derek Jadon Williams.

Brenna S. Willison.

James W. Winder.

Trevor Alan Wommack.

Karina Adriana Wong.

Jacob Woolsey.

Jazmyn V. Wright.

Madison R. Wyman.

- [Announcer] Zachary Joseph Ybarbo.

Joshua L. Zamarripa.

Brigette M. Zamora.

Aracely Zepeda.

Emma Riley Ziegler.

Giovanni Marcos Zubia.

- [Man] Okay, we messed up two or three.

(audience applauding and cheering)

- [Man] Good job!

(audience applauding) (crowd murmuring)

- [Man] It's hard, I know.

- [Woman] I messed up the easy ones.

- What's that? - I messed up the easy ones.

- [Man] Isn't that funny?

(audience applauding)

- [Man] Yay, yay for us!

- [Man] Are we standing up or sitting down?

Are we standing up or sitting down?

(crowd murmuring)

AJ SAIZ-ORTIZ: Seniors, please stand.

(audience cheering)

It is my honor to command you to move your tassels to the left.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Congratulations, class of 2019, we did it!

(audience applauding and cheering)

("Pomp and Circumstance")

Special Thanks to:

Sandia High School Administration & Staff; Sandia Counseling Department
Ann Holmes, Activities Director; AnneMae Gold, Kathy Browning, and Charles Steele, Class of 2019 Sponsors; Members of the APS Board of Education; 
Members of the APS Leadership Team

School on Wheels

School on Wheels Graduation Transcript

BRYAN GABALDON: Please stand for the graduates of 2019. Please be seated. Good evening and welcome to the 2019 School on Wheels' Graduation. My name is Bryan Gabaldon, counselor at School on Wheels, and I will be your MC for this evening. Parents, grandparents, guardians, and families, the staff of School on Wheels shares in your joy and pride this evening. While this event is meant to applaud and commemorate our seniors, it is also meant to honor the families, who through their love and dedication enabled our seniors to be here tonight receiving their high school diploma. The Pledge of Allegiance will be recited in both Spanish and English. Jonathan Veleta will recite the pledge in English and Karla Lira will recite the pledge in Spanish.

JONATHAN VELETA: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

(KARLA LIRA repeats in Spanish)

BRYAN GABALDON: We are honored to have among us this evening, Dr. Antonio Gonzales, Associate Superintendent, Leadership and Learning, Zone Two, Albuquerque Public Schools. Shelly Green, Executive Director, APS Service Center. Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education Member Yolanda Montoya Cordova. And Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education Member Candelaria Patterson. I would also like to introduce our School on Wheels Staff. Ms. Lori Romero, Principal. Mrs. Faye Cook, Resource Teacher. Ms. Marie Cahill, Internship Coordinator, Math Teacher. Mr. Craig Chavez, Educational Assistant. Mr. Cliff Hannah, English, Social Studies Teacher. Mr. Mike Nair, English, Social Studies Teacher. Mr. James Ralls, English, Social Studies Teacher. Mr. Kevin Kubica, Science Teacher. Ms. April Chavez, Science Teacher. Mr. Joe Maness, Mathematics Teacher. Mrs. Starla Vernon, English, PE, and Health Teacher. Mr. Jimmy Silva, Job Developer. Ms. Patricia Valverde, Principal Secretary. Corinne Vigil, Registrar. And Alex Placencio, Custodian. At this time, will any former School on Wheels' staff and School on Wheels alumni please stand and be recognized?

LORI ROMERO: So welcome, parents, guardians, relatives, and friends. As I stand up here at the end of my third year as principal, I think back to when these students first walked through the doors of School on Wheels. Some of you came looking for a new start, some of you came to finish what you had started years ago, and some of you came thinking that you were going to catch up and go back to your home schools, but you never left. This year, we have 21 students who are walking across this stage to receive their diplomas. I want to thank the parents, the guardians, and family members for allowing us to be a part of your family and allowing your student to become a part of our family. It seems like we're always trying new things at School on Wheels. We added a service learning component where students could go out and give back to the community. Students were EAs at Emerson and Susie Rayos Marmon Elementary Schools. They worked with Paws and Stripes, the Storehouse, and Joy Junction to name a few. We expanded our internship program to include new opportunities for students. Seniors worked on a capstone project that helped them walk out with solid plans for the future. Bryan, our counselor, worked with seniors to make sure that they were set up for the future. All of our graduates have been accepted into post-secondary institutions. Tonight, we will have three students who will be speaking during the ceremony. All three of these students have worked very hard this year and came to us after struggling at other schools. Two were on the verge of dropping out. One has since had a child and is raising a beautiful baby girl. Since coming to School on Wheels, all three of these students have not received any grade lower than a C. You will hear their stories tonight. Throughout the ceremony, you will hear the journey that these students have made to get here. We also have three students who are wearing sashes because they have the three highest GPAs of the class of 2019. This has been another remarkable year and it always feels like I'm sending my own children out into the world. We will always be here for you any time you want to visit, which for some of our past graduates is all the time. I know that you will be successful and achieve great things. The future of this world is in really good hands. As I have told you every day, be safe and make good decisions. I'm excited to hear about your adventures. You've worked hard, go out and enjoy life. You've earned it. I now have the pleasure of introducing our first student speaker, Ms. Nayeli Alvarado.

NAYELI ALVARADO: Hi, for those who may not know me, my name is Nayeli Alvarado, as Miss West said. I'm a graduating senior, class of 2019. At an early age, it was through my oldest brother Juan, whom I had first heard of the name School on Wheels. He was the first person I knew who had attended School on Wheels. A couple of years later, it was through a friend of mine who had once again brought the name School on Wheels up. I became a mother on December 2017. Now I am the mother of a beautiful baby girl named Kimberly. My friend told me about how much more I would like School on Wheels, being that I was pregnant, when compared to a much larger and traditional high school. As she began to tell me about it, I was interested when she mentioned that the classrooms contained a much smaller group of students, so I thought having smaller classes sounded pretty cool. She invited me to go check it out. As funny as it may seem, I seriously thought it was a school on a bus. And although, sorry. However, when I showed up to the school, in fact was nothing close to what I had imagined. It was just a regular building that looked like any other school, although pretty much smaller, which was something I really liked. For the first couple days of school, I was afraid. I didn't talk much to anyone. I felt out of place and felt like I didn't fit in due to the fact that I was pregnant. I really thought everyone would treat me different. However, I was completely wrong because that was not the case at all. I soon began befriending classmates and as time went on we got closer and closer, more so than I ever could imagined. I remember sitting with friends in English class talking about real life issues about life parenting skills for my daughter and other topics real to me. I remember once, Mr. Nair told us "That was a great Socratic seminar today! "Great job guys!" And I was thinking, really? I just thought that was just a really cool conversation. Since being enrolled here, my high school experience at School on Wheels has been much more than learning academics and studying. For me, it has been all about fostering relationships and team work with classmates. School on Wheels was more like a family and less like a school. The time spent here will always hold a place in my heart. I will never forget the caring teachers and the staff that would spend countless hours helping us before and even after school, taking time from their busy schedule to help us, whether it be to better understand material or with personal problems. It is greatly because of them that we are here today. I will most certainly miss this school and friendly environment it provided. However, the time has come for us to continue on with life and part our ways. As seniors, we will all have different paths which we have chosen to pursue. For me, it will be to attend CNM in order to pursue my nursing degree. All of my friends are choosing various paths. Jonathan is getting his Commercial Drivers License, as well as going into a welding program. Karla like myself is going into the nursing. Over the years, I hope to keep in touch with both my teachers and friends. We all came here lost, looking to pave our own path, now that we have a much clearer path, thanks to the likes of Ms. West and Mr. Bryan. Thank you guys for caring about us. It has been a blast attending this school. I would like to wish you guys nothing but the best in life. Don't let anyone tell you you can't accomplish something, because it doesn't matter if everyone in this world doubts you. As long as you believe in yourself, anything can be accomplished.

LORI ROMERO: Board members Miss Yolanda Montoya Cordova and Candelaria Patterson, it is my honor to present the class of 2019. They have met all of the graduation requirements as set forth by the Albuquerque Public School's Board of Education and the New Mexico Public Education Department. To you, I present the class of 2019.

BOARD MEMBER YOLANDA MONTOYA-CORDOVA: Whoops. Thank you. It gives me such pride and joy to accept this class. I know you all have worked really hard and just thinking about the community that you've built by being in a smaller space like that brings me a tremendous amount of joy. I do have a few notes and one is I just want to remind you all, you are never, ever alone. There's people who love you and in this room, you can see it's a testament to all the people that love you and know you. And so remember you are never alone. Always love your family. More importantly, be kind to yourself and love who you are. You've come this long and this far and just remember what you're made of and everything that you're capable of doing. Be authentic. And what that means is just, you know, be yourself and be true to your values and live with your own purpose. You've taken a long time to get to this point and I know you've got some values and some ideas about what that purpose is. And be proud of yourself and your community. I also live in the South Valley, I love the South Valley, and I'm so proud that School on Wheels is in my community and I'm proud that you're attending a school in my community. And I want you to remember the blessings that have been bestowed on you from this land, the land of enchantment, New Mexico. We love you, we care about you, and just as it's been said, we hope that you do come back and we hope that you stay with us in New Mexico, go on to nursing school, go on to be welders, truck drivers, teachers, whatever it is that's in your path, go on to do all those things but please do it here with us in New Mexico because we need your talent. Thank you.

BOARD MEMBER CANDELARIA PATTERSON: So on behalf of the Albuquerque Public Schools, we accept the graduating class of 2019 for School on Wheels. Congratulations.

LORI ROMERO: So I'd like to introduce our next senior speaker and that is Miss Yareli Fernandez.

YARELI FERNANDEZ: (speaks in Spanish) At School on Wheels, our tradition is that Team Leaders present their seniors with their diplomas. In keeping with that tradition, we will begin our presentations. Mr. Nair.

MIKE NAIR: Thanks. I'm gonna keep this short. I'm gonna miss you guys for sure. You know that. I want to go over each student and Jorge. Jorge is the listener. Time sheds true personalities and the more anyone knows Jorge, the more you will respect and admire him. Jorge is a young man with a heart of gold. He is compassionate, sincere, a listener, and very kind. For those of you that have the privilege to get to know him, and it's a very small few, you will have a friend for life. That's definitely Jorge. Nayeli the leader. Nayeli is a loyal friend, a compassionate mother, and a young woman that takes ownership of her life and anything that she accomplishes. Nayeli is a true leader. She's respected and trusted by all her peers and teachers. When seniors need to meet, all I had to do was just contact her and then there they were. When someone needs help with their classwork, there she is. Nayeli will be there, always leading the way. Keep leading the way, Nayeli. Jon, this guy. Jon the entrepreneur. Jon is probably one of the most real people you will ever meet. No sugar coating anything, just honest refreshing truth. As a student, sometimes the teachers would have this awesome lesson plan in their idea, maybe some, I don't know, Enlightenment educational model as you would say and then they'd say, "I've got this great lesson plan idea." And Jon will say "I don't think so. "This has no practical value at all." And he's right. So as a student, he'd be the voice of other students and he would critically dissect what works and what doesn't work in a classroom. If a class has no honest application in the real world, Jon will let you know. I know Jon will take these skills to make things real, practical, and realistic to anything he does especially, and I know this, Jon, you will own your own company one day. That's Jon. Alan, Alan. Alan the engineer. Alan never accepts good enough in anything he does. As a student, he wants to work his best at any assignment or project. Alan directed a percussion band for little fifth grade kids and when he first started, he was kinda scared, a little scared of the kids and didn't want to work with them. But at the end, the final performance, the parents were hugging him and telling him what a great job he did. And I know he's looking, he wants to be an electrical engineer, but a lot of parents said maybe you should be a music teacher. I just thought that was kind of interesting. But at school, he does the same thing too. He does the best at every assignment. When Alan was preparing his capstone project, I know he was practicing the night before and taking some last minute notes and getting all stressed out about it. Wherever Alan goes in life, he's gonna be the best at whatever he does, that's for sure. Alan.

BRYAN GABALDON: Nayeli Alvarado. Alan Gonzalez. Jorge Ramos. Jonathan Veleta. Mr. Kubica.

KEVIN KUBICA: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. It is my honor today to speak about two of the seniors on my team. While I only have two of them, three minutes may not really be enough time to adequately describe the impact that each of them have had on the school and their community, though I'm going to attempt it in two minutes or less. Feel free to time me if you want. So when I first met Yareli, it was last school year. She was kind of a difficult student to get to know at first. She spoke very little English and would find as many excuses as possible to leave my classroom and avoid a conversation. But over time, that would definitely change. She would start asking me questions, she would come to me and ask for help. She would start interacting with me more and more as she started to overcome the many obstacles in her education. She even considered leaving at one point and we convinced her to come back, which I'm very grateful that she did. She's overcome every single obstacle. She's completing the school year with a semester GPA of like over 3.5. She has nothing below a B. And with it, she has a bright future in elementary education. That's Yareli. Okay. Ethan Sherman holds a special place on my team as one of the first students that I had ever had at School on Wheels. He was originally on my team from when we were at the other campus at Western Trails. Getting to know him was also kind of difficult for me at times but for completely different reasons in that Ethan tended to feel kind of aloof to me, even though I knew he knew absolutely everything that was going on in my class and around the school. As I got to know him better, I know that he is an artistic soul with interests in cars and skateboarding and all around just being good to his friends. I've watched him transform into a somewhat immature kid into a very intelligent young man with ambitious goals in automotive mechanics. I will certainly miss the drawings that he would leave on my whiteboard in my classroom on almost a daily basis. I'd erase 'em and he'd just come back and draw them again. I could go on about both of my seniors for hours and so I've plenty more to talk about, but I'm probably already going on for too long. So all I have to say is good luck to both of you, wherever your path takes you, and no matter what you do, you'll always have my full support. Thank you.

BRYAN GABALDON: School on Wheels scholarship recipient, Yareli Fernandez-Garcia. Ethan Sherman. Miss Chavez.

APRIL CHAVEZ: (speaks in Spanish) I'm so proud of you.

BRYAN GABALDON: Samantha Detrana. Karla Lira. Jesus Lopez-Gayton. Edgar Lozoya. Mr. Hannah.

CLIGG HANNAH: We have a really big group. Good evening and thank you for coming. This portion of the ceremony allows each advisor to describe their relationship with students. Our functions as advisors continue to evolve and many of the duties that once created connections between teachers and students either no longer exist or delegated to others. However, our Wednesday service learning component offers students an opportunity to establish these connections while they expand their horizons. Students participated in a variety of locations. Hector volunteered with me at South Valley Care Center. His bilingual skills proved especially effective while he assisted residents in their daily activities. Moreover, he witnessed the consequences of the choices we routinely make and the resulting end of life issues. The traditional classroom does not offer that level of empirical evidence which illustrates the value of service learning. One of the things that has not changed at School on Wheels is the primary role of the teacher. For me, whether in the classroom or during service learning, that role focuses on student growth. My chosen curriculum provides students with a simple unwritten lesson. Life must be mastered. And the most effective way to accomplish this is to plan. Hector has planned in his capstone, as every senior has, what he will do after school. He has a plan A and he has a plan B. A thoughtful plan diligently executed remains the shortest path to student success, not just in an academic environment. Hopefully the process students learn serve them later in life as they analyze important decisions that they must make. This may sound like the relationship between a teacher and student flows one way. Nothing could be further from the truth. Experience has taught me that young people can affect me at least as much as I have affected them. They remain a part of me after they leave. So as we, the faculty of School on Wheels, say goodbye to these graduates, I bid an affectionate farewell to the young people that have taught me as much as I have taught them. Finally, I reiterate the mantra that has served me well throughout my life. Work hard, play hard. Congratulations, 2019.

BRYAN GABALDON: Hector Aguilar. Mr. Maness.

JOE MANESS: Good evening, my name is Joe Maness and I'm a teacher of mathematics here at School on Wheels. It is my honor to present to you two outstanding young men who are going to positively impact this society in the foreseeable future. Genaro Rubio is a study in tenacity. He is an individual that has had many hardships and yet persevered to the point of graduation. He did his service learning component for graduation at Susie Rayos Marmon Elementary School, where he would assist a teacher in the classroom. The students loved him. That speaks highly of your character. I have no doubt that you will do great in whatever field you choose to go into. Congratulations, Genaro. Yes, yes, I agree. Angelo, Angelo, Angelo. Yeah, yeah, yeah, so you know him too, okay. Yeah, what can I say about this student except thanks for making us all look good? He too did his service learning component at Susie Rayos Marmon Elementary School. The video of Angelo conducting a lesson there went viral. Well, at least inside of APS anyway. And now everyone thinks that our school is the greatest thing since the invention of the chalkboard. And to prove how awesome this student is, I am proud to announce that Angelo has been awarded a Bridge to Success Scholarship. Is there anything you can't do? Congratulations, future senator Angelo. Yeah, I'm voting for him too, yeah. And thank you, School on Wheels, for making this, my last year of teaching, a memorable one. Thank you.

BRYAN GABALDON: Before I announce Mr. Maness's graduates, I forgot to say that Jesus Lopez-Gayton was also a School on Wheels scholarship recipient. Jesus. Good job, Jesus. We have another School on Wheels scholarship recipient, Angelo Guzzo. Genaro Rubio. Mrs. Vernon.

STARLA VERNON: Good evening. This year, I had the pleasure and privilege of working with two seniors on my team, David Barber and BreOnna Candelaria. Both whom I've known since they were freshman. David has a heart of gold and he cares deeply about issues affecting our world. Over the years, his contributions to classroom discussions were insightful and thought-provoking. He plans to enter the technology sector and I can't wait to see what he accomplishes in this field. Congratulations, David. BreOnna is a kind and thoughtful young woman who also plans to go into the technology sector. She is a natural leader who knows what she wants to accomplish and I have no doubt she will achieve her goals. Congratulations, BreOnna. Since their freshman year, David and BreOnna have grown into remarkable young adults and I will without a doubt miss them very, very much. And finally, I would like to acknowledge the parents and guardians of all the students graduating this evening. Your support and commitment to your child's education is why he or she is standing on this stage tonight. Thank you.

BRYAN GABALDON: David Barber. School on Wheels scholarship recipient, BreOnna Candelaria. Mr. Chavez.

CRAIG CHAVEZ: Good evening. Tonight there is proof in this room, on the stage and behind me, that our future is bright ahead. Miss Robinson, Miss Cahill, and I got to see these three students succeed not only this year but in previous years. Roberta Lujan, Destiny Pettis, and Gerardo Lozoya have some of the best work ethic I have seen and I have no doubt in my mind that they are going on to do great things and live the happiest lives they can. Destiny becoming a veterinary technician and Gerardo a computer engineer are both recipients of the CNM Bridge Scholarship. Roberta aspires to be a lawyer and I truly believe that she can do it. So please, round of applause for the three behind me. And as I said in the beginning of the speech that you were behind me, but just know that I'm always behind you in whatever you do, so congratulations to the class of 2019.

BRYAN GABALDON: Gerardo Lozoya. Roberta Lujan. Destiny Pettis. Mr. Ralls.

JAMES RALLS: I have to admit that I'm a little jealous of our next graduate. She's one of our students who finished all her requirements last semester and has gotten to spend this semester soaking up the sunshine, the sights, and the sounds of Mexico. I was a little worried she was gonna stay down there and wasn't gonna make it here tonight, but I'm glad she did. Like many of the students on this stage tonight, Wendy is a legacy student. One of those students who has a family member graduated from School on Wheels in the past. Unlike her sister, our former graduate, Wendy comes across as a little shy, a little quiet, and a little conservative. But underneath that quiet exterior is something else, something that may just be a family trait. Inside Wendy, there is evidence of a shrewd thinker and a keen observer, skills she will definitely need in the future. Wendy is preparing to enroll in CNM to start her degree in psychology, specializing in working with children and teens. A noble profession, a needed profession, and a profession I know she will excel in. It has been an honor to work with Wendy over the past few years and like many of those who graduate, her presence in our classroom will be missed. I wish her nothing but the best in her future.

BRYAN GABALDON: Wendy Sandoval Astorca. Our last senior speaker is BreOnna Candelaria.

BREONNA CANDELARIA: I remember when I was a freshman and people told me high school would go by fast, I thought to myself, no, it won't. It's going to take forever. But here I am standing on this stage four years later, my senior year, somewhere I never thought I would be. But as they say, everything great comes to an end. The last two years were great because of the people I was surrounded by. My number one goal was to graduate with all As and I achieved it. I would like to say thank you to Ms. West and Bryan for pushing me to do better and for always believing in me. If it wasn't for School On Wheels, I would have just given up on school. Thank you to my family and friends that helped me achieve this goal. But a special thank you to my mom Natalie and my stepdad Joseph for helping me get to where I am today, by encouraging me to persevere and believe in myself when nobody else believed in me. Also thank you to my boyfriend and his mom for being here through the last year of high school, telling me to always do my best. To Ms. Chavez and Mrs. Vernon for encouraging me as well. I'm going miss seeing Ms. Chavez in the hallway always saying hello. I'm going to miss Mrs. Cahill and our long talks about me going to college and what a great person she says I'm going to become. Thank you to all of you for believing in me and giving me the chance to finish school even with the thought of giving up. Also thank you to everyone who doubted me and told me I wasn't gonna graduate. Look at me now. I'm standing here, saying I did it. Congratulations, class of 2019, we did it!

LORI ROMERO: Can we get another round of applause for our speakers and our students? So as Mr. Maness mentioned, we are losing one of our staff members and I'd like to recognize him at this time. Mr. Joe Maness will be retiring after 18 years with APS. Joe and I worked together at Rio Grande High School when I first started teaching and 17 years later, I had the great fortune of working with him again. We just have a small token of our appreciation for him. And I do have something else for you, Joe, it just did not come in in time. I didn't want to embarrass you in front of a whole lot of... Lisa. Lisa, where are you? Lisa, where are you? He's yours now. Graduates, if you would please stand. It is now my honor to ask that on the count of three, you move your tassel from the right side to the left, signifying your new status as high school graduates. Audience, please join me in the count.

- [Audience] One, two, three!

LORI ROMERO: Congratulations, scholars. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me once more in applauding these fine young scholars and graduates.

Summer High School

Summer Graduation Transcript

(orchestral music)

(upbeat orchestral music)

(upbeat orchestral music)

(audience cheer and applaud)

[DR. GABRIELLA BLAKEY] At this time, please remain standing for the presentation of colors. Tonight's colors are presented by Cibola High School, MCJROTC under the direction of Gunnery Sargent Jimmy Flores.

(audience cheer and applaud)

(Jimmy shouting)

(footsteps marching)

("The Star-Spangled Banner")

(audience cheer and applaud)

(footsteps marching)

(audience applaud)

Thank you, you may now be seated. At this time, we would like to introduce members of the Albuquerque Public School's Board of Education and the leadership team. Please stand as you are introduced.

Board member, Doctor David Peercy.

(audience applaud)

Board member, Yolanda Montoya-Cordova.

(audience applaud)

Superintendent, Raquel Reedy.

(audience applaud)

Associate Superintendent for Equity, Instruction, Innovation and Support, Doctor Madelyn Serna Mármol.

(audience applaud)

Executive Director of Student, Family and Community Supports, Doctor Kris Meurer.

(audience applaud)

Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Aimee Milazzo.

(audience applaud)

Associate Superintendent for Leadership and Learning zone three, Yvonne Garcia.

(audience applaud)

and Associate Superintendent for Leadership and Learning for zone two, Antonio Gonzales.

(audience applaud)

At this time, please join me in welcoming Albuquerque Public School's Superintendent, Raquel Reedy. She will address our graduating class.

(audience applaud)

- [SUPERINTENDENT RAQUEL REEDY] Well hello everybody. You look wonderful. It is just a pleasure to be standing here and seeing all the support that you have with all your friends and relatives and then you sitting there. It's just wonderful to stand here and see that.

You know, we're gathered here tonight and I suspect that you know why, we're here to celebrate the graduates of the class of 2019.

(audience cheer and applaud)

Absolutely, you like the sound of that, don't you? The graduates of the class of 2019 sounds so great.

(audience cheer and applaud)

I wanna thank you for inviting me to be apart of this wonderful, truly wonderful celebration and quite frankly, coming to graduations, it's one of the best parts of my job because I see you and I can envision you as kindergartners, as fifth graders, as middle schoolers and here we are, at the end of that journey and here you are sitting as individuals who have really embraced the challenge of education and I cannot be happier for you. I can truly feel the joy in the room tonight.

It comes from proud families and friends of these young men and women who earned and I wanna stress the word earned, it's not given to you, you worked and you earned it. These are young men and women who earned their high school diploma. Sounds great.

(audience cheer and applaud)

And the joy in this room comes from the teachers and counselors and principals and staff and cafeteria people and custodians, everyone who helped them along this academic journey and it comes from you, the graduates yourselves. We can all feel it, it's in the air and rightly so and I look at you and some of you can't stop grinning, can't stop smiling and you know, those smiles look really good on you.

They look good on you because you know. You look confident and accomplished because you are confident and accomplished. Don't forget that. Remember what you've been through and the fact that you're sitting here just speaks volumes about your tenacity and you know what, I know you've got your phones. Make sure that they're off but be sure and take all the selfies that you can. They're free and will hold memories that you will treasure for years and years to come. So don't hesitate, this is the day.

This is the time for you to truly enjoy your accomplishments. You earned this moment in time. Enjoy it, savor it. Your determination and hard work and here's a great word, your sticktoitiveness, try spelling that. Your sticktoitiveness, it's that's what got you to this milestone in your life and you should be proud. I have a very special place in my heart for Summer graduates.

You know, there's always a hubbub and a hurly burly and everywhere, we're all rushing and made to make sure that everyone gets their time in the light and this is your time and it's a special time and the weather's great and there's flowers in the air. It's just a wonderful time to graduate and I've always loved these gatherings.

You know what, the fact about graduating in the Summer speaks volumes about you as individuals and I'll tell you why. You are in school when many of your friends are sleeping in. I know that's tough. You go to class in sweltering heat. Sometimes your friends are out vacationing and here you are prepping for a test or working on their tans. I hate that part the most but the bottom line and I don't want you to forget this, the bottom line is regardless what people that you know are doing or what decisions they made with their lives, the bottom line is that you made sacrifices this Summer in order for you to earn this diploma and in order for you to sit here and celebrate with your families and with your friends.

I would argue with anyone that these sacrifices, your decisions to forego going to the parties or to forego sleeping late and skipping class, to forego going on road trips or whatever, your decisions have affected your life in such a positive way, I'm not sure that you realize what your decisions will mean to you in the future but you'll find out.

The fact is that, the fact that you are earning a diploma, that lasts forever. Tans may fade, the music from the parties will stop but you have something concrete that you alone accomplished and you can show the world this.

No one, no one can ever take that diploma away from you, remember that and it's because of what you did and your strength of character that has you sitting here today. So--

(audience applaud)

a high school diploma opens the door to all kinds of possibilities. All you have ahead of you is everything, everything, you have everything ahead of you. All possibilities, the doors are all open for you. Think about that. Everything awaits you and you are prepared to embrace it, whatever path you decide to take. You know I look at you and I see a very diverse group of graduates.

Actually, I see Albuquerque. Albuquerque is one of the richest and most diverse communities in the entire United States and here you are, totally representing this wonderful city that we live in. Diversity is our middle name. How many of you speak Spanish or another language, raise your hand. All right!

(audience cheer and applaud)

All right, I want you to embrace that. I want you to hold on to that. It makes you unique, it makes you special, it tells you who you are and where you come from and who your people are. We must be proud of our culture because it is unique, it is beautiful and it enriches, not only our lives, but the lives of everyone around us. This is what makes Albuquerque and APS so special. I know that you have grown up in different neighborhoods. I know that you took a variety of paths to get to this moment.

Some of you learned differently than others and needed extra time or you had to slow down as far as your coursework because you may had to support your family or do something that would be of assistance, something where you were needed and you heard that call. Some of you faced an illness or an injury or you just needed a little more time to mature and to get motivated and you did it and a handful of you chose to get it done early.

A handful of you chose to finish your coursework and get your degree early, earlier than the four years that are usually admitted to that

(audience cheer and applaud)

and you did it in a very thoughtful precise way and what you did is you took extra classes over the years so that you can hurry up and start the next chapter of your life. Congratulations to you.

(audience cheer and applaud)

The colors and I'm looking and I see so many beautiful colors, the colors of your graduation gowns representing our high schools and our charter schools signify your differences. As do the cords and the stoles that some of you draped around your necks representing culture, representing academic achievement or activism or involvement. No two of you graduates are alike. Nor was your journey to this achievement alike.

You have had many many transitions in your life and I think, if you stop and think back, you could probably pinpoint them but I'll give you some idea. So, how many of you remember when you were born?

(audience laugh)

No? When you were born, okay and there's witnesses, had your mother, your father, grandmother, aunts and uncles, everybody knew that you were born and here you are today. That was the first transition. How many of you remember the first day of kindergarten? Kindergarten, oh my goodness, so hard. Mostly hard on the parents. Maybe not so hard on the children because they're excited and maybe they're a little scared and they're anxious and as principal of an elementary school, I remember so well that first day of kindergarten where little hands were being held by adult hands in a caring, loving way walking to the next transition.

Do you remember what it was to start middle school? That was pretty scary I think. Middle school or what about the first day of high school, what was that like as a freshman? Pretty nerve wrecking I would think. Those transitions could be difficult and they could be challenging. They were also inevitable because you know what, you were growing. From that birth all the way pass on the years, you were growing as a human being and as an individual and sometimes, these transitions really truly prove to be exciting and fun and really helped you identify yourself as the human being and individual that you want to become.

So here you are at another transition, another scary challenging and exciting time of your life. The possibilities, like I said, are endless for you and quite frankly, I envy you and your future. My wish for you is that you continue learning always whether you choose college or trade school, the military or going into the family business, do one thing and that would be expand your knowledge. Find the things that intrigue you and become experts in that. Continue to ask questions. Push those boundaries. Take chances and dare to be different. Dare to take challenges. Find what makes you happy and do what you have to in order to succeed and here's the most important thing, allow yourself to love and to be loved and most importantly, love yourself.

You did it graduates, the class of 2019. Congratulations.

(audience cheer and applaud)

(speaks in foreign language)

Congratulations guys.

(audience cheer and applaud)

- [YVONNE GARCIA] Thank you Superintendent Reedy for such great words and a true excitement for our graduates. Good evening. My name is Yvonne Garcia. I'm the Associate Superintendent for learning zone three which is the North West part of the city. CEC, eCademy and tonight. oops.

I gotta get past Superintendent speech. It is my honor to join my colleagues in co-hosting tonight's celebration. We'd now like to acknowledge the Summer School Site principals who worked daily with our Summer graduates.

Please stand as I call your name. Audience, please continue to hold your applause until the end.

Highland High School's Lupe Martinez and Eliza Romero.

(audience applaud)

La Cueva High School's Brian Hubbell and Brett Rimer.

(audience cheer and applaud)

West Mesa High School's Michelle Martinez.

(audience applaud)

We'd like to also thank our high school Summer school staff for the 2019 Summer school program. Laura Valdez, Secondary Summer Learning Instructional Manager.

(audience applaud)

- [LAURA VALDEZ] Thank you.

- [YVONNE GARCIA] They're behind the black curtain. Janet Walters, Summer Learning Program Specialist.

(audience applaud)

and of course, there are so many other Summer site staff and registration support staff.

(audience applaud)

We also wish to acknowledge all our high school principals present tonight. They will be introduced later as they hand out the diploma covers to each of you graduates but I am truly excited to introduce Tyrone Trujillo, our student speaker –

(audience cheer and applaud)

who is graduating from Valley High School.

Tyrone, please come to the podium.

(audience cheer and applaud)

Good job. - Thank you.

-[TYRONE TRUJILLO] Oh wow, this is more people than I intended.

(audience chuckle)

Okay.

To my fellow graduates, families and loved ones of the class of 2019, it's a great honor to be up here speaking to all of you today.

I don't know how y'all feel right now but right now I'm feeling pretty nervous, scared and excited. Therefore I wanted to say to each and every one of my fellow graduates, I wish each and every one of y'all the best and to never give up on your goals and always see to keep succeeding.

That's no matter what, just move on to bigger and better things. I once read in a book "The Rose That Grew From Concrete" by Tupac Shakur, the poem "The Eternal Lament" and to lament is to look back in regret.

"From my mind to the depths of my soul
I yearn to achieve all my goals and
all the free time will be spent on the one I miss,
I will lament.
I am not a perfectionist but I seek perfection.
I am not a great romantic yet I yearn for affection.
Eternally my mind will produce ways to put my talents to use
and when I'm done no matter where I've been,
I will yearn to do it all over again."

I chose this passage because it reminded me of all the times I had to fight against all the obstacles that were placed in my life, with all the negativity, violence and crime that were trying to destroy me.

I chose to turn these odds into tools and not let them consume me, but instead I decided to use them to turn my life into a masterpiece of prosperity.

- [Audience Member] Yes!

(audience cheer and applaud)

- What I hope to share with all of you is that we're not all perfect but we got a meaning and a purpose no matter what happens because life is not always perfect but it is never be too late to succeed and surpass your limits. Once you're there, take the time to enjoy life with your loved ones close by. Remember how much you've grown and how much you've achieved. I can assure you to say I was one to view life with a different perspective.

When I was in the seventh grade, I would have thought graduating from high school, impossible because all the stuff going on in my life.

Having to go through the struggle with a single mother of five, and me being the middle child, it showed me to value the little things like water, electricity, and gas and also at times, a roof.

But there is always a brighter day. Mom, thank you for all the love you've given me and my siblings over the years. I love you and I appreciate you for that.

(audience cheer and applaud)

Graduates, this graduation is yours but it's also for the ones who worked to get you here and supported you. Thank you to all the teachers that believed in us when we didn't, the ones that gave us extra credit when we needed it but did not deserve it. The teachers that would understand us when we needed to leave early or had to come in late.

Most of all, another thing I wanted to say is life is not determined by where you've came from or how you look or how we present yourself but on how you make it and how much you put into it. So I just want to say congratulations to each and every one of my fellow graduates.

May you seek to never give up on your goals and always follow your dreams. Thank you very much. Have a blessed day and life.

(audience cheer and applaud)

-[DR. ANTONIO GONZALES] You wanna keep this?

Thank you very much Tyrone.

Thank you and good evening. My name is Antonio Gonzales. I am the Associate Superintendent for Leadership and Learning for zone two for Albuquerque Public Schools. It is my honor to also co-host tonight's celebration with Associate Superintendents Gabriella Blakey and Yvonne Garcia.

At this time, it is my honor to welcome Board President Doctor David Peercy and Board member Yolanda Montoya-Cordova to the podium. Would you please join me.

(audience applaud)

Doctor Peercy and Miss Montoya-Cordova, the graduates before you have completed all requirements set forth by the Albuquerque Public School's Board of Education and the New Mexico Public Education Department. We proudly present them to you to accept as graduates of the Albuquerque Public Schools.

(audience cheer and applaud)

- [YOLANDA MONTOYA-CORDOVA] Congratulations to the Summer class of 2019. When I look out and I see all your colors, "somos unidos", you know that wonderful theme that we've been saying one Albuquerque but it's definitely here. So congratulations and on behalf of the Albuquerque Public School Board of Education, we accept the graduating class of 2019.

(audience cheer and applaud)

-[DR. ANTONIO GONZALES] Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Albuquerque Public School's graduating class of Summer School 2019.

(audience cheer and applaud)

Would the Albuquerque Public School's leadership please take their places in the receiving line and at this time, I would like to welcome Doctor Madelyn Serna Mármol, Associate Superintendent for Equity, Instruction, Innovation and Support for the Albuquerque Public Schools who will read the names of the 2019 graduates this evening. It is now time for the class of 2019 to come forward.

(audience cheer and applaud)

- [DR. MADELYN SERNA MARMOL] Tell me when to start

- Representing Albuquerque Charter Academy, Shawn Burich.

(audience applaud)

(Superintendent Reedy hands the students their diploma and shakes their hand as the student exits the stage.)

- And student name.

- Candelaria M. Valdez-Pena

That's the one through Charter.

(audience and faculty background chatter)

- She was in front, they moved her, so sorry. Okay, here she is.

(audience cheer and applaud)

- [Madelyn] Representing Albuquerque High School, Ryan Homistek
Marlene Alvarez
Kyla Aragon
Mateo S. Benalli
Carlos Castillo
Delear Davis
Joe Ray R. Fernandez
Nancy Flores Ortega
Xavior Linam
Vladimier Madreed

- Slow down just a little bit.

- Rafael Maldonado Perez
Thomas K. Martin
Brianna C. Monge
Jorge Rodriguez
Jasmin Ruiz-Sandoval
Patrick Sanchez
David A. Savage
Maya J. Turner

Representing Atrisco Heritage Academy High School, Shirley Pareo
Jason Adamoli
Kalaya Albert
Jesus M. Amaya Jr
Haley Calvillo
Ashley A. Duarte Castaneda
Yesenia Espinoza
Jacob Etsitty
Jacqueline Gallegos
Jade Garcia
Kyle Garcia
Mariela Godoy Diaz
Alisha L. Grant
Dominic L. Lovato
Andrew Gonzales
Bryan Martinez
Nahum Medina
Anthony J. Machalski
Mercedes A. Montoya
Isaiah Otero
Khalil L. Rodriguez
Daniel S. Romero
Austin Ruiz
Isaac Ruiz
Ciarah G. Sanchez
Bryan Trillo
Dominic E. Ulibarri
Erick Velo Avalos

Representing Cibola High School, Raul Sandoval.

- We have one more student from Atrisco.

- Who is it?

- Come up.

- Arturo Gonzalez Jr.
Mya A. Aguirre
Kimberly Bahe
Taylene Garambullo
Dominic Munoz
Isaac R. Paynter
Ezekiel M. Urbina
Kate Welch

Representing Digital Arts and Technology Academy, Raul Sandoval.

- Sorry you're back.

- Louie G. Mendoza
Loriann Montoya

Representing Del Norte High School, Ed Bortot.
Alberto Alday
Jairo Alvarado
Alexcia Apodaca
Benita I. Arrambide
Sergio Barrientos
Deja Begay
Makyle D. Brown
Ruben D. Chavez-Torres
June Lowe
Ever Nunez
Caitlin N. Paisano
Elizabeth Pena
Jair Puentes
Kevin Reece
Gabriel Salazar
Taina Toya

Representing Early College Academy, Pat Arguez.
Irene Ramirez

Representing eCademy Virtual High School, Shelley Marie Harris.
Zane I. Aldaz
Sarai J. Campos
Selena M. Holt
Haily M. Houghton
Darius Kessler
Caelan M. Markey

Representing Eldorado High School, Martin Sandoval.
Talon Bennett
Edwin S. Colon
Nathaniel Elebario
Mystika R. Garcia
Jihyun Lim
Tyler P. McLellan
Karenna Sandoval
Omid Shenwari

Representing Freedom High School, Esther Keeton.
Brianna Archuleta
Courtney R. Hughes
Angelica M. Martinez
Javier Morales
Ayden Peck
Michelle Ramirez
Gilbert L. Sena, Denisha Allen.

Representing Highland High School, Eliza Romero.
Carlos Pedro Guerrero Luna
Oswaldo E Loya Bejarrano
Karol Miller
Oscar Ochoa
Diana K. Perez
Kevin Peneda
Sarah Micahiah Galea

- La Cueva's next.

- Representing La Cueva High School, Brett Rimer.
Sarah Micahiah Galea
Alexandria E. Keaveney
Ju W. Kim

Representing Manzano High School, Karen Webb.
Leya Austin
Jacqueline J. Cardenas
Kyle Deeshchii'nii
Anthony A. Gallegos
Victor Martinez
Alexis Morgan
Angelina Padilla
Maranatha H. Sainte-Papouloute
Jason A. Villanueva
Rhianna N. Washington
Leanna A. Williams

- That's it for Manzano.

- Representing Mark Armijo Charter Academy, Bernadette Frietze.
Valeria Alfaro
Juan Ibarra
Briana Pacheco
Kenia Vasquez

Representing New Futures, Jinx Baskerville.
Lauren Chavez
Alexis Hermosillo
Megan Hoffman
Alyssa M. Padilla
Shyenne Singleton
Mia Tenorio

- That's it from. - Congratulations.

- Representing Rio Grande High School, Amanda DeBell.
Jesus M. Chaparro Ramirez
Juan M. Chavez
Rayna Chavez
Andrea Galvan
Fabian Omar Hernandez
Daniela Mauricio
Miriam Mayo
Anthony Najera
Jose G. Rodriguez
Elizabeth Romero-Navarette
Maria Angela C. Rubio
Mark Toadlena

- Do the RFK. - Should we get her?

- Yeah. - Now for RFK.

- RFK,
Silvia Mendoza-Rios

Representing Sandia High School, Larry D'Anza.
Gabriel A. Acosta
Ashley Emsley
Jody Gutierrez
Bruno Kunzle Savastano
Isabella C. Ojeda
Kaella J. Urioste
Hope Vivian
Tyler Z. Willingham

Representing-- - Oh wait, wait

- That's me.

- School On Wheels, Cliff Hannah.
Zoe M. Chavez
and from Southwest Secondary, Pia Harvey

Representing Valley High School, Anthony Griego.
Cinthia L. Alcantar
Elijah Barreras
Brandon T. Gutierrez
Isaiah Mestas
Analysia Moya
Cesar C. Quintana Macias
Roberto Rios
Justice Toomalatai
Tyrone Trujillo
Johnny Velasquez
Nayeli Villa

Representing Volcano Vista High School, Manuel Alzaga.
Sania U. Adkins
Paul C. Apodaca
Victor M. Arreguin-Jarquin
Kristina Cardoza
Cody J. Couch
Jake D. Deatherage
Joah Flores
Chloe Fraser
Kayla Goodgame
America Guzman
Fernando F. Hernandez
Xyan Hesuse
Vanessa A. Madrid
Matthew S. Mills
Isai Rivas
Isaiah Sanchez
Ethan A. Silva
Demetri C. Smith
Alexia Valles
Daylyn I. Wyatt

Representing West Mesa High School, Michelle Martinez.
Monique Apodaca
Ramon Bautista
Destinie E. Castro
Isaac Hinojosa
Azucena Lee
Brianna Lente
Jonathan Lorge
David Martinez
Mateo E. Mendoza
Christian Olivas
Celeste Pacheco
Miranda Y. Retana
Yessenia Robles
Isaac R. Russell
Bernardo A. Salazar
Jeremy Sandoval
Jesus Trejo
Jacob Venegas

Thank you.

- More like this.

- No I'm in the middle, so it's

(staff chatting in background)

We have one last thing to do.

(crowd cheering)

- Our 2019 graduates, please stand.

(audience cheer and applaud)

Graduates, at this time, please move your tassels from right to left.

(audience cheer and applaud)

- Graduates, please thank, join me in thanking parents, friends, family, school staff for supporting you and your accomplishments this evening.

(audience cheer and applaud)

- Parents, families and friends, please remain seated until the graduates have exited the theater. After the graduates have exited the theater, please join your graduate in the designated meet up areas posted in your program. Help me ladies and gentlemen, one last time, congratulate the Albuquerque Public School Summer School class of 2019.

(audience cheer and applaud)

(orchestral music)

- [Lady With Beige Top] Families, please wait for the graduates to exit.

(orchestral music)

Graduates: 2019 List of Graduates (PDF)

We wish to acknowledge APS Board Services and APS Police for their support with APS Summer School Graduation.

If You Believe

Your diploma means a future without boundaries,
a world that’s full of energy and fun.
So as you reach for all life has to offer, remember
that you’re second to no one.
Pursue your goals, yet keep your loved ones close,
as you utilize your talent and ambition.
Let your friends and family give you their support,
and you’ll master every challenging transition.
And always, know you can achieve the things you
really want, if you believe.
— Joanna Fuchs

Transition Services

"Working Towards Greatness! Expect Greatness in Yourself and Inspire it in Others."

Transition Services Graduation Transcript

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Oh think it's on, hello, okay. Welcome everybody, we're gonna be starting here in just a minute. We are very excited about our graduates this year, we have a wonderful group that we have some exciting speakers for you. The students I think are ready to come in, so let's all rise for the graduating class of 2019. Okay, go ahead.

("Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen plays in background) ♪ I've paid my dues ♪ ♪ Time after time ♪

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Is it louder? ♪ I've done my sentence ♪ ♪ But committed no crime ♪ ♪ And bad mistakes ♪

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Yay graduates.

♪ I've made a few ♪ ♪ I've had my share of sand kicked in my face ♪ ♪ But I've come through ♪ ♪ And I need to go on and on, and on, and on ♪ ♪ We are the champions, my friends ♪ ♪ And we'll keep on fighting 'til the end ♪ ♪ We are the champions ♪ ♪ We are the champions ♪ ♪ No time for losers ♪ ♪ 'Cause we are the champions of the world ♪

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Okay, please be seated. Welcome to everyone, graduates and families and friends. We are here to honor and celebrate the graduating class of 2019, let's give a big round of applause for our students one more time, yay. Graduates you have now reached a milestone in your journey in life. You have finished your public school. As you know your life is gonna continue on always reaching for your goals, trying new things as you move forward. Some of you will be going on to more school, some of you will be finding jobs or careers or are in jobs or careers. Staying connected with your friends and discovering new ones. Finding activities in the community that excite you. There's a big world out there. We here at Transition Services are fortunate to have been a part of your life for a while and to have tried to help you with your goals and dreams. We are very fortunate to have known each and every one of you as lovely adults. There are people who have been with you through all the events in your life up until now and will be with you as you travel on in life. These are your families and friends, and we would like to recognize them and thank them. Nobody can make it out in the world alone and how fortunate we all are to have family and friends to be there in the good times and to help us out in the hard times. We would also like to recognize and thank, The Adult Agency providers, employers, and other community members that are here tonight. We thank you for all the opportunities you give, your patience and your support of these young people, people like you make Albuquerque a wonderful place to live. Last but not least, a huge big thank you to Karen Krall, our principal, for her administrative leadership. As we help our students move forward, you help our program to move forward. I would like to now introduce and welcome our dignitaries that are attending the ceremony. Our APS Board of Education president, Dr. David Peercy. APS District for Board of Education member Barbara Peterson. APS Leadership, Lucinda Sanchez, Associate Superintendent for Special Education. Shelly Green, the Executive Director for Student Parent and Employee Service Center. And now it's time for our graduate speakers of the evening. All the students have been with Access and CTAP for a few years now and they have worked very very hard on their own personal goals as well as their speeches and we are very proud of them. Our first speaker is Aaron Homer. Aaron has been in the CTAP program for three years and has been an absolute joy. As you will hear in his speech, Aaron is very busy with his life outside of CTAP and is ready and excited to get out into the world, please welcome Aaron.

AARON HOMER: Hi, my name is Aaron Homer. And I'm a person with down syndrome. You may see my disability but I'm here to tell you much more on that. I graduated from Highland High School in 2016, I participated in a regular classes in science. I'm in computers and even was part of the wrestling team in my first semester. I have worked Texas Roadhouse for almost two years and I love my job. I'm always smiling while I work. I worked hard, playing hard. I work at various places through APS CTAP program. I have worked Manzano Mesa Community Center, APS Food Nutrition and APS Clothing Bank. I always put my best all I do. I ride the sun van instead of my own rides. I worked in the community volunteering with my church. I attended the prom and danced the night away. I'm a godfather, I love my goddaughter Nova and I'd do anything for her. I attended four down syndrome conferences and will be a guest speaker for the youth in 2020, in New Orleans, I even met some other stars, so also born this way. I participate in special Olympics and I have won five gold medals, two bronze medals and six ribbons. I have honored at the local basketball game as a special olympian. I write music, love sports, I travel and I got to meet my favorite quarter-back Kirk Cousins. I work out everyday with my provider Anthony and we have developed a speech together. He's like my big brother. So now you see I'm just like you and I have never let my disabilities stop me from achieving in greatness and I inspire you to do the same, thank you.

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Thank you so much Aaron that was a wonderful presentation. Our next speaker is Madison Nelson. Yay Maddy! Maddy has been at Transition Services for two years now. Maddy is a very responsible, organized and kind young lady. She has truly become an independent and self-sufficient individual. We are so happy to have had her in our program and we are extremely proud of all her accomplishments. She is a waitress now at Restoration Pizza and she will be dearly missed, Maddy.

MADISON NELSON: Hello, my name is Madison D Nelson, I am 22 years old and I've have been in APS since I was very little, and I would like to thank my teacher Avalon Traub, she is like a second mother to me. She has been helping me to become an independent young lady. And I would like to thank Mark Chavez for everything he has done for me to make me feel like a family unit. I would like to thank Pamela J Sandoval the head teacher because she accepted me into her program when I heard about it and wanted to be in the program. I came to Transition Services when I was 20 years old and I'm now 22 years old. The first time that I came to Transition Services, I was very shy towards new people and now I'm not that shy anymore. My favorite part of CTAP is when our class took a tour of the Albuquerque Fire Department we had a lot of fun. Now that I am graduating from APS. I am very happy to have a waitressing job at Restoration Pizza. I will also start my animal humane volunteer position where I get to play with the cats. I have learned a lot at CTAP and I am going to miss my friends that I have made such as Destiny Savage, Cassandra Dipito and Lesley Hermosillo. I would like to thank my family such as my mom, my stepdad, my sisters, stepsister Lori Elias, my brother Taylor, my two dogs Farley and Goofball for the support and love. I hope the class of 2019 has the best of luck! 2019, we did it, thank you. Madison D Nelson.

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Yay Maddy, you were wonderful. Thank you so much Maddy that was wonderful. Our next speaker is Duy Nguyen. Duy, has been with CTAP for three years. He is a social butterfly and has a way of making everyone around him smile. His personality is one of a kind and completely unforgettable. Needless to say, CTAP has never had a dull day or an event with Duy around. It is been such a joy to have him here at Transition Services and we are so proud of him. Duy is also going to be working at Restoration Pizza as a pizza maker. Okay Duy.

DUY NGUYEN: Hello my name is Duy Nguyen! I went to Eldorado high school. I'm in CTAP for three years. My teachers are Mark and Avalon, they've been amazing. They helped me a lot, they helped and getting my dream job. I work at Barelas Senior Center and Teachers Toolbox, and I go to class with Robert and Eddie for two days a week. There I work on my cooking skills too. And this summer I'm excited to go to camping with Robert and Eddie group, so I really excited too. And I'm a head of food runner and waiter at Restoration Pizza and Bosque Brewing. Then I hope I keep this job for a very long time. That about CTAP, anyone is like a family. They taught me about job skills, becoming independent, and ride sun van. After CTAP, graduated, and I hope and I attend University of TCU. And I wanna thank all of my teachers for they done for me. Good luck my fellow graduates of 2019. And I hope all to follow your dreams.

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Wanna say go patriots?

DUY: No.

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Okay.

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Thank you Duy! Our next speaker is a lovely young lady, Arazeli Duran. Arazeli has been committed and a dedicated student for several years and is a true standout in our program. She has a great appreciation of what it takes to truly make the best out of life and is gonna continue on the path of progress. She has an outstanding vision of the future with a desire to contribute to the better good of humanity. Besides that, she has participated in Mandy's farm, dances at Keshet and is currently working at Joliesse Chocolate where she helps to prepare and package handcrafted, artisan chocolates. Her employer has expressed, she's the first employee to always have a smile when showing up to work and she brightens their lives on a daily basis. So please welcome the lovely, Maria Arazeli Duran.

- Thanks.

- Okay, I love you.

MARIA ARAZELI DURAN: Good evening to all our families and friends. Thank you for join us tonight at the graduation. First, I would like to thank the teacher, my teacher, that have helped us so much along the ways. Laura, Mark and Judy, thank you for our hard work.

PAMELA SANDOVAL: And dedication.

MARIA ARAZELI DURAN: Dedication to us.

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Secondly.

MARIA ARAZELI DURAN: Secondly, I will like to thank our employer, Joliesse Chocolate, Savers and the Clothing Bank and others businesses that help us gain so much work--

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Experience.

MARIA ARAZELI DURAN: Experience, thank you!

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Additionally.

MARIA ARAZELI DURAN: Additionally, I will like to say to my classmates, thank you for your friendship.

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Companionship.

MARIA ARAZELI DURAN: Companionship and being awesome people. But last but not least, I thank our families and friends for never giving up on us. Thank you Mom for you have done for me, love you. Thank you once again family and friends to joining us here tonight.

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Thank you, my Arazeli, oh my gosh that was gorgeous, you did a wonderful job, you did wonderful. Oh my goodness, we have some wonderful graduates. And our last speaker is Efrain Lopez, Efrain come on up. Andrea. It is my pleasure to introduce our next graduate speaker, Mr. Efrain Lopez. Efrain came to Transition Services after graduating from Volcano Vista High School. He came to us with a dream to follow his father's footsteps to become a commercial truck driver. With Efrain's dedication, coupled with guidance from his transition team, he has accomplished his dream. Efrain has earned his CDL license and he is driving for UPS. Please help me welcome a wonderful, kind, dedicated young man Mr. Efrain Lopez.

ANDREA DURAN: It's okay, take your time, you're okay.

EFRAIN LOPEZ: Hi, my name is Efrain Lopez, I'm 22 years old. I'm currently working at UPS as a pre-loader. I've been working there for two years and seven months. I been graduated from Volcano Vista in May of 2016. My family decide to put me in Transition Services, was the best program from me. When they knew this program will help me and prepare for my future and reach my goal I had in place. I had started Transition Services in Fall of 2016 and I have passed my CDL on January the 25th, 2019. It took me three years to get my license. I have a lot of challenges and barrier to overcome before reaching my goal. With the help Andrea Duran, I was able to reach my goal. Mrs. Andrea spent hours training me and helping me connect to right.

ANDREA DURAN: Organization.

EFRAIN LOPEZ: Organization such as CNM and DVR to pass my CDL. She stood beside me and encouraged me to never give up my dreams. I truly though I would never reach my goal. I had a lot of support or process from my parents, my sisters, DVR, CNM and Transition Services. I was able to pass the test and reach my goal. Now I want to apply now that I have my CDL license, my next step is to apply full-time job as a driver, UPS delivery driver. My next goal in life is build my own house and hope I can buy my dream car which is a 2014 Ford Shelby GT 500 with a 5.8 supercharge. I like want one like black and red stripes. Thank you for all the support, Andrea Duran, Michael DeTimmerman, Josie Izzi, Jennifer Nuanez, Shannon Sanchez from CNM and Cheryl Burns from DVR. Thank you.

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Thank you. Thank you so much Efrain. Alright, we're gonna be showing a slideshow of our students, so let's go ahead and stand up graduates. And they're gonna be sitting in the back, so that they can see it also. So go ahead Luke, I'm sorry, Aaron you go ahead and come first. Maddy, let's go ahead and follow. Luke, go ahead, come, go ahead Luke. Thank you, alright you guys. Okay they're gonna be getting seated in the back and getting ready to see the slideshow and then get lined up for receiving their diplomas.

CHRISTIAN WYLIE: Give my lunch speech after that?

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Okay, we'll see, Christian, okay.

KAREN KRALL: I'll go sit on the side.

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Okay, yeah. Okay this is a real fun part of our ceremony, we have a wonderful slideshow put together by Robert Burnet, one of our teachers. He has done an amazing job of putting together slides of all the graduates that are here tonight. They've been taken over the years while the students were in our program. We are going to have the students sit in the last row. I just wanted to take a minute while they're getting seated to tell you how much we appreciate all of our community agencies and tour employers that had been so great to work with. We have students in so many different places and this community is such welcome place for all of our students, so we're very very happy about that. Alright, I think we're ready for the slideshow.

- [Man] Volume!

PAMELA SANDOVAL: There's music? Do you guys have music up there? Okay.

(Student slideshow plays) ("Real Good Feeling" by Epic Rock) ♪ I woke up feeling like this gonna be my day ♪ ♪ I've got that poppin' fire every step I take ♪ ♪ Living that wild life not stopping now no way ♪ ♪ Just seeing green lights won't ever touch the brakes ♪ ♪ Let me tell you something, Let me tell you something ♪ ♪ Let me tell you something, Let me tell you something ♪ ♪ Right now, right now, right now, right now ♪ ♪ Got a real good feeling, got a real good feeling ♪ ♪ Like there is lighting deep in my bones ♪ ♪ Got a real good feeling, I won't hit no ceiling ♪ ♪ I'm going higher than I've ever known ♪ ♪ Got a real good feelin' ♪ ♪ This place is jumping off, hot as it can get ♪ ♪ No we won't ever stop dancing on the edge ♪ ♪ We like it dangerous, we like to see you sweat ♪ ♪ Turn up a another notch you aint seen nothing yet ♪ ♪ Let me tell you something, Let me tell you something ♪ ♪ Let me tell you something, Let me tell you something ♪ ♪ Right now, right now, right now, right now ♪ ♪ Got a real good feeling, got a real good feeling ♪ ♪ Like there is lighting deep in my bones ♪ ♪ Got a real good feeling, I won't hit no ceiling ♪ ♪ I'm going higher than I've ever known ♪ ♪ Got a real good feeling, I won't hit no ceiling ♪ ♪ Like there is lighting deep in my bones ♪ ♪ Got a real good feeling, I won't hit no ceiling ♪ I'm going higher than I've ever known Got a real good feelin' ♪ ("Firework" by Katy Perry) ♪ Do you ever feel like a plastic bag ♪ ♪ Drifting through the wind wanting to start again ♪ ♪ Do you ever feel, feel so paper-thin ♪ ♪ Like a house of cards ♪ ♪ One blow from caving in ♪ ♪ Do you ever feel already buried deep ♪ ♪ Six feet under screams but no one seems to hear a thing ♪ ♪ Do you know that there's still a chance for you ♪ ♪ 'Cause there's a spark in you ♪ ♪ You just gotta ignite the light ♪ ♪ And let it shine just own the night ♪ ♪ Like the Fourth of July ♪ ♪ 'Cause baby, you're a firework ♪ ♪ Come on show them what you're worth ♪ ♪ Make 'em go, oh, oh, oh ♪ ♪ As you shoot across the sky ♪ ♪ Baby, you're a firework ♪ ♪ Come on let your colors burst ♪ ♪ Make 'em go, oh, oh, oh ♪ ♪ You're gonna leave before they know ♪ ♪ You don't have to feel like a waste of space ♪ ♪ You're original, cannot be replaced ♪ ♪ If you only knew what the future holds ♪ ♪ After a hurricane comes a rainbow ♪ ♪ Maybe the reason why all the doors are closed ♪ ♪ So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road ♪ ♪ Like a lightning bolt your heart will glow ♪ ♪ And when it's time you know ♪ ♪ You just gotta ignite the light ♪ ♪ And let it shine just own the night ♪ ♪ Like the Fourth of July ♪ ♪ 'Cause baby, you're a firework ♪ ♪ Come on show them what you're worth ♪ ♪ Make 'em go, oh, oh, oh ♪ ♪ As you shoot across the sky ♪ ♪ Baby, you're a firework ♪ ♪ Come on let your colors burst ♪ ♪ Make 'em go, oh, oh, oh ♪ ♪ You're gonna leave before they know ♪

PAMELA SANDOVAL: These are just some of our community partners that we work with. And now I'm gonna introduce our principal, Ms. Karen Krall.

KAREN KRALL: Welcome everyone, we're so glad you could join us on this special day for our graduates. Did you notice our program covers? The designs were created by our very own students. Duy Nguyen, Angel Pucetti- Deater, Christian Wylie and Mark Vasquez. Join me in saying a good job, Duy, Angel, Christian and Mark. I would also like to thank several members of my team and I have to say this is my first year as principal at Transition Services and I have an awesome set of teams. CTAP, Access, Project Search, every teacher, support person, every CSL, every EA, I'm very proud of them. But I especially want to reach out to the graduation committee who work so hard on preparing this ceremony. Kyle Decker, Robert Burnett and Pam Sandoval, thank you. Now very few words about our graduates. We're extremely proud today of your accomplishments, your successes, your perseverance. We wish for you continued success. May your experiences that you've had here with us here at community based Transition Services be used to accomplish your future goals. Congratulations, class of 2019. Board members, Dr. Peercy and Barbara Peterson, I would like to present to you the class of 2019. They have met all the graduation requirements set forth by the Albuquerque Public School's Board of Education, along with New Mexico Board of Education Department. To you I present the class of 2019.

BOARD MEMBER DAVID PEERCY: I'm gonna wait until the graduating class gets up here. Yeah, I'm just waiting until they can get kinda set. Typically we don't give speeches to this kind of occasion. We just accept the class but I wanna let you know that we are very proud of you graduates. You all have a persistence and a grit that is really important. It's important for all our graduates to have grit and persistence but particularly these graduates are what I call representative of what we need to aspire to. So on behalf of the Albuquerque Public School Board of Education, it's Barb and my great honor to accept this graduating class of 2019 from Transition Services, let's give 'em all a big applause.

BOARD MEMBER BARBARA PETERSON: Congratulations.

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Okay, are you ready? Alright, our very first graduate of the evening, Shatton B Armstrong.

- [Woman] Will you hand it to him?

- [Man] Okay.

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Maria Arazeli Duran. Antonio Escobedo. Jose Gaytan. Leslie Hare.

- [Man] Let's go Leslie!

PAMELA SANDOVAL: In her beautiful outfit from the Zuni Pueblo, oh my goodness. Our next graduate, Lesley Guadalupe, I have been practicing this, Hermosillo Venegas. Meet Lesley, a very fashionable and kind young lady. She has working at Forever 21 for a year now and we couldn't be more proud of her. Congratulations Lesley, best of luck in the future. Our next graduate, Aaron T Homer. Aaron is a huge success in everything he does, he is ready to move on from CTAP into his adult life where he has already a competitive job and a great team around him for support. Luke King. Luke is a hardworking and determined and is destined for great things. Our time with Luke was not nearly long enough to take in all of his unique qualities. Luke plans to get into workforce and study to become a certified welder. Jesus Loeza. Jesus is the best dressed guy in all Transition Services. He is always dressed for success with an attitude to match. Efrain Lopez. Efrain is a kind, hardworking young man and he perseveres and is willing to do whatever is takes to achieve his goals. Santana Montoya. Santana is a sweet, lovable young lady. She loves being in the community and enjoys helping out in any way she can. Our next graduate, thank you, Madison D Nelson. Madison is truly such a wonderful and talented young lady and we are so proud of all of her accomplishments that she has achieved, you rock Maddy! Keep up the good work and we look forward to visiting you at Restoration Pizza. And our next graduate, Duy Nguyen. Duy, Duy, Duy. We have had the pleasure of working with Duy for three years now and we cannot believe he is graduating. Congrats to all your successes, including your new job as a pizza maker. We wish you the best. Angelica Pucetti-Deater. Angel has an excellent attitude and is eager to try new things. She is interested in film editing and hopes to work in that field someday. She also is very active in dog shows with her mom. Jose Sanchez del Rio. Jose has worked several jobs and has finally found a home at El Super, as a courtesy clerk where he is well liked and doing a wonderful job. He isn't the least bit shy and has found the perfect job that matches his interests and has a wonderful employer. Our next graduate is Jacen Christopher Silva. Jacen is Mr. Reliable, you can always count on him to get the job done right the first and to make sure nobody else has made any mistakes. Our next graduate is Brandon Smith. Brandon is, Tony, his teacher's right hand man for the past three years. One of the hardest workers Tony has ever come across. Brandon is always the first to start working and the last one to stop. He will be an asset to any job he attains. Our next graduate is Martin Torres. For five years, Martin has secured a job at Albertsons as the courtesy clerk. He will continue to work toward getting his driver's license. We will miss his sports talks, his fun personality and we wish him the best. Mark Vasquez. Mark puts a lot of pride and strong work ethic into his job at Sonic. He's excited to work towards his food handler's license and has shown independence by driving in his community. We wish him the best in the future also. Our next graduate is Gabe Velasquez. Gabe is always almost willing to lend a hand when someone is in need of help. When he puts his mind to something, nothing stands in his way. We wish him the best as he continues to explore and identify his limited talents. And last but not least, Christian Wylie.

- Thank you, thank you, look at that!

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Christian has limitless creativity and artistic ability. He's adventurous and willing to try new things which have led him on to the path of his job at Kelly Joe Designs. Keep an eye out for his name, one day his art may be on display in some of the great art galleries. Congratulations Christian. Okay, okay. Students, parents and families, just so that you know, the students are gonna be going out into the patio to take a group photo which all of you can get through the photos. We had the students fill out cards with email addresses and phone numbers so that you'll be getting calls from the photographers about proofs. So congratulations again to our graduates of 2019. Everyone please enjoy this very special evening and please rise for the recessional of the graduates.

("Celebration" by Kool and The Gang)  ♪ Yahoo! ♪ ♪ This is your celebration ♪ ♪ Yahoo! ♪ ♪ This is your celebration ♪ ♪ Celebrate good times, come on ♪ ♪ Celebrate good times, come on ♪

CHRISTIAN WYLIE: Thank you all for graduating me, thank you for helping me with that bird house and all you up there.

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Alright, they're about leave. ♪ So bring your good times, and your laughter too ♪

PAMELA SANDOVAL: Oh my goodness, is it? ♪ Come on now ♪ ♪ Celebration ♪ ♪ Let's all celebrate and have a good time ♪ ♪ Celebration ♪ ♪ We gonna celebrate and have a good time ♪ ♪ It's time to come together ♪ ♪ It's up to you, what's your pleasure ♪ ♪ Everyone around the world come on ♪ ♪ Yahoo ♪ ♪ It's a celebration ♪

Special Thanks

Special thanks for Mark Vasquez and Duy Nguyen for their illustrations in the Commencement program.

Valley High School

"Dion's, on 4th?"

Valley Graduation Transcript

(upbeat music)

("Pomp and Circumstance")

(audience cheering and applauding)

(audience cheering and applauding)

PATRICIA RIVERA: Good evening. It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Valley High School Class of 2019 Graduation Ceremony. Guests, please stand for the presentation of colors by Valley's AFJROTC. Graduates, please remove your caps. Guests, as well, if you are wearing a cap, please remove your cap.

(light drumming music)

(color guard captain shouting)

("Star Spangled Banner")

- [Students] Vikings!

(audience cheering and applauding)

(color guard captain shouting)

(audience cheering and applauding)

PATRICIA RIVERA: Guests, you may be seated. Graduates, please take your seats. Family, friends, and guests, thank you for joining the Valley High School class of 2019 in celebrating their graduation. I am Patricia Rivera, the Activities Director at Valley High School and I would like to introduce the guests for today's commencements. Please stand as I say your name. Today's platform guests are

Lorenzo Garcia, APS Board of Education Vice President.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Elizabeth Armijo, APS Board of Education Member.

Yvonne Garcia, Associate Superintendent, Leadership and Learning, Zone 3.

(audience applauding)

Dr. Kristine Meurer, Executive Director, Student, Family, and Community Support Division.

(audience applauding)

Anthony Griego, Principal, Valley High School.

(audience applauding)

James T. Kitts, Valedictorian, Valley High School.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Tess Sanchez, Curriculum Assistant Principal and 12th Grade Principal.

(audience applauding)

Jasmin Garcia, Valley High School salutatorian.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Terry Dahl, Assistant Principal, Buildings and Grounds.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Nicole Slayton, Assistant Principal, Special Programs.

(audience applauding)

Serri Grube, CAD Teacher and Graduate Name Announcer.

(audience cheering and applauding)

We have some special guests that are sitting in the VIP section. Please stand as I call your name. Platform guests, you may be seated. Our Counseling Department, we have Holly Blue-Sky Rey.

(audience applauding)

Crystal Chavez, Deana Valdez, Angelica Delgadillo. Our school nurse, Amanda Lacasse.

(audience applauding)

Larry Pavatt, Academy Director

(audience cheering and applauding)

and AVID Coordinator.

On the floor, we have our faculty row leaders. Ron Worley, 9th Grade Dean of Students.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Patrick Welch, Social Worker.

(audience applauding)

Jennie Chavez, Bilingual Coordinator.

(audience applauding)

Amy Jaramillo, Testing Coordinator

and Data Resource Teacher.

(audience applauding)

Albert Gabaldon, Science Department Chair.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Kristi Green, Social Studies Department Chair.

(audience applauding)

Rachel Ramirez, Special Education, Head Teacher.

(audience applauding)

David Callison, English Department Co-Chair.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Gary Montoya, Physical Education Department Chair.

(audience applauding)

And Matt Wells, CTE Business Teacher.

(audience cheering and applauding)

It is my pleasure to introduce Valley High School Principal, Mr. Anthony Griego with his opening remarks.

(audience applauding)

ANTHONY GRIEGO: Good Evening. Welcome parents, family, faculty, honored guests, and you, the class of 2019. Tonight we come together to celebrate the graduation of the class of 2019. These graduates have been on a structured path which began 13 years ago for some. This part of your journey comes to a conclusion tonight. Though this chapter of life, you have experienced many difficulties, made many friends, been supported by your family, and you have been a support system for your friends. You have stretched your minds and examined your consciences. In the upcoming days, important decisions must be made about your new future and goals must be set to help you achieve your dreams. As you determine the new path your future will take, also consider how you might become a positive influence in the lives of others and contribute to your community and to our country. For example, three of our graduates have been working on their new journey. Bianca Rain Garcia and Aleeya Breeann Saavedra will be Licensed Practitioner Nurses after passing the State Board by virtue of completing the program at CEC and Valley.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Desiree Tafoya has already begun working with the New Mexico Game and Fish Department where she will gain valuable experience that will help her as she obtains her degree in Forestry and Wildlife Management.

(audience cheering and applauding)

We also have another outstanding student that we found out by accident that she had a hidden skill that very few knew about. Jasmin Garcia was working a camp with the Albuquerque Police Department this past summer. There was an elementary student who was hearing impaired. Jasmin, being the person who she is, started signing for that student. They became best friends throughout the camp. This is a small example of what this class has been able to accomplish over these four years. You have taken everything in stride and have done well. I'm happy to report that this graduating class has earned more than $2.6 million in scholarship awards to attend colleges and universities. Again, these were self-reported by our students.

(audience cheering and applauding)

In virtually every profession you might choose, there is some way in which you can show compassion, lend a helping hand, and make a positive impact in the life of another. Your teachers have worked long and hard to prepare you to meet those challenges and overcome those obstacles that lie ahead. Now it is up for you to meet those challenges and overcome those obstacles. As I mentioned last night, the time has come for you to be set free, spread your wings, and fly off on your own, and create your own path. We hope we have prepared you to go forward and to meet new, exciting challenges, and for you to fulfill all your dreams and aspirations. I would like to thank all the parents, family members, and friends who have loved, guided, and supported these graduates over the years. I also would like to thank all of our teachers who, by virtue of the career they have chosen, have made a positive impact on the lives of these graduates which will be evident in their future accomplishments. 

On behalf of myself, the faculty and staff of Valley High School, I wish to each and every one of you a happy and productive life. May the future be yours! The best of luck and congratulations to the class of 2019!

(audience cheering and applauding)

PATRICIA RIVERA: The Valley High School Music Department held their End of Year Concert in April. The following trio had one of the best performances of the evening and will be performing "Imagine" by John Lennon tonight for the class of 2019.

(audience applauding)

("Imagine")

♪ Imagine there's no heaven ♪

♪ It's easy if you try ♪

♪ No hell below us ♪

♪ Above us only sky ♪

♪ Imagine all the people ♪

♪ Living for today ♪

♪ Ah ah ah ah ♪

♪ Imagine there's no countries ♪

♪ It isn't hard to do ♪

♪ Nothing to kill or die for ♪

♪ And no religion, too ♪

♪ Imagine all the people ♪

♪ Living life in peace ♪

♪ Yoo hoo hoo hoo ♪

♪ You may say I'm a dreamer ♪

♪ But I'm not the only one ♪

♪ I hope some day you will join us ♪

♪ And the world will live as one ♪

♪ Imagine no possessions ♪

♪ I wonder if you can ♪

♪ No need for greed or hunger ♪

♪ A brotherhood of man ♪

♪ Imagine all the people ♪

♪ Living for today ♪

♪ Ya ha oh oh ♪

♪ You may say I'm a dreamer ♪

♪ Whoa oh oh ♪

♪ But I'm not the only one ♪

♪ I hope some day you will join us ♪

♪ Whoa oh oh oh ♪

♪ And the world will live as one ♪

(audience cheering and applauding)

TESS SANCHEZ: Good evening. Tonight I have the honor of introducing Valley High School's valedictorian and salutatorian. Our two students have taken multiple Advanced Placement and Honors courses. They have participated in different school and community activates and worked hard while striving for excellence. Valley High School's salutatorian, a very dynamic young lady that is not only a straight A student, she also gives back to the school and the community all the while working part time. Please direct your attention to Box 15 to acknowledge Jasmin's family, especially her mother Julieta Chavez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

It is my honor to introduce the 2019 salutatorian with a GPA of 4.567, Ms. Jasmin E. Garcia.

(audience cheering and applauding)

- [Audience Member] Go Jasme!

JASMIN GARCIA: Good evening parents, families, friends, teachers, and most importantly, Valley Viking graduates. As I stand here in front of you today, I can legitimately say it has been one of the most arduous things I have had yet to accomplish. Extremely late nights, early mornings, and the help of a little Red Bull. But I couldn't have done it without the incentive of my mother. Thank you, Mom, for not only being there for me as both of my parents, but as my best friend. You're genuinely my inspiration for success and I owe the person that I am today to you.

I also couldn't have done it without the support of my loved ones that are here today. And with that being said thank you to all parents and guardians for all of your love and support throughout the years. You've always loved us, you've always been ridin', and we've always been down for ya. As I reminisce on freshman year, I was so eager to finally obtain the high school experience. And then the first day came and I couldn't wait for it to be over. The past four years may have not been all that glorious as watching "High School Musical", but it did teach me many life lessons. I guess I never knew that there were more snakes than just in Mr. G's classroom. But most importantly, (audience members cheering) I learned that when doing team bonding for volleyball, even though I'm supposed to be salutatorian, it's okay to forget how to spell strength.

When I began high school, I recollect how hype people used to get to attend all the football games due to all of the football players' promise that they were gonna take state. And then we played Volcano Vista and lost by about 40 points. And everyone realized we were acting like Dallas Cowboy fans and their promise of a Super Bowl win since 1996.

(audience cheering and booing)

Honestly though, I'm super proud of all of our sports teams this year. Congratulations to all of the athletes that put forth their best effort. Many of my classmates also filled me with a wealth of knowledge. Trent taught me that I should never let him have a pair of scissors. Jove taught me to be an attentive driver. And as Johnny would say, "Homewrecking isn't just for HGTV."

(audience members cheering)

Anyways overall, I want to inform all of the underclassman here today that despite all of the negativity that may surround you, high school prepares you for your future so make the most of it. Making good decisions and achieving good grades is substantially more rewarding in the end. I know it's hard but you blink your eyes and you're standing where the class of 2019 is sitting right now. Although I may have cried when I got my first B, I believe everything happens for a reason, and I want to personally congratulate James Trent Kitts on winning this year's valedictorian.

(audience cheering and applauding)

As we grow into adults, we will possess our own personal struggles in life but it is our responsibility to reflect upon them and grow into a superior version of ourselves. Just like Donald Trump said when first securing presidency, "This is harder than I thought it would be." Ms. Baker taught me that no one in this world is going to gain success through being lazy and it is thanks to her that even though I don't enjoy history, there are multiple ways to learn and make the most out of what's in front of you. Philosopher Nelson Mandela once said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." And even though it may seem pointless at times, it's the only thing in this lifetime that no one can ever take away from you.

We are the future and it is a guarantee that we will all play some role in crafting it but I have hope that it will all be for the better. So congratulations class of 2019. Go out and accomplish your goals, strive for success, be aware of your capabilities, always stay true to yourself, and never let anybody hold you down. We did it! Best of luck to all of you on all of your future endeavors. And as Goodrich so effortlessly put it last year, "It's time to bounce, my homies."

(audience cheering and applauding)

TESS SANCHEZ: Thank you, Jasmin, that was beautiful. Okay, Valley High School, it is my pleasure to introduce to you your valedictorian, a very dynamic young man, a straight A student. He gives back to the school and the community all the while working part time. Please direct your attention also to Box 15 to acknowledge Trent's family especially his father Tracey Kitts.

(audience cheering and applauding)

It is my honor to introduce the 2019 valedictorian with a GPA of 4.582, Mr. James Trent Kitts. 

(audience cheering and applauding)

JAMES TRENT KITTS: All right, thank you, Ms. Sanchez. They didn't say her speech was gonna be that good. My fellow students, parents, friends, and the teachers that I liked, my name is Trent Kitts and I have the honor of being this year's valedictorian. I know that some of my classmates may be thinking that we spent four years working our tails off to receive a handshake and a piece of paper, but if you think about it, the core classes of life are over. Everything that we do now is an elective to help us become who we wanna be, and each and every one of you can be anything. We have just achieved the biggest accomplishment of our lives so far, and we should all be very proud. As Gary Bolding put it, "Your families are very proud of you. You can't imagine the sense of relief they're experiencing. Now would be a most opportune time to ask for money."

(audience laughing)

I am very honored to stand before you all today as valedictorian, but I'm infinitely more proud of being a part of the most outstanding group of young men and women that I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. With this, I would like to thank some of the people who have made my achievement possible. I will not be able to mention every person by name, but know that I'm ever grateful to every single one of you who put me on this stage today. 

To Ms. Sanchez, our 12th grade principal and whose first three remarks while proofreading this speech were "No, you cannot wear your cowboy hat, no you cannot ride your horse on the stage to give your speech, and no you cannot do doughnuts in your truck in Tingley Coliseum". Thank you for everything you've done for us this year and for your never-ending patience in keeping us unruly seniors under control.

To Mr. Hollis, my 11th grade English teacher. Thank you for shooting down every outlandish claim that I made in your class to teach me that it's okay to have an opinion, but you have to back it up with facts. And thank you for being one of the most influential mentors in my life.

To Mr. Goodrich, my Algebra 2 and Calculus teacher. Thank you for teaching me that math at any level isn't hard, it just takes practice. Except calculus. That was hard.

(audience chuckling)

I'm sorry for falling asleep in your class. It wasn't that your lectures were boring, I was just tired. I particularly liked your lecture on... Well, I don't remember. But I do remember that if I'm ever late to work to bring doughnuts. Goodness sakes that line was long.

To Ms. Baker, my U.S. History teacher. Thank you for making every day interesting even when we were covering the uninteresting. I will always remember you for teaching the best history class I've ever taken.

- [Audience Member] Yeah!

JAMES TRENT KITTS: To Ms. Grube, my engineering and architecture teacher. Thank you for advancing my knowledge of technology and for teaching us all the most creative ways to solve problems. I'm sure we will all remember the infamous Grube stare and your unique ability to hear a curse word at a whisper from across a loud classroom.

To Sargent Beebe, my recruiter. Thank you for teaching me that giving up is never an option. You didn't give up after three years until I got it together and made the greatest decision of my life. Hoo-rah.

(audience cheering and applauding)

To all of my friends Colton, Mitchell, Dom, Hope, Ani, Des, Zarei, Lewis, Jonathan, and the best high school security guards in the country, Joe, Albert, and Cathy. You guys are the ones who helped me the most. Each and every one of you were there for me every day and you made the tough times more bearable and the great times even greater. 

And most of all, to my family. Thank you for making me who I am. I would not be the same person standing before you on this stage without you. You have motivated and inspired me to achieve everything that I've done in my life. 

Before I leave you today, I would like to say one last thing. All life is an experiment. Life is a game, play it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is an opportunity, capture it. Go Vikings!

(audience cheering and applauding)

ANTHONY GRIEGO: The part that everybody's waiting for. Board members, Mr. Lorenzo Garcia and Mrs. Elizabeth Armijo, I would like to present to you the class of 2019. They have met all the requirements as set forth by the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education along with the New Mexico Public Education Department. To you, I present the class of 2019.

(audience cheering and applauding)

BOARD MEMBER ELIZABETH ARMIJO: Good evening. I'm Elizabeth Armijo and on behalf of the APS Board of Education, we accept the 2019 graduating class of Valley High School. Go Vikings!

(audience cheering and applauding)

(audience members shouting)

(audience members whistling)

(audience cheering and applauding)

(audience members shouting)

(audience members whistling)

SERRI GRUBE: Emilio Adrian Alvarez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Michael A. Andrade.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Francisco E. Angel.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Kimberly Antillon.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Gisselle Arambula.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Destiny D. Aranda.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Ashley Ann Armijo.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Joseph Armijo.

(audience cheering and applauding)

(audience member shouting)

Luisa Yatzira Atilano.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Iris Avila.

(audience cheering and applauding)

(audience members shouting)

Luis Avila-Montes.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Mario Avila-Rascon.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jonathan William Baca.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jordan Nicole Baca.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Hope D. Baldonado.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Johnny C. Baros.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Ariadne S. Barraza.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Caleb Barrett.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Ginger Elaine Bauman.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Antonio J. Beltran.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Destiny Y. Berroteran.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Yamel Betancourt.

(audience cheering and applauding)

- [Audience Member] Yamel!

- [Serri] Quinton J. Bloom.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Emmillia Rose Burnett.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Colton T. Burns.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Robert E. Bustos, III.

(audience cheering and applauding)

(audience member shouting)

Sonia G. Cabrera.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Bijou A. Carriaga.

(audience member shouting)

(audience cheering and applauding)

Nasbly Casas Miramontes.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Robert J. Chacon.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Angela K. Chavez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Dominic J. Chavez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Esperanza Joylynn Chavez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Isaiah N. Chavez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jonah Josiah Chavez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Noe Esteban Chavez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Roman M. Chavez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Angelina R. Clark.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Mary Kate Cleland.

- [Audience Member] Yay, Mary!

(audience cheering and applauding)

- [Serri] Trey J. Coleman.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Elijah Contreras.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Kayla M. Cordova.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Phillip Jose Cordova.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Nathan Cortez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Imani Crawford.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Rishard Yasheen Cullen.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Hugo Delgado.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jesus M. Dominguez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Liam Donald Downs.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Franzine Duenas.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jaqueline Duran Castillo.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Victoria Encinias.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Brittany Danielle Escoffier.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Cynthia J. Espino-Hernandez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Alice Esquibel.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Brady James Flowers.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Shelby D. Frese.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Teanna T. Gabaldon.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Celaya Gallegos.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Johanna Garay.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Adrianna Garcia.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Alaina R. Garcia.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Alex Garcia.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Andrew Garcia.

- [Audience Member] That's my group, that's my group!

(audience cheering and applauding)

- [Serri] Bianca Rain Garcia.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Brandon Michael Garcia.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jasmin Elinor Garcia.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Martin M. Garcia.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Mikaela Juliana Garcia.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Faith M. Giddings.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Anthony Gonzales.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Claudia Rene Gonzales.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Monae Dolores Gonzales.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Saleen M. Gonzales.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Tim J. Gonzales.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Alexis N. Gonzalez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Isaiah J. Gutierrez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jasmine Rose Gutierrez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Marvin B. Gutierrez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Carlos Hernandez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Aaron Ibanez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jennifer Lopez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Angelo E. Jacquez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Gabriel Alexander Jaquez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Isaiah V. Johnson.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Russell Keil.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Lila Nadine Kepler.

(audience cheering and applauding)

James Trent Kitts.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Isaak Kohlmeyer.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Nolan Kuhn.

(audience cheering and applauding)

David Lease.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Devon Tyler Leblanc-Warmcastle.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Lewis A. Lindstrom.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jaelynn Valentina Littlebear.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jacob Jason Lopez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Dwayne Jamal Lopez-Burton.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Thomas M. Lovato.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Joseph Lucero.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Joey Lucero.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Anastacia Marie Lueras.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jaden Marie Lueras.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Savannah Lueras.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Veronica Lujan.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Joseph Luna.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Angelo Maestas.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jacob Anthony Maldonado.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jason M. Manalo.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Luke Matthew Martinez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Marissa Anjelica Martinez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Sienna Mascarenas.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jshawn Malachi McDaniel.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Chaidan T. McKenna.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Lily Means.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Oswaldo Medina.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Isiah Mendoza.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jove Messenger.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jorge Molinar.

(audience cheering and applauding)

- [Audience Member] Oh yeah, Joe!

- [Serri] Breanah Angel Montano.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Aaron C. Montoya.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Esperanza Montoya.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Garrett Moseley.

(audience cheering and applauding)

- Way to go, Dylan. - Yeah, baby!

Dylan Ryan Mosqueda.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Desiree Marisa Mota.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Michaela Victoria Naranjo.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Santana Rose Naranjo.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Blanca Navarro.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Adam V. Ortiz.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Nicholas J. Otero.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Alyssa Inez Pacheco.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Cesar E. Padilla.

(audience cheering and applauding)

- [Audience Member] That's what I mean!

- [Serri] Elexia Marie Padilla.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Syanna P. Padilla.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Brianna Palacios.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Marrisa N. Parras.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Elijah N. Pearlman.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Alexandro Pena Neri.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Andres F. Perez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Francesco A. Perez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Sofia Claire Perez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jonathan M. Pesina.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Donovan F. Phillips.

(audience cheering and applauding)

- [Audience Member] What they saw!

- [Serri] Annette P. Pitz.

(audience cheering and applauding)

(audience member shouting)

Jacqueline Portillo-Caraveo.

(audience cheering and applauding)

- [Audience Member] Jessica.

- [Serri] Gabriel A. Ramirez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Luis M. Ramirez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Nicole Reed.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Ashley Reyes.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Leezette A. Rodriguez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Justine D. Romero.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jade Romo.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Paul Roybal.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Aleeya Breeann Saavedra.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Janeen N. Saavedra.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Natalia Ana Saiz.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Anthony Salazar.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Alexandria M. Salvador.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Alexandria R. Sanchez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Amaya R. Sanchez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Donicio Santiago Sanchez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

(audience member shouting)

Kaitlynn Sanchez.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Manuel C. Sanchez-Vargas.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Angelique Sandoval.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Richard I. Sandoval.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Sammy L. Sandoval.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Lorenzo A. Silva.

(audience cheering and applauding)

- [Audience Member] Hey, Luis, outside!

- [Serri] Luis Silva.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Matthew Joseph Sisneros.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Jessica Solis.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Rebecca Solorzano.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Ashley Raquel Soto.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Adam M. Stephens.

(audience cheering and applauding)

(audience member shouting)

Reagan Marie Bezio-Szulc.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Danielle Rene Tafoya.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Desiree E. Tafoya.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Brandon Torres.

(audience cheering and applauding)

David J. Torres.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Gabrielle Elizabeth Trujillo.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Nicholas Sean Trujillo.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Levi S. Valencia.

(audience cheering and applauding)

- [Audience Member] Hey, Levi!

- [Serri] Marcos O. Valencia.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Damian Valles.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Gabriella Angelique Vigil.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Alicia M. Villanueva.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Savanna Lauradenise Villanueva.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Lariaha Lynn Watson.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Mathiaus N. Willig.

(audience cheering and applauding)

Emil Yuselew.

(audience cheering and applauding)

(audience members shouting)

(audience members whistling)

(audience cheering and applauding)

PATRICIA RIVERA: Valley High School class of 2019 please stand. All right, you've waited a long time for this. Move your tassels! Congratulations Valley High School class of 2019!

(audience cheering and applauding)

Woo! Just to play it? Go ahead.

(celebratory music)

(people chattering and laughing)

(audience members whistling and shouting)

(administrators applauding)

Graduates: 2019 List of Graduates (PDF)
Class Flower: Sunflower
Class Song: "See you Again" by Charlie Puth; "Furious 7 Soundtrack"

Top Students (Listed Alphabetically)

Angela Chavez, Jasmin Garcia, Jasmine Gutierrez, Marvin Gutierrez, James Kitts, Nolan Kuhn, Marrisa Parras, Sofia Perez, Natalia Saiz, Manuel Sanchez

Volcano Vista High School

"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." —John Lennon

Volcano Vista Graduation Transcript

(crowd talking)

VICKI BANNERMAN: Good afternoon. And it's okay to cheer because I am here to welcome you to the commencement ceremony for Volcano Vista High School's Class of 2019.

(audience cheering)

Ladies and gentlemen, please stand as we welcome our graduates.

("Pomp and Circumstance" by Edward Elgar)

(audience cheering)

(audience cheering)

(audience applauding)

Would everyone please remain standing for the presentation of colors by Volcano Vista Air Force JROTC under the command of Major Thomas Campbell.

(person yelling commands)

- [Woman] Evan, Evan, Evan.

(person yelling commands)

VICKI BANNERMAN: Our national anthem will be performed by the Volcano Vista Hawkettes Varsity Chorus under the direction of Evan Storr. Gentlemen, please remove your hats.

(piano music)

♪ Oh say can you see ♪

♪ By the dawn's early light, ♪

♪ What so proudly we hail'd ♪

♪ At the twilight's last gleaming, ♪

♪ Whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪

♪ Through the perilous fight ♪

♪ O'er the ramparts we watch'd ♪

♪ Were so gallantly streaming ♪

♪ And the rocket's red glare ♪

♪ The bombs bursting in air ♪

♪ Gave proof through the night ♪

♪ That our flag was still there ♪

♪ O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave ♪

♪ O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave ♪

(audience applauding)

Please remain standing until the colors have left the floor.

(person yelling commands)

(person yelling commands)

(audience applauding)

Seniors, you may be seated. At this time please join me in welcoming 2019 Senior Class Secretary. And I won't say anything snarky about him but he knows what I'm thinking, Nic Estrada.

(audience applauding)

NIC ESTRADA: All right, so thank you to our amazing choir for their performance of the National Anthem.

(audience applauding)

The Class of 2019 would like to extend a special welcome for all of our honored guests. Please hold your applause until all of the guests have been introduced. 

Dr. Richard Bowman, APS Chief Information and Strategy Officer.

Yvonne Garcia, APS Associate Superintendent Zone 3.

Peggy Muller-Aragon, APS School Board.

Elizabeth Armijo, APS School Board.

Dr. Vickie Bannerman, Principal.

Travis Crawley, Class of 2019 sponsor.

Douglas Goodfellow, Volcano Vista faculty.

Michelle Allen, Assistant Principal.

Manuel Alzaga, Assistant Principal.

Paula Nunez, Assistant Principal.

Zachary Bernius, 2019 valedictorian.

Dhara Eizaguirre, 2019 salutatorian.

And your 2019 student body officers.

Vaneka Hoskie, President.

(audience cheering)

Chevonne Watson, First Vice President.

(audience cheering)

Neilufar Ella, Secretary.

(audience cheering)

Sandra Dorr, Treasurer.

(audience cheering)

And your 2019 class officers. Quinn Smith Jr., President.

(audience cheering)

Miranda Lohkamp, Vice President.

(audience cheering)

Nakayla McClelland, Vice President.

(audience cheering)

And I'm Nic Estrada, your 2019 Senior Class Secretary and Superintendent Liaison.

(audience applauding)

We would also like to recognize two other groups of Volcano Vista guests. We have our distinguished department chairs and members of the faculty seated with our graduates in their graduation regalia, and our counselors. And finally our Hawk Band under the direction of Paul Blakey.

(audience applauding)

NAKAYLA MCCLELLAND: Please join me in welcoming our senior class valedictorian, Zac Bernius, and salutatorian, Dhara.

(audience applauding)

DHARA EIZAGUIRRE: (clears throat) Hey guys, it has been a great four years.

ZAC BERNIUS: We have made some great memories, pause.

DHARA EIZAGUIRRE: Zac, I don't think you read that part. It's in parentheses for a reason.

ZAC BERNIUS: Wait, who wrote this?

(Dhara whispering)

Dang it, Oluoma.

DHARA EIZAGUIRRE: No, but honestly, it's been a great four years. We've made so many amazing memories at Volcano and for some of us, we're saying goodbye to people that we've known for the past 13 years. The thing to remember is that we're at the end of high school. This is just memories at this point. We've all worked so hard to be here today and it's going to pay off. We just have to do what we need in order to achieve our goals.

ZAC BERNIUS: And even for those of us who don't know what our goals are, it's never too late to figure things out. It's never too late to start something new.

DHARA EIZAGUIRRE: Wherever our futures may take us, I hope that all of us find something that can bring us happiness.

ZAC BERNIUS: There are so many people here who have supported us and that need to be thanked. Without them, our families, parents, teachers, siblings, coaches, we wouldn't be here today. So let's take a second and give a hand to everyone who supported us.

(audience applauding)

DHARA EIZAGUIRRE: Our futures are full of so much potential and we just have to do what we need in order to achieve our goals.

ZAC BERNIUS: It's been real.

MIRANDA LOHKAMP: [Both] Boom.

(audience laughing)

(audience applauding)

Our Varsity Women's Choir, the Hawkettes, under the direction of Evan Stoor, will now perform the song, "Let it all Go" by Birdy, arranged by Senior Erin Beaudet.

(piano music)

♪ I've been sleepless at night ♪

♪ 'Cause I don't know how I feel ♪

♪ I've been waiting on you ♪

♪ Just to say something real ♪

♪ There's a light on the road ♪

♪ And I think you know ♪

♪ Morning has come ♪

♪ And I have to go ♪

♪ I don't know why, I don't know why ♪

♪ We need to break so hard ♪

♪ I don't know why we break so hard ♪

♪ But if we're strong enough ♪

♪ To let it in, in, in ♪

♪ We're strong enough ♪

♪ To let it go, oho, oho ♪

♪ Let it all go, let it all go ♪

♪ Let it all out now ♪

♪ If I look back to the start now ♪

♪ I know, I see everything true ♪

♪ There's still a fire in me heart, my darling ♪

♪ But I'm not burning for you ♪

♪ We started it wrong ♪

♪ And I think you know ♪

♪ We waited too long ♪

♪ Now I have to go ♪

♪ I don't know why, I don't know why ♪

♪ We need to break so hard ♪

♪ I don't know why we break so hard ♪

♪ But if we're strong enough ♪

♪ To let it in, in, in ♪

♪ We're strong enough ♪

♪ To let it go, oho, oho ♪

♪ Let it all go, let it all go ♪

♪ Let it all out now ♪

♪ Let it all go, let it all go ♪

♪ Let it all out now ♪

♪ Who says, who says ♪

♪ Who says, who says ♪

♪ Who says truth is beauty after all ♪

♪ And who says love should break us when we fall ♪

♪ But if we're strong enough ♪

♪ To let it in, in, in ♪

♪ We're strong enough ♪

♪ To let it go, oho, oho ♪

♪ Let it all go, let it all go ♪

♪ Let it all out now ♪

♪ Let it all go, let it all go ♪

♪ Let it all out now ♪

♪ We're strong enough ♪

♪ To let it go ♪

(audience applauding)

(audience applauding)

NIC ESTRADA: Please join me in welcoming my fellow 2018, 2019 senior class officers, Quinn Smith, Miranda Lohkamp, Nakayla McClelland.

(audience applauding)

QUINN SMITH: I'd like to recognize that we're on the ancestral land of the Native American peoples of the Rio Grande Valley. Good Morning Falcons, I mean Hawks.

(audience laughing)

That's how I started the announcements every morning two days a week for the entire year. And while it was a privilege to put a smile on all your beautiful morning faces, every time that I said good morning on the announcements it was a moment where I thought back to how far I had come. I started my freshman year of high school as a kid too afraid to raise his hand in class. Now I'm giving the best graduation speech that Tingley Coliseum has ever seen, or ever will see.

(audience laughing)

(audience applauding)

So I encourage you all now to take a look back at all that you have done. Not to put any pressure on you or anything, but your entire lives have technically led up to this moment right here. All the late nights, all the early mornings, all the practices and rehearsals, all the school supplies and sack lunches, all the field trips and assemblies and bring your parents to school days and talent shows. They've all led up to this moment. Walking up on stage to get this diploma is a huge accomplishment that has taken 13 years of dedication.

There have been hard times, there have been great times, and the best of times. Keep this in mind and never forget how hard you've worked for this diploma case. But do not be afraid to move on. As a falcon, I mean hawk, flies fearlessly into the unknown, you will too. Using all the skills you learned to leave this world in better shape than you found it, no matter what you do.

(audience applauding)

NIC ESTRADA: We all know that getting here wasn't easy. Over the past four years, we've all faced some pretty big obstacles. Each and every one of us faced a different set of challenges. For some it might have been passing Mr. Finn's AP English midterm. And for others, it might have been remembering that you do, in fact, have a first period class. Yet, each and every one of you overcame these hurdles, just like I know each and every one of you will continue to do for the rest of your lives. While it may not seem like it right now, we've grown up so much since we walked through that door as scared freshmen. We've definitely had our ups and downs, but through it all, we stuck it out, and we might have even learned a thing or two from our mistakes. The important thing is that we never gave up. Wherever your journeys take you, I hope you'll continue never giving up. Every single person in this building has the potential to do something amazing. If you set your mind to it and have enough grit to stick with it, even when things get rough, you truly can accomplish nearly anything you set your mind to. And one last note. They didn't want me saying any puns up here. But what can I say, I didn't write it in the speech, but you all left me speechless.

MIRANDA LOHKAMP: Hi, seniors. I know that we think that we are immortal. We're supposed to feel that way, we're graduating. The future is and should be bright, but like our four brief years in high school, what makes life valuable is it doesn't last forever. What makes it precious is that it ends. I know that more than ever. I say it today of all days to remind us that time is luck. So don't waste it living someone else's life, make yours count for something. Fight for what matters to you, no matter what. Because even if you fall short, what better way is there to live? It's easy to feel hopeful on a beautiful day like today, but there will always be dark days ahead of us too. There will be days where you feel all alone, and that's when hope is needed most. Keep it alive. No matter how buried it gets, or how lost you feel, you must promise me that you will hold on to hope and keep it alive. We have to be greater than what we suffer. My wish for you is to become hope. People need that. I know it feels like we're saying goodbye, but we will carry a piece of each other onto everything that we do next to remind us who we are and who we will become Congratulations, seniors.

NAKAYLA MCCLELLAND: As we close on this chapter of our lives, let it serve as a learning experience. We've all changed and grown immensely throughout these four years. But no matter what you do or where you go in life, remember everything you've overcome. Remember the strength you had in order to get to this moment right here. Regardless of what comes next, nobody can take this success away from you. From this point forward, you get to decide what happens next. You have the power to control your life. You have the power to change the world. Let's walk into our futures with our heads held high and hopes in our hearts. Thank you so much, and congratulations.

QUINN SMITH: And finally, while I am up here speaking, that doesn't mean much, little Falcon Hawks. The way that you live, that is your voice and your speech. The actions you took and the relationships you made, these are your own graduation speeches. They are your own story of hard work and love. So I encourage you, friends, that whatever you do after this ceremony, whatever speech you decide to give, to give with your life, that you give this speech loudly. I guess what I'm trying to say is don't be afraid to screech, little Hawks. Soar the extra mile, do something unexpected to change the world for the better. We need people to use all of their different abilities to make the world better in all kinds of different ways. Whatever you do, let your life speak loudly. But turn the volume up a little bit at a time. Just like a single drop of water in the ocean can cause a tidal wave on the other side of the world, a single flap of a hawk's wing can cause a tornado. The smallest actions that you take can make the greatest difference. And while after today you will no longer be a Hawk, I hope that you always remember what it meant to be a Hawk. And without further ado, we would like to say something. And remember.

NIC ESTRADA: And remember.

MIRANDA LOHKAMP: And remember.

NAKAYLA MCCLELLAND: And remember.

- [All] And-- It was-- As always.

- [All] And as always, it was great to be a Hawk.

QUINN SMITH: And now it is my pleasure to welcome my amazingly talented friend, Lydia Alba, who will be singing Hallelujah written by Leonard Cohen.

♪ I heard there was a secret chord ♪

♪ That David played, and it pleased the Lord ♪

♪ But you don't really care for music, do ya ♪

♪ And it goes like this, the fourth, the fifth ♪

♪ The minor fall and the major lift ♪

♪ The baffled king composing hallelujah ♪

♪ Hallelujah ♪

♪ Hallelujah ♪

♪ Hallelujah ♪

♪ Hallelujah ♪

♪ Well your faith was strong but you needed proof ♪

♪ You saw her bathing on the roof ♪

♪ Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya ♪

♪ She tied you to a kitchen chair ♪

♪ She broke your throne, and she cut your hair ♪

♪ And from the lips she drew the hallelujah ♪

♪ Hallelujah ♪

♪ Hallelujah ♪

♪ Hallelujah ♪

♪ Hallelujah ♪

♪ Well maybe there's a god above ♪

♪ And all I ever learned from love ♪

♪ Was how to shoot somebody who'd outdrew ya ♪

♪ And it's not a cry that you hear at night ♪

♪ It's not someone who's seen the light ♪

♪ It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah ♪

♪ Hallelujah ♪

♪ Hallelujah ♪

♪ Hallelujah ♪

♪ Hallelu ♪

♪ Hallelujah ♪

♪ Hallelujah ♪

♪ Hallelujah ♪

♪ Hallelujah ♪

♪ Hallelujah ♪

♪ Hallelujah ♪

VICKIE BANNERMAN: How you doing, 2019? Now before I present you all to our distinguished board members, you know I have to take just a few moments to say a little something to ya, 'cause it's going to be my last time to see all of your beautiful faces together. And you know, I've always got a speech ready, always. So, as you prepare to take the next step in your life's journey, I want to give you a few directions to help you find your way to the good life. How do we get to the good life? I'm so glad you asked me that. Let's see where the letters in good life take us. G, have some goals. Don't just have goals. Set them, reach them, and exceed them. O, obstacles. Identify them and overcome them. O, own your mistakes. Let me say that again in case you missed that. Own your mistakes. Do not make excuses for them. Do not make excuses for yourselves. Own them, correct them, and keep moving forward. Thank you, thank you. D, do not settle. Do not settle. Be courageous, be encouraged, and be uniquely you. If you do that, I promise, it will be good enough. L, live your very best lives. I, inspire others all around you to do the same. F, have faith, real faith in your own greatness. And E, possibly the most important, enjoy the journey.

- [Audience Member] All right!

VICKIE BANNERMAN: Enjoy this journey that you are beginning today. Oh, you can go ahead and clap, 2019. You know I'm dropping that wisdom. Go ahead and clap. Now if you follow the letters with an understanding that your rewards will likely reflect your work, or the lack thereof, you will find yourself not just dreaming of, but truly living in your good life as defined for you by you. Congratulations 2019. Welcome to the good life. Now I feel comfortable and ready to let you go, to let you soar. It's always bittersweet, 'cause I'm going to miss you. And I mean that sincerely. But at this time I would like to present the class of 2019 to our distinguished board members, Mrs. Muller-Aragon and Mrs. Armijo. The graduates before you have met all of the graduation requirements as set forth by the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education along with the New Mexico Public Education Department. To you, for your acceptance, I present the amazing, outstanding, can't wait to see what you do next, class of 2019.

BOARD MEMBER PEGGY MULLER-ARAGON: So as a Volcano Vista High School graduate you can choose to continue living as a Hawk soaring high and free. You know the thing about a hawk, they have wings. You have your wings. And the only limit there is to a hawk is the sky. So find your place in the sky and live a limitless life. So on behalf of the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education we accept the 2019 graduating class of Cibola High School.

(audience laughing) (audience booing)

BOARD MEMBER ELIZABETH ARMIJO: Volcano Vista.

BOARD MEMBER PEGGY MULLER-ARAGON: Oh, Volcano Vista. That's a boo.

VICKIE BANNERMAN: Now if we have nothing, we have class. And we are going to exhibit that in this moment understanding that we are Hawks and be glad she accepted and conferred you and let you graduate.

BOARD MEMBER PEGGY MULLER-ARAGON: Sorry, Volcano Vista Hawks. That's my tomorrow. That's my tomorrow. They'll like it there, they're rivals.

BOARD MEMBER ELIZABETH ARMIJO: Congratulations.

BOARD MEMBER PEGGY MULLER-ARAGON:  And I said Cibola High School Hawks, huh?

VICKIE BANNERMAN: Class of 2019, let's get ready to do this.

- [Peggy] I can't believe I did that. I said Cibola High School Hawks, right?

- [Announcer] Zane Alexander Kowalski. Adrian Justin James Abeita. Jonathan Nathaniel Acosta. Luke Antonio Adams. Lydia Isabel Alba. Kate Elizabeth Albrecht. Emily H. Amburgey. Storm Veronica Anaya-Gonzales. Carly Renee Anderson. David Roger Anderson. James Michael Esteban Anderson. Mailynn Noc Ap. Jacob Matthew Aragon. Joseph Anthony Manuel Aranda. Shantell B. Archuleta. Aiden Angel Armendariz. Alex F. Armijo. Ryan Scott Armstrong. James Benjamin Stewart Babcock. Esteban Michael Baca. Justin Cory Baca. Luke Damien Baca. Marcus David Baca. Michael Anthony Baca. Andrew Alan Baca Jr. Ana R. Bader-Elenes. Allysa Aria Baldonado. Alexandra Banuelos. Alyssa Monique Banuelos. Johnathan Ross Barnett. Jovanna Ana E. Barron. Kaylee Anne Bartlett. Jaden G. Barton.

- [Announcer] Rachel Caitlyn Basara. Ian Martin Bass. Gabriel Chad Bean. Orionna Olita Denise Bean. Erin Nicole Beaudet. Zachary Lee Bernius. Brooke Lauren Blankenship. Kameron Joseph Blasiman. Lannette Sylvia Blea. Veronica Alyssa Blea. Ana C. Boucher. Alyssa Samantha Brito. Francis Bui. Samuel Reece Bush. Andreana Renee Bustinza. Briana Alexis Bustos. Aubry Kathleen Campbell.

- [Woman] Yeah, Aubry!

- [Announcer] Tyler Anthony Campbell. Jared Michael Candelaria. Samuel Christopher Carrasco. Anthony R. Cartagena. Jason Matthew Carter. Carissa Antonia Casaus. Shaylynn Mikayla Casiquito. Zamiah Kaylin Casiquito. Enrique Castaneda. Alyssa Catherine Castillo. Avery Leigh Castleberry. Tyler Anthony Elton Catanach. Faith Christine Chandler. Dustin Zachary Chavez.

- [Announcer] Faith Alisa Chavez. Gabriel Bernie Chavez. Kamryn Leigh Chavez. Luke M. Chavez. Marley Susanna Maada Chavez. Rebekah Christine Chavez. Sergio A. Chavez. Chayson Chee.

- [Woman] Yeah, Chayson!

- [Announcer] Morgan Riley Christensen. Desiray May Cicero. Curtis Gabriel Clary. Hannah M. L. Coffelt. Johnathan Wayne Coffelt. Jurnee Lanita DeShay Coleman. Kiarra Janae Coleman. Phillis Andrea Contreras.

- [Woman] Yeah, Phyllis.

- [Announcer] Jack R. Cook.

- [Man] Yeah!

- [Announcer] Miranda Rose Coraci. Alexus Marcela Cordova.

- [Woman] Go Alexus!

- [Announcer] Destiny Elaine Marie Cordova. Isaiah Matthew Cordova. Bailee Marie Corona. Albaro Jose Cortez. Natalia Elise Corwell. David A. Crespin Jr. Alfred E. Cross. Esteban Gabriel Cruz. Ryan Andrew Curran. Rayan Cuzmar. Ryan Paul Dabbah. Christopher De Jesus. Bronson C. Deatherage.

- [Announcer] Gabriella Anali Del Rio. Breana Yvonne Delgado. Zane Thomas Denoyer. Maia Elizabeth DeRosear. Skyler Elizabeth Detrana. Anthony Michael Di Mattina. Khai Due Do. Sandra Marie Dorr. Kaelan Dreyer. Kayla Renee Duncan. Emily Diana Duneman. Brennen Dallas Duran. Janice Jamie Duran. Oluoma Marie Antoinette Edeh. Dhara Faith Eizaguirre. Neilufar Ella. Jaspermarie V. Encinias. Alexes R. Engstrom. Billy Charles Enriquez. Krista Alicia Esparza. Jovanna Marie Philomena Esquibel. Michael Alexander Estrada. Nicolas Griffin Estrada. Isaiah Richard Fajardo. Zachary James Farmer. Josiah Arturo Fernandez. Valentina M. Ferrada-Ross. Aileen Elaine Ferrer. Kaleisha Dorothy Fields. Natalia Fishgrab. John B. Flores. Noah William Fordney.

- [Announcer] Jayda D. Foster. Anissa M. Frederickson. Ashley Nicole Fry. Kendahl E. Fry. Hunter Marona Fuller. Pasquale Antonio Gallucci. Alexis M. Garcia.

- [Woman] Go, Lex!

- [Announcer] Christ Manuel Garcia. Diego M. Garcia. Geniva Michelle Garcia. Jorell Darian Garcia. Justin Kenneth Garcia. Marisa J. Garcia. Brandon R. Garcia-Torres. Jaylin J. Gerhardt. Kyler Michael Glade. Daniel Gladfelter. Kameron C. Glover. Adriana Lily Goke. Jeramiah Paul Gomez. Mariana Milagros Gomez-Gutierrez. Christopher Andrew Gonzales. Elijah Gonzales. Faith Marie Gonzales. Isaiah Gonzales. Cesar A. Gonzalez Jr. Madison Lee Granger. Blaine Dean Grant. Jalontae DeMario Gray. Madison Louise Griego. Jazmine Alisa Gurule. Angel A. Gutierrez.

- [Announcer] Michael Jacob Gutierrez. Addison Paige Hader. Tavian Michael Hart. Sitara Mary Haynes. Mariah Jasmine Hern-Padilla. Aidon L. Hernandez. Christopher Jacob Hernandez.

- [Student] Yeah, Chris!

- [Announcer] Chassity Belle Herrera. Alice Tanner Herring. Rachel Diana Bogart Hess. Timothy Daniel Hibben. Chase Steven Holley. Vaneka Esperanza Hoskie. Ryan Patrick Howe. Chelsea Madison Hunter. Michael Anthony Hunter. Taylor Alexander Paul Hunter. Bethanie Anne Nicole Ishmael. Marley Elena Jameson-Sisneros. Jarrod A. Jaramillo. Madison Taylor Jaramillo. Haley Jellison. Wyatt Dylan Lee Jim. Jaden R. Johns. Monica Rose Johnson. Takota Johnson. Leah Marie Jones. Matthew Joshua Jones. Brittney Juancho. Gabriella Elise Jurado. Devon Ulrich Juvinall-Rightley. Jeremy K. Kalminski.

- [Announcer] Dajenai Destiny Kemp. Adam Everett Kent. Marshall William Kent. Lizelle C. Khieu. Hannah R. King. Emma Grace Kirchgessner. Amalia Louisa Kissner. Shayna Margaret Kymes. Everette Thomas La Plante. Prospero N. Lane. Anthony Sandoval Laws. Ameeya Jayden Ledoux-Davis. Brook Isabella Leger. Gillian Autumn Litton. Brenden Michael Lockwood. Miranda Rae Lohkamp. Robert Eugene Long. Kamryn Alliyah Lopez. Tomas C. Lopez. Wyatt Liam Lopez. Roque Leroy Lopez-McCoy. Savannah Rose Lovato. Elijah Harrison Lucas. Alexandra Marisol Lucero. Isaac Anthony Lucero. Marlei Eliza Lucero. Matias C. Lucero. Namira Renalda Lucero. Kalli Raquel Lucki. Jacquelin Danielle Lujan. Cesar Sebastian Madrid.

- [Announcer] Sefilina Malaya Maile. Benjamin C. Manzano. Ruben Patrick Mares. Victoria R. Mares. Emiliano Isaiah Mariscal. Marissa Jenae Marquez. Aaron Zinjazit Martinez. Aiden Charles Martinez. Jacob Isaiah Martinez. Lorena Marisela Martinez. Lucius P. Martinez. Matthew S. Martinez. Rebecca Randi Martinez. Hayden P. Mathis. Naomi Catherine Mauldin. Haley Nicole McBride. Spencer John McBride. Jacob Derek McClain. Nakayla Monet McClelland. Noah Matthew McDonald. Mercedez Monique Lekesha McFadden. Devin Mitchell McGuire. Ashley Yahari Medrano. Denae J. Melvin-Wagner. Alexa Viani Mendoza. Alyssa Marie Mendoza. Braunwyn Taylor Mendoza. James Erwin Mercier III. Sarah Bethany Miera. Grace Y. Miller. Lucas Connor Mills. Madison Rae Monnheimer.

- [Announcer] Daisha Montano-Baca. Anthony S. Montoya. Joseph Claudio Montoya. Mariquita Maria Montoya. Olivia Elizabeth Montoya. Andrew Shemar Moore. Ryan M. Moore-Apodaca. Makayla Marlene Moraga. Dylan Xavier Morales. Tyler Jesse Mordecai. Brandon Scott Morgan. Cayce William Morgan. Glen Gary Moses. Devyn M. Moya. Jordan J. Mueller. Clinton C. Muncy. Nisrene Rae Nassar. Peytton Olivas Newcomer. Ezra T. Newell. Hailey Caitlyn Nez. Ailan T. Nguyen. Cindy Nguyen. Li Kong Nguyen. Thai Thun Nguyen. Victoria Faith Nguyen. Sage Madison Nicholas. Thomas Hunter Novicki. Ashleigh Marie O'Daniel. Nicholas J. O'Hara. Alyssa Renee Ortega. Julian Ortega. Lorenz Angelo Ortega.

- [Announcer] Mariano E. Ortiz. Nevaeh Enorle Ortiz. Wiatt Ray Osborn. Cameron Lee Overbay. David Ray Padilla. Jacob Durant Padilla. Patrick George Panagopoulos. Meredith Belisha Pankratz. Kiara I. Pasillas. Jacob Guy Patton. Joseph Cole Patton. Aubrianna Peacock. Hayden Gary Peacock. Alyssa Renee Pena. Jenica Lexis Penman.

- [Woman] Go Jenica!

- [Announcer] Benjamin Abel Perez. Isabella Renee Perez. Jeremy Miguel Perez. Lauren Noelle Perseo. Karla Poblano-Rodriguez. Eli A. Powell. Avery N. Quijano.

- [Woman] Yeah, Avery, woo!

- [Announcer] Emily Ryan Quinones. Aja Ruby Quintana. Joslin Rose Quintana. Oona Ariela Quintana. Elijah Matthew Rael. Alejandro Jesus Ramirez. Cierra N. Ramirez. Evan William Henry Rand. Sarai Maria Edel Rankin. Jenna Renne Reeder.

- [Announcer] Savanna Rebecca Renteria. Alejandro Roman Reyes. Kyle Thomas Rhoades. Angelica Christine Rivera. Julia Elizabeth Rivera. Martin Rivera. Sierra Mercedes Rivera. Alexia Lenay Romero. Cristian Carlos Romero. Klorissa Alisha Romero. Sara Nicole Romero. Selena Monique Romero. Krystle Renee Romo. Skylor Jackson Rose. Emmanuel Esaie Ruiz. Gabrielle Marisa Ruiz. Leonardo Miguel Ruiz. Stephanie Anne Rule. Garrett Hunter Sachs. Kassandra Renee Salazar. Marissa Linda Salazar. Taelor Alicia Salazar. Destiny Brianna Lee Sanchez. Ethan Keenan Sanchez. Jared C. Sanchez. Kristen Nicole Sanchez. Malachi S. Sanchez. Lizandra Sanchez-Bustamante. Angelica Marie Sandoval. Elijah Blue Sandoval. Mariza Reina Sandoval.

- [Announcer] Nathan Edward Sandoval. Skylar Catherine Sandoval. Zachary T. Sandoval. Shane Saichim Sayamontry. Minah M. Scutt. Jarod Marshall Searcy-Ortega. Brandon L. Sena. Quinten C. Sena.

- Yeah, Quinten.

- Yeah, Quinten.

- [Announcer] Anthony Diego Sharma. Laura Ellen Shaw. Corinne Zeda Shure. Brandon Javon Sierra. Bridget Laura Simpson. Shawn Paul Smart. Aiden Josiah Smith.

- [Student] Yeah, Aiden!

- [Announcer] Caitlin Mariah Smith. Chloe Audry Smith. Hannah Marie Smith. Quinn Compton Smith. Hannah Elaine Smith-Fay. Xander William Sorenson. Donavin Thomas Soto. Ashley Vai Sparks. Sierra Loray Stock. Jax Strech. Christopher Xavier Tapia. Kyra Sage Tetrick. Harrison H. Thomas. Marley I. Thomas. Zakrye Dylan Toliver. Alyssa M. Torres. Gabrielle Rachel Torres.

- [Announcer] Skyler Jade Torres. Maryssa Faith Trujillo. Matthew Raymond Trujillo. Patience Marie Trujillo. Bo V. Truong. Tyesha Tsikewa. Jordan Faith Valdez. Brianna I. Valenzuela. Gregory Isaiah Abel Varela. Gabriel Luis Vasquez. Joshua Daniel Vega. Andres Jose Vigil. Naabaahii Lukesbay Vigil. Destiny Hope Villescas. Victoria Wahl. Lesa Rae Waterer. Chevonne Celeste Watson. Taylor Diane Watts. Aaris Bailey Webber. Gilbert Joseph White. Thomas Andrew Williams. Kenzie Lee Wilmert. Brandon Lee Winsor. Karl Brian Wolfley. Jaziah Jeffrey Wood. Jonathan Scott Wooster. Brenden T. Wysynski. Garrett Lee Yancy. Kristin A. Young-Almaraz. Aaron Joshua Zambrano. Marissa Dawn Zamora. Caitlyn M. Zang. Raul Antonio Zea. And in memoriam, Ryan Andres.

VICKIE BANNERMAN: At this time I'd like to please present to you for closing remarks, Student Body Class President, Vaneka Hoskie.

VANEKA HOSKIE: We only arrived here four short years ago, and now the time to graduate has finally come. We are all here today, ready to take the next step into the rest of our lives. We started this journey together, and now we are ending it together, ready to pave our own paths and start our journeys that are entirely ours. Regardless where we go and what we do after this, there are challenges ahead of us. I challenge everyone here to do that, all that you can do to reach your full potential. We are the future, it is in our hands now. Remember not only where you are going but where you came from. Oh, the places you'll go.

VICKIE BANNERMAN: Class of 2019, please stand. At this time, please turn your tassels. Congratulations, Class of 2019. You are graduated.

Graduates: 2019 List of Graduates (PDF)
Class Flower: Sunflower
Class Song: "Good Life" by Kanye West

Top Students

Zachary Bernius, Dhara Eizaguirre, Anthony Sharma, Mariza Sandoval, Oluoma Edeh, Sandra Dorr, Nicolas Estrada, Quinn Smith, Francis Bui, Meredith Pankratz, Eli Powell, Emma Kirchgessner, Kayla Duncan, Madison Granger, Sefilina Maile, Laura Shaw, Hannah Smith, Stephanie Rule, Brook Leger, Takota Johnson

West Mesa High School

West Mesa Graduation Transcript

JOSEPH CORDOVA: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. It is the request of West Mesa High School administration that we honor and recognize each graduate. Most of you here today are here to celebrate the accomplishments of one graduate special to you. Please allow those around you to celebrate this special graduate. Kindly be reminded to refrain from excessive cheering and the use of noisemakers to each graduate's name may be heard and honored by family and friends. At this time, please power down your phones or silence them. Thank you for attending today's commencement ceremony and for sharing West Mesa High School's commemoration of the academic achievement of the graduating class of 2019. This evening, the colors are being presented by the West Mesa High School Navy Junior ROTC program under the direction of Major Hendricks. The West Mesa High School Band is under the direction of Mr. Weller. Our national anthem will be sung by Dominique Howell, a member of the Class of 2019. And now, I present to you the Class of 2019. Ladies and gentlemen, will you all please rise for the national anthem? Gentlemen, including male graduates, please remove your hats or caps and please remain standing until the colors have completely left the floor.

♪ Oh, say can you see ♪ ♪ By the dawn's early light ♪ ♪ What so proudly we hailed ♪ ♪ At the twilight's last gleaming ♪ ♪ Whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪ ♪ Through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ O'er the ramparts we watched ♪ ♪ Were so gallantly streaming ♪ ♪ And the rocket's red glare ♪ ♪ The bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ Gave proof through the night ♪ ♪ That our flag was still there ♪ ♪ Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave ♪ ♪ O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave ♪

JOSEPH CORDOVA: Please be seated. I would now like to introduce your student body officers, Adrian Hernandez and Linda Rodriguez.

ADRIAN HERNANDEZ: Good evening, Class of 2019. I'm your student body president, Adrian Hernandez.

LINDA RODRIGUEZ: And I'm your student body vice president, Linda Rodriguez.

ADRIAN HERNANDEZ: Wait, hold on; no. We would like to welcome you all to our commencement ceremony for the Class of 2019.

- [Both] Before we begin, we would like to thank you all for allowing us to be--

ADRIAN HERNANDEZ: Your president--

LINDA RODRIGUEZ: And your vice president.

- [Both] Congratulations, Class of 2019.

ADRIAN HERNANDEZ: Wait, no, you have to introduce.

LINDA RODRIGUEZ: Here to introduce our distinguished guest is our vice principal, Mrs. Montano.

ERICA MONTANO: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Erica Montano. I'm an assistant principal at West Mesa High School. It is my honor to introduce our distinguished guest for this afternoon's commencement ceremony. Joining us this evening are Board Member Lorenzo Garcia, board member Candalaria Peterson, our APS leadership representatives, Associate Superintendent Dr. Antonio Gonzales and Chris Muir. Also on stage are West Mesa Principal Mark Garcia, Assistant Principal Michelle Martinez, Assistant Principal Kristen Thompson, and activities director Joseph Cordova, our readers for this evening, Juan Aragon, Rebecca Knowles. Representing the Class of 2019 are Adrian Hernandez, student body president, Linda Rodriguez, student body vice president, student body secretary Marissa Johnson, Symantha Zarrasola, senior class treasurer, senior class vice president Jenny Sanchez, Diana Cordova, senior class president, our 2019 salutatorian, Juliana Barstow, salutatorian Esperanza Varoz, and this year's valedictorian, Ashley Machado.

MARK GARCIA: Associate Superintendent Dr. Antonio Gonzalez, Associate Superintendent Chris Muir, Board Members Lorenzo Garcia, "Candy" Candalaria Patterson, my administrative team, members of the faculty, West Mesa parents and guardians, and most importantly West Mesa's graduating class of 2019-- It's a privilege and an honor to serve as the principal for the graduating class of 2019. I humbly stand before you today to celebrate the accomplishments of all our graduating seniors. Class of 2019, you're finished. Congratulations. I once heard it's not how you start, it's how you finish. And, Mustangs, oh how you have finished strong. What a memorable year we've had at West Mesa High School. I wanna thank all of our students, staff, and families for making this such a memorable year. There's one accomplishment that I'd like to highlight as a lesson on how to live life. It comes from a 53-year-old record being broken and the first for our school. The lesson comes from our West Mesa 2019 Girls Class 5A state champions. The first lesson I'd like for you to take with you is have a vision for your life. Have goals toward your life vision. A dream without goals is only a dream. Have dreams with goals. Set life goals, set yearly goals, set monthly goals, set daily goals. Apply discipline and consistency to your goals. There are several student athletes sitting among you that had a goal, that had a vision when they stepped onto the campus when they were freshmen at West Mesa High School. That goal and that vision was to win a state title for West Mesa High School. I'd like to stand in front of you today and tell you that they won state every single year after setting that goal. They didn't. They had setbacks. There was two consecutive years with losses in the state tournament. The next life lesson I'd like for you to take with you is that it's okay to have setbacks. The point is, get back up. If you never try anything, you will never have setbacks. If you fall, fall forward. Never give up. It's not how you start, it's how you finish. Not only did our girls have a few setbacks the previous two years in the state tournament, they had a few losses in the regular season, yet this did not deter them of their state championship goal. I have to admit that a few losses caused there to be a few naysayers. This brings me to the next life lesson: Don't listen to the naysayers. When someone said, "West Mesa can't win a state title, West Mesa hasn't done it in 53 years, that's impossible," our girls didn't hear, "That's impossible." They heard, "It is possible." Someone might've even said, "No, you can't win." Our girls heard, "Yes, we can win." Nelson Mandela said everything in life is always impossible until someone does it. Graduates, the world and your dreams are vast. Go out and do the impossible. Like our girls basketball team, play big. Yes, you will have to play big in life to fulfill what you are capable of. Nelson Mandela was also known to say, "There is no passion to be found in playing small "and settling for a life "less than the one you are capable of. "Set out to make a difference." This brings me to the last lesson: Make the world a better place. No little girl in the West Mesa community will strap up their basketball shoes thinking they are not capable of being the best in the state of New Mexico. Claim it. And when you get it, reach back and pull someone else up with you. Reach one, teach one. Our girls made the world a better place. Graduates, making the world a better place starts here with you. Don't just aspire to make a living, aspire to make a difference. The world needs a lot, Mustangs, and we need it from you, graduates. The world needs your talents, love, and inspiration. Graduates, as you think about all of those people that have helped you get to this point, maybe a parent, a guardian, a teacher that has helped you along the way, I'd like for you in a minute to stand and look for those special people in your lives and I'd like for you to wave to them and give them a great round of applause, graduates. Let's stand and do that at this time. Please be seated. And now, if I can get everybody to give a round of applause for our graduating class of 2019. In closing, it's not how you start, it's how you finish. Please set out to make the world a better place, for those that have come before you and for those to come. Remember, once a Mustang, always a Mustang. Thank you, take care, and most of all, be happy.

- I am honored today to introduce the salutatorian for the Class of 2019, Juliana Barstow. Juliana was born on August 21st, 2001, in Fallbrook, California, to Matthew and Laura Barstow. She has three siblings: Rider Griego, Alexandria Barstow, and Emma Barstow. During her years at West Mesa, she was the National Honor Society president, national finalist for National History Day, two-time SkillsUSA state champ. She is also a cancer survivor. She enjoys baking, playing her violin, hanging with friends and family, playing with her little sister, listening to music, and watching TV. She plans to attend New Mexico Tech and major in astrophysics and aerospace engineering and eventually get a Ph.D. and one day work for the space industry and aid in the Air Force's scientific field. Introducing salutatorian Juliana Barstow.

JULIANA BARSTOW: Good evening everyone. Please ignore as I look down at my phone; this is not memorized, I'm sorry. Okay. Class of 2019, four years ago, on August 13th, 2015, we all had our first day of high school. I remember detail of that day, and yet it is strange to look back on now. I spoke my first words to friends I did not know would become so close four years later. I ate lunch alone that day in the grassy field near , not knowing that one year later it would be gone. I rolled my eyes that day when parents told me, "Don't blink, it'll be gone before you know it," and I thought, "Four years is a long time. "I still have a while to go." Yet here we all are today, and I cannot believe that four years has passed already. I remember that same first day getting home with my first homework assignment of what would be many. By the time I got to question eight, I had burst into tears. I thought, "How am I gonna make it through "the next four years if I cannot even make it through "this one assignment without crying for an hour?" The assignment was 18 questions about yourself and I had a literal breakdown over, "What are some of your hobbies?" That wasn't the last time I would spend hours crying at my desk, but I'm sure everyone here can relate to the breakdowns and the breakthroughs that comes with things we have been passionate about over these last four years. I for one never thought that I would be up here today. I had no idea what I was doing my freshman year, but I remember sitting in this very audience three years ago and thinking, "I cannot wait to be sitting up there." It is a miracle for all of us to be sitting up here. None of us had it easy these past four years, and I'm sure that at some point we've all confronted thoughts of giving up. But we've all found our own ways to inspire ourselves in one way or another to carry on, and I'd like to share with you today what has kept me going. What I guess some of you now know is that when I was two years old, I was diagnosed with cancer and given six months to live. I don't talk about it often because I never liked when people changed, how people viewed me. An inspiring story, sure, but I never saw it in the same miraculous way as other people did. I grew up in the UNM Hospital, so, as many of you can imagine, I don't think back on childhood as a pleasant memory. In fact, I have often tried to forget the experience entirely. In school, kids were told to be careful with me. "You can't be too rough with a girl who might die." In fact, even after I was "cured", the label followed me for years. In truth, I remember more than I care to admit, even to myself, about those years in the hospital. But I avoid thinking about it and make jokes because at least then I can feel empowered beyond just being the girl with the sad cancer story. Yet, in the past few years, I have come to be proud of this identity. Not everyone in my situation gets the same chance at life after cancer. My first best friend, Jackie, checked into the hospital and was diagnosed with me on the same night as me. We grew up together in the hospital, only Jackie was not one of the lucky ones. When I was seven years old, Jackie fell outta remission and never recovered. She would've graduated last year, and who knows what she could've done with her life. Our friendship helped me realize early in life how lucky we are to have the time that we do. Truthfully, I coulda died 12 years ago and no one here would even know who I was. Any of us could die at any moment. And if you ignore the existentialism of that for just a moment, you would see my point. Every day is a gift and it would be stupid not to take every opportunity that is put in front of you. Even in the middle of academic struggles, breakdowns, and the early-onset quarter-life crisis, we are alive and we should appreciate that fact every day. We all walked into West Mesa four years ago and through our struggles became people we are today. We made it through freshman year, navigating our way through a totally new environment, not really knowing who we are yet. We made it through sophomore year, where at least we weren't freshmen anymore. We made it through junior year's late nights of essays and endless AP work, where procrastinating became a way of life. And finally, made it through the senioritis and the feeling of being ready to graduate, yet not quite ready for life. But today, we are ready for the challenges of whatever will come next. When I was 11 years old, my dad taught me about statistics; not the ones we learned in school, but rather the ones that plague our community. The ones people tell us, try and convince us that we shouldn't even try. The ones that make us think that a goal is too big or a dream is impossible. But the most important thing he taught me about the statistics is that we are merely recitations of the past and that has nothing to do with our future. None of us gave up, and for that we should be grateful. My greatest hope that is in 10 years from now I can look everyone up here and think, "Wow, I got to go to high school with them." We are the future, and I congratulate everyone here today and I look forward to the next generation being inspired by our statistics. It is thanks to our families, our friends, and every teacher here today that we are who we are today. Thank you, and may we all meet again in the years that come. Thank you so much!

- Thank you, Juliana. I am honored today to introduce our other salutatorian for the Class of 2019, Esperanza Varoz. Espy was born on December 4th, 2000, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Carmela and Larry Varoz. She has two siblings: Alicia and Nico Varoz. During her years at West Mesa High School, she led the girls basketball team to the first state championship in the school's history. She is first-team all-district all four years. She has attained an appointment to the United States Military Academy and leaves in June. She was first- and second-team all-metro and all-state, and was a Player of the Year nominee. She enjoys playing basketball, going on road trips, having long talks with loved ones, and getting past adversity in her life. She will be attending the United States Military Academy to play Division I basketball, obtain a bachelor's of science, and commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. Introducing our salutatorian, Esperanza Varoz.

ESPERANZA VAROZ: Good evening, APS Board of Education, West Mesa staff, administration, parents, families, friends, and my fellow classmates. I want to extend a very warm welcome to all of you, especially this year's Class of 2019. It is my great honor and privilege to be standing up here in front of you all tonight to speak to you about the journey of high school and all of the future endeavors to come. First and foremost, if it wasn't for the man upstairs, I wouldn't be where I am today. For it is through him that everything that has crossed my path has been possible. God has granted me the strength and courage to pursue all the challenges, adversity, trials, and tribulations throughout these last four years, and I couldn't be more grateful that he has allowed me to experience all that I have and the opportunities for what will come. To explain a little more in depth about what I mean concerning the challenges that have occurred at West Mesa, there have been days where I didn't wanna show my face at school, days where the material in classes like Miss Ham's AP US history course was so complex it made me wanna cry, days where I would pull all-nighters to finish projects and assignments I procrastinated oh so expertly on you could've probably given me an award for being so consistent with it, and days where I dreaded going in because I had a big exam in every single one of my classes. My teachers planned that multiple times, I'm sure of it. But I'm pretty confident that every single one of my classmates can relate. The stress, anxiety, sacrifice, sleep deprivation, lack of motivation, and even depression at times took a great toll on us throughout these last four years. I know the severity of these aspects of being a student gave me temptations to quit, to take the easier path, to not have to sacrifice sleep to be a normal teenager doing normal teenage things, to not have to stay home on the weekends to catch up on all the homework you didn't get done because during the week you had nonstop practice and games to attend to, to be able to relax at night not having to stress about the calc II exam that will make or break your entire grade. All these thoughts ran through my mind, telling me to just quit and make my life easier, but that's not what life's about. I would like to thank the West Mesa administration and the counselors for providing the support I needed when I was desperate for an outlet, as well as the administration and counselors that work endlessly to ensure the smooth sailing of West Mesa. I would also like to thank the amazing teachers and the rest of the hardworking staff for exceeding my expectations of what they're supposed to offer. It's those individuals like Miss Fayter, Miss Ham, Miss Vasquez, and so many more of you that have reached students like me and have left an impact greater than you could ever imagine. You all have a taught me the definition of perseverance, have planted the seed of confidence in my soul, nurtured my individuality and creativity while pushing me to be a better person, and instilled in me that hard work and determination can take you anywhere you desire. I'm sure my classmates can agree that you all aren't just teachers. You all are mentors and incredible people that we aspire to be like someday. Thank you for all that you do for the West Mesa community. It certainly doesn't go unnoticed. As for the statement I made previously about "what life is supposed to be", I have an answer that was engraved in my mentality since I was a little girl thanks to my parents, who are like no other. They have taught me to appreciate the little things in life, to be grateful for every opportunity that arises in the mist of each circumstance you encounter, to love others just as you love yourself, to forgive those who have done you wrong, regardless of the severity of that wrongdoing, to take advantage of the education provided to you and to make the most out of it that you can because there are individuals around the world that would die to be in your position, to embrace the culture you come from and take pride in your upbringing, to never lose sight of what is right in the world. So, life to me is a precious gift that we must appreciate and cherish with our whole hearts. I wanna thank my mother, Carmela, and my father, Larry, for the endless sacrifices, support, strong morals, and faith that they have passed down to me. Without you two, I wouldn't be where I am today. In fact, thank you to all the parents and guardians out there for raising us and for caring enough to support us. You all are a big reason why we are celebrating this day. The lessons we learned from you and from each other will forever be in our hearts. Speaking of lessons, there are also some very important ones that we learned from alternative sources. Class of 2019, most of us were involved in some kinda extracurricular activity, if I'm not mistaken. Me personally, I was involved in multiple and I couldn't have been more grateful for those opportunities. As most of you know, I played basketball all four years at West Mesa. There were many ups and downs, wins and losses, trials and triumphs, and many lessons learned individually and as a part of the greatest girls basketball team in the history of the school, winning the first state championship. Things like tearing my ACL and meniscus as an itty-bitty 5'3" sophomore, not making it past the second round of state two times in a row, and dealing with internal conflicts shifted the main focus from the big blue to relevance, self-pity, and loss of confidence. It is through basketball though and all the coaches that I've had the privilege of learning from that I was able to grow as a leader in action and on the side, a team player as it took discipline and unselfishness to accommodate others' needs before my own, and a person of faith as I was able to grow closer to God with all the adversity I faced as a result of my health. Basketball was and still is a huge part of my life, and I know that my experiences from it will carry on into my future. I hope something, anything, my fellow classmates, that you are passionate about, that you will continue to pursue that and never let that go. That is part of what makes you you, so don't let it escape the realms of your uniqueness. Each and every one of you has a calling. Mine is to attend the United States Military Academy to ready myself to become the best leader I possibly can. Whether it be to go to college, get a job, raise a family, serve our beautiful country in the world's best military, et cetera, you have a purpose, and don't let anyone tell you differently. You were created and gifted life to make a difference in this world that so desperately needs it, so don't settle for what other people's expectations are of you. Strive to create unimaginable limits for yourself so that you can fulfill your purpose, whatever it may be. We ended high school, but we've only just begun our lives, my friends. I wish you all the best in the future to come, and may happiness and joy be a prominent figure in your life. Once a Mustang, always a Mustang. Congratulations to the Class of 2019!

- Thank you, Espy. It is also my honor to introduce the valedictorian for this year's class, Ashley Machado. Ashley was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on January 14th, 2001, to Lulu and Efrain Machado. During her years at West Mesa, she served as the DECA president and state finalist. She was also the Skills vice president and state finalist. She received high honors all four years and was the Presidential Scholarship winner. She enjoys making jokes, being with the ones she loves, praising God, and blasting music with the windows down. She plans on majoring in nuclear engineering and either going to medical school to become an oncologist or graduate school for nuclear engineering to pursue a career in cancer research. Introducing this year's valedictorian of West Mesa High School, Ashley Machado.

ASHLEY MONCADO: Whew! Good evening, parents, staff, and Class of 2019. We made it. We have finished these four years together. Right now, that is about 22% of our lives. I'd say that's about a fifth, but I went to West Mesa, so I'm not sure. I kid. So, if we were to make a pie chart of our lives with five equal parts, one would be red, white, and blue, encompassing our time here. As we grow older and see new things, this part becomes smaller, but right now we have time to appreciate. I'd like to thank God, as he has not only been with me these past four years but my whole life. It's safe to say that most of us can't see a life we love without getting the things we want. We constantly act to reach satisfaction and self-fulfillment. Standing here on this stage, I know the feeling. But God's plans are bigger than me. God's will is ultimate. I know that I can be satisfied in him and in that, no outcome of the world should affect the love of life and my purpose in him. We think we could put God in a box and align him with our own desires, but we're not all that. So, I'm grateful he allowed me to be here and work towards this goal. I'd also like to thank my lovely parents, Efrain and Lulu Machado. I'd like to thank my brothers for paving the way. It's easier to get the thing done when you've seen the thing done. Thank you Efra and Jordy. Your support and the standard you both set is everything, and I look forward to passing it. I'd also like to thank Jevaun, who is my favorite part of the high school experience, my little high school sweetheart who has taught me so much, my friends who have played a big part in who I am and what I value. They're all geniuses. Thank you, Celeste, Daniel, Jocelyn, Mylan, Carol, Vanessa, Alejandra, Linda, Nayelli, Leslie, Espy, Augustine, Emily, Andrea, and Nick. And thank you, teachers and mentors! I definitely wouldn't be who I am without you all. I hope you think this is a good thing. You have this ability to touch lives and make us see things we otherwi, othervi, otherwise never would. I could thank each of you individually and tell you exactly all the ways you've changed my life, but, at last, this is a speech, not a filibuster. You've changed my life, Miss Davis, Miss Wright, Miss Fayter, Miss Mendez, Miss Vazquez, Mr. C., Mr. McCloud, Curtis Grace, Donna Jaramillo, Miss Ilgin, Senor Aragon, Mr. Denman, Miss Ham, Mr. Bova, Mr. Kirker, Mr. Digregorio, Biscuit, Counselor Lopez, and Counselor Chavez. Don't miss me too much. That being said, I just wanna thank my Class of 2019. Whew! Many I joke with, many I was just a face in the hall or the girl in your class that wouldn't shut up, but I'm happy I was able to know or just see all of you. And I'd like to apologize if I ever negatively impacted any of your lives in any way. Whew. So, now you all have the rest of your pie chart to go. Be teachable and grow and think of others while not forgetting about yourself. Try to avoid debt. Simply put, don't spend money you don't have. Have goals and plans, and strive to make them reality, but don't be upset if things don't 100% go your way. Sometimes this is a good thing. Laugh and live in the moment; it's all we have for right now. And know that everything you do is contributing to the person you will one day be. By the end of your life, let's say 80 years if climate change doesn't mess that up for us, these four years will be 5% of your life. You can do nothing about what has happened. But in the grand scheme of things, what you do after today is what matters and it will be the biggest section of your pie chart. No pressure.

MARK GARCIA: Board Members Candalaria Patterson and Lorenzo Garcia, the graduates before you have met the graduation requirement set forth by the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education, along with New Mexico Public Education Department. To you, I present the Class of 2019.

BOARD MEMBER CANDALARIA PATTERSON: Okay; good evening. You will often hear people tell you you can do anything, and I'm here to tell you that you can. I am legally blind and there is no challenge, big or small, that you can't overcome and do what you wanna do in your life. Okay. And always reach to your family for support when you need them. They will always be there. They are the ones that will support you no matter what. And thank you to the families who are here. And I wanna congratulate the Class of 2019. And you will hear from Board Member Garcia.

BOARD MEMBER LORENZO GARCIA: Principal Garcia, thank you for those incredibly inspiring words. I hope I can get a copy of your speech and I hope you make several copies and distribute it. Those are wise and important words, thank you. Associate Superintendent Gonzales, Associate Superintendent Muir, thank you for your leadership. We have a steady path that you help create for us as a district, and your leadership makes all the difference. Thank you. Esteemed leadership team from West Mesa High School, thank you. You do and you have done an incredible job. Please don't be confused. You make a difference. You make a difference. And things will go forward because of what you do. Now, I just wanna take a quick second before I accept the class; I know everybody's waiting for this. Thank you, parents. Thank you, grandparents. Thank you, great-grandparents, , those of you--

- Aunties!

BOARD MEMBER LORENZO GARCIA: Who have had-- Yes, aunties too. Those of you who have had a big influence on these graduates, thank you. You too make the difference. About 50 years ago, I was sitting in your chair someplace out there in a different space and I was a graduate of the second graduating class of West Mesa High School. Now, you're much more handsome than I could ever be and you're more gorgeous than I could ever imagine. Please know that. Know that you're intelligent way beyond any of us old folks. Me, as the old guy here, I can tell by the things that you said, the salutatorians and the valedictorian, what you said about what you want to accomplish. It's incredible, well done. I'm excited. And so, I wanna make a date. 50 years from now, you will be 67. Some of you may have grandchildren or great-grandchildren in your lives, as I do. 50 years from now, I will be 107, and I intend to be here at this graduation 50 years from now. And again, I have to get back to what Principal Garcia was saying in terms of inspiration. I want you to know that I too get discouraged as an old man, and I think that just seems to be a side effect of a very tricky society that we live in. But I want you to know, as Principal Garcia said, you can do it, you will do it, and I will see you in 50 years. On behalf of the Albuquerque Public Schools, the Board of Education, Board Member Candalaria Patterson and myself, we accept this graduating class.

- Brian Abeyta. Tania Alejandra Aguirre. Jasmin Marie Alcala. Yaritza Alderete. Randy Almaraz. Rudy Almaraz. Damien Antonio Altamirano. Aurora Anchondo. Deandra Andrade. Derek Noel Andrade. Vanessa Andrew. Ricardo Apodaca-Rubio. Alexandria Aragon. Lizbeth Aranda. Alexandria Armendariz. Andreas Armenta. Desiree Armijo. Kiana Jade Armijo. Christopher M. Aspaas, III. Ober Alan Astorga. Kayla Rose Atma. Kenya Aviles. Gustavo Baltazar. Juliana Barstow. Mariah Victoria Banks. Gerardo Manuel Batrez.

- [Rebecca] Gabriel J. Benavidez. Lori J. Benavidez. Gema Esmeralda Benitez Lage. Jin Benson. Elijah M. Bernal Lucero. Alicia R. Gallegos. Manuel Alonzo Borjas. Anthony J. Briones. Breanna Isabel Brown. Stephen Bundy. Chelssy Burciaga-Ortega. Tyshawn Burdex. Ariana M. Bustamante. Edel Mauricio Bustillos. Evelyn S. Cabral. Miguel Angel Cabrera Gomez. Anderson T. Capellan. Jorge Carrasco. Abigail S. Carver. Melissa Casavantes Pena. Josue-Caleb Castanon. Leslie Atzahit Castelan Gonzalez. Trejah A. Chacon. Derrick C. Chavarillo. Angel Alberto Chavez. Cienna Chavez. Ernest M. Chavez. Gabriel-- Gabrielle R. Chavez. Hailee Noelle Chavez. Jasmin A. Chavez. Richard J. Chavez. Erik Chora. Salena A. Colon.

- [Juan] Dariana Copado. Augustine Jesus Cordova. Diana Cordova. Jasmine Cruz. Karol D'Aquino. Katya De Santiago. Jazmin Arlet Delacruz. Paul Delao. Ramiro G. Delira-Hernandez. Leroy Diaz. Luisa Lizette Diaz. Mikayla Nicole Dixon. Jacob J. Duran. Celeste Elizalde Flores. Isaiah Elizondo. Cyrus Ceran Ellis. Alejandra Estrada Vazquez. Fernanda Fernandez. Antonio L. Flores. Eden J. Frazier-Castillo. Jacob Frias. Edwin A. Fuentes. Dean Funes. Josiah J. Gallegos. James Gallegos-Marrufo. Miguel A. Gamez. Lesly M. Garcia Rodriguez. Adrian Garcia. Angel B. Garcia. Destiny Garcia. Heaven-Lee M. Garcia. Jordan A. Garcia.

- [Rebecca] Jose Garcia. Joshua E. Garcia. Koby A. Garcia. Mark A. Garcia. Jennifer Gardea Burciaga. Selena S. Garley. Leslie Gaspar. Josue Andy Godinez. Jan Gomez. Amayah Leshay Gonzales. Isabella A. Gonzales. Lena M. Gonzales. Melvin Gonzales. Selene Gonzalez. Kyle Goodwin. David A. Granados. Brisa Grande-Mendez. Luis A. Geureca. Gerardo Daniel Guerra. Anthony Guerrero. Aliza Gurule. Desiree M. Gurule. Nathanial Zay Gutierrez. Diana Z. Guzman. Adrianna M. Hatfield-Figueroa. Dejah Renee Nicole Hensley. Abril Hernandez. Adrian Hernandez. Andrew J. Hernandez. Hector Alejandro Hernandez. Mariana Y. Hernandez. Marianna Teresa Hernandez. Martina Hernandez.

- [Juan] Nickolas Luis Hernandez. Nitzy Anaye Hernandez Dominguez. Zion Dumay Hernandez. Anthony Herrera. Gabriel Cash Hinshaw. Celenee Adriana Holguin. Cheyenne G. Holt. Meranda Gabriela Hope. Dominique Alexis Howell. Anthony Huff. Jose Alberto Ibarra. Raven Marisol Iverson. Freddie A. James. Felicity Jaramillo. Veronica Sabelia Jimenez Rodriguez. Anahi Jimenez Gonzales. Sebastian Jimenez. Isaiah Johnson. Marissa May Johnson. Jevaun Joseph. Damian Juarez. Yadira Juarez. Aidan King. Miriam Landaverde. Samantha Lingerfelt. Kayleen Esmeralda Lira. Victoria L. Locicero. Cristo Daniel Lopez. Najelly Yvette Lopez. Noella Andrea Loya Medina. Celeste Reina Lucera. Ashley Machado. Jacob Isaiah Macias. Alexis Nicole Madrid. Alyssa Hannah Madrid.

- [Rebecca] Analicia Mercedes Maestas. Giselle Manriquez. Mikaela Marie Maron. Cesar Marquez. Ever O. Marquez. Santiago F. Marrufo. Ariana Alani Martinez. Brandon N. Martinez. Jennifer Elizabeth Martinez. Kevin R. Martinez. Rebecca Martinez. Sierra Jade Martinez. Esneydi Paola Mata. Corban Mejia. Jason A. Mercado. Shaun R. Milino. America Jacqueline Millan. Hector Miramontes. Lorraine Mitchell. Adamaris Montes Martinez. Amber Montoya. Patricio G. Montoya. Raymond L. Montoya. Vicente C. Montoya. Anistasia B. Moreno. Juan Muller. Abraham Enriquez Munoz. Daija N. Munoz. Danae Alexis Naranjo. Myah Raquel Naranjo. Miguel Angelo Narro. Ivy T. Nguyen. Sheyla Nguyen.

- [Juan] Shandell G. Nieto. Albert Ntunzwenimana. Alexa G. Nunez Ramirez. Zachary Nunez. Selena Santana Olivas. Vanessa Olivera. Jacob Daniel Olvera. Ayesha M. Ortiz. Izayah X. Ortiz. Terryn Lenae Owten. Gabriel Padilla-Sandoval. Augustin Guadalupe Paulino. Janitza Payan Ortega. Luna Santana Perea. Cody Sabon Perez. Gizette Perez. Johnny Ray Pohl. Elias E. Prieto. Arthur J. Pyszko. Sabino G. Quezada. Andreas Umberto Ramirez. Fernando Ramirez. Nicholas Ramirez. Fermin Ramos. Krystina Ramos. Christian E. Rangel. Rachelle M. Rausch. Ana Rosa Reyes Godofoy. Jessica Reyes. Jakob A. Rice. Darius J. Riley. Maiah Monique Rivas. Jeremy Rivera. Michael A. Rivera.

- [Rebecca] Linda Erey Rodriquez. Miriam Rodriquez Zarate. Jessica Star Gallegos. Ruth Sinai Rivera. Kevin Rodriquez. Nayely Z. Rodriquez. Teresa Rodriquez. Walter Rodriquez. Benito Rojas. Andrea Roman. Ayde Yesenia Romero. Aza D. Romero Munoz. Elija M. Romero. Mario Antonio Romero. Syncere Angelina Romero. Anahi Rueda. Carlos Antonio Ruiz. Julio Joel Ruiz. Vanessa Elena Ruiz. Emily Dawn Saavedra. Kiaty J. Saenz. Andreas Jared Salas Gallegos. Orei Fernando Salas Gallegos. Christopher Salas. Destiny Salazar. Shelly E. Salazar. Emely Bernice Sanchez. Jennifer Viviana Sanchez Divar. Celeste Angela Sandoval. Maria Santillanes. Camren William Schroer. David Sechrist. Dominique Andrea Sedillo.

- [Juan] Carlos Serna. Emanol Serrano. Roshawna Silago. Eric Silva. David Silvestre. Darius Ray Smith. Kayla Faith Smith. Cynthia Mariah Snyder. Nehida Solis. Chaslyn Leandra Tafoya. Raymond Andrew Tafoya. Mario Isaac Tapia. Jeanette Tena. Ivana Russell Tom. Noah M. Torres. Thomas J. Torres, IV. Kiana Trujillo-Pettes. Jennifer Uribe Gustillos. Ventura Urrea. Malachi Isaiah Valdez. Esperanza Mikayla Varoz. Roberto Vicente. Jacob A. Vigil. Justin J. Vigil. Derrick Saul Villa. Brent Wagner. Dylan J. Watts. Wyatt H. Webb. Don'Tay K. Whitaker. Deiona P. Woods. Joseph Ray Ybarra. Rayvin Leshae Yonger. Abdul R. Zamir. Edwin Zamora-Salas. Symantha Adeleidy Zarrasola. Nohemi Zuniga.

DIANA CORDOVA: Hello, I am Diana Cordova, your senior class president. Class of 2019, this is the moment we have all been waiting for. We made it. All of our hard work has led us to this moment. At this time, will you please stand? Now, to signify your completion of high school, please move your tassel from the right to the left. Now... Now, on three, you may yeet your cap into the air. One, two, three! You may retrieve your caps. Congratulations, graduates. Beetles, at this time, will you please lead the graduates out to the recessional march? Congratulations, Class of 2019. We did it.

Graduates: 2019 List of Graduates (PDF)
Class Flower: Red Rose
Class Song: "Good Old Days" by Macklemore ft. Kesha
Class Motto: Hakuna Matata

Top Ten Students (Listed Alphabetically)

Juliana Barstow – Salutatorian, Karol D'Aquino, Celeste Elizalde, Ashley Machado – Valedictorian, Jeniffer Martinez, Vanessa Olivera, Agustin Paulino, 
Linda Rodriguez, Teresa Rodriguez, Esperanza Varoz – Salutatorian