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West Mesa High School

Albuquerque Public Schools Graduation 2019

West Mesa High School Class of 2019

Friday, May 17 at 6:30 p.m.
Tingley Coliseum at Expo New Mexico

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.

West Mesa High Class of 2019 Commencement Information

Platform Guests:

  • APS Leadership: Dr. Antonio Gonzales, Kris Meuer  
  • APS Board Members: Lorenzo Garcia, Candelaria Patterson  
  • West Mesa Administration & Staff: Mark Garcia, Principal; Michelle Martinez, Assistant Principal; Kristen Thompson, Assistant Principal; Joseph Cordova, Activities Director
  • Valedictorian: Ashley Machado
  • Salutatorians: Juliana Barstow, Esperanza Varoz
  • Senior Class Representatives: Adrian Hernandez, Student Body President; Linda Rodriguez, Student Body Vice President; Marissa Johnson, Student Body Secretary; Symantha Zarrazuola, Senior Class Treasurer; Jenny Sanchez, Senior Class Vice President; Diana Cordova, Senior Class President

Graduates:

2019 List of Graduates (PDF)


Class Flower: Red Rose
Class Song: "Good Old Days" by Macklemore ft. Kesha
Class Motto: Hakuna Matata

Commencement Program

  • Welcome: Joseph Cordova, Director of Activities
  • Processional: "Pomp and Circumstance," Edward Elgar. Performed by the West Mesa High School Band, with Brian Weller, Director
  • "National Anthem," Francis Scott Key. Performed by Dominque Howell, member of the Class of 2019
  • Opening: Adrian Hernandez, Student Body President, and Linda Rodriquez, Student Body Vice-President
  • Introduction of Honored Guests: Erika Montano, Assistant Principal
  • Commencement Address: Mark Garcia, Principal, West Mesa High School
    • Introduction of Speakers: Michelle Martinez, Assistant Principal
    • Salutatorian: Juliana Barstow, Class of 2019
    • Salutatorian: Esperanza Varoz, Class of 2019
    • Valedictorian: Ashley Machado, Class of 2019
  • Presentation of Graduating Class: Mark Garcia, Principal, West Mesa High School
  • Presentation of Graduates: Members of the APS Board of Education
  • Presentation of Diplomas: Juan Aragon & Rebecca Knowles, West Mesa High School Teachers
  • Closing: Diana Cordova, Senior Class President
  • Recessional March: West Mesa High School Band, with Brian Weller, Director

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