18 Del Norte High School seniors receive diplomas

Photos by Marie Mccolm The Upper Rio Grande School District gymnasium was filled with people for the Del Norte High School commencement ceremony on Friday, May 27.

DEL NORTE — The Upper Rio Grande School District gymnasium was filled with more than 300 excited people as 18 Del Norte High School seniors marched in with “Pomp and Circumstance” playing on Friday, May 27. 

To kick off the graduation Valedictorian Hannah Trujillo walked up to the podium and addressed the audience.

“Who are we as a class? Well, we’ve been described as funny or jokesters, but most importantly we have been described as close," Trujillo said. "That’s been us for years now. People left and people came, and it’s all led to the 18 of you that are still here.”

Trujillo went on to describe a few funny instances where the class had played jokes on each other and then said.

“I better stop now; they can still change my grades and take back my diploma," she said. "I honestly think that the hardest part of this whole process is not seeing you guys every day. I hope most of us will stay in touch.”

She added, “It’s OK though, it’s time to move on to a new chapter, and create new memories, because time goes by, and the clock doesn’t stop. While we have grown up together and helped each other become who we are, it's time to take our experiences and use the outcomes for the real world.”

She ended by saying, “Thank you to all our teachers, parents and other faculty members, for teaching us how to be functioning adults. I know we will do well in life because of you.”

Salutatorian Malachi Gallegos took the podium and addressed the audience.

“I would like to start off. by thanking all the teachers, administrators, and workers of the school that have guided us and taken us in," Gallegos said. "You will all leave a mark on our lives. While you may have been hard on us, you also knew how to put a smile on our face, and help us to have fun, no matter how hard our day was. You made learning fun, whether it was a life lesson, learning a new trade skill, or some basic knowledge, you used phrases or actions to help us learn information that we would be tested on.”

Gallegos went on to thank different members of the staff and workers at the school, noting that even though students didn’t say so all the time they appreciated them all each day.

Gallegos ended his speech by saying, “Once again, thank you all for being here and showing your love for us, this day is a big day for a lot of us and everyone here helps make this day a little more special. I have one last quote by J. Cole, 'Life is a movie, pick your own role, climb your own ladder, or dig your own hole.'”

Gallegos then announced that Darren Mondragon would take the stage to give a salute to their teachers. Mondragon took the podium, and with an emotion-filled voice said.

“Teachers are God’s gift to students; students are God’s gifts to teachers. Teachers and students are God’s gift to mankind and civilization. Without teachers and students, there will be no progress, or no future to dream for," Mondragon said. "Our teachers play many roles in our lives as students, they are our mentors, friends, advisors, and coaches. They have taught us respect, leadership, and most importantly how to be successful in our adult lives. We owe our teachers a big chunk of gratitude. Lastly, I would like to close this off by saying, to the class of 2022, we greatly appreciate that you have helped us become successful adults, in the real world, in our new chapters of life. To Ma Bell, I will always be your little baby. Once again if it weren’t for everyone here, I don’t know where we would be. Thank you all.”

Class President Kelsie Dahle also spoke at the ceremony.

“Today is a big day for all of us, I know I can’t believe it's real, either," Dahle said. "At the beginning of this four-year long journey, we all walked through the doors of high school, with no clue as to how we would be walking out of them. I am sure we all had expectations of how we would advance in these four years.”

Dahle went on to say that she appreciated the teachers at the school and said that the teachers were all one of the biggest blessings a child could receive.

“Many of us sitting here today, know exactly what we would like to do after graduation, like going off to college, or the workforce, or the military," Dahle said. "Some of us don’t though, and that’s OK we have the rest of our lives to decide what we want to do with them.”

She ended by saying, “So, class of 2022, As I leave here today, I go with a little piece of each of you.”

A slide show with all the graduates was then shown. A presentation of flowers to all the families of the graduates was held right after the slide show, by the students. Students hugged family members as they gave out flowers to the people who were at the graduation.

Two, “Pass it Forward Grants” were awarded. The grants were for Adams State University and were each for $1,000. They were awarded to Jazmariah Miranda and Brennan Velasquez.

Dusty Little presented the Del Norte Masonic Lodge Scholarships to Trujillo one for $500 and one for $7,000.

Two Colorado River Watch scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each were also presented, to Dante LeBlanc, and Garrett Mondragon.

The Community Foundation of the San Luis Valley also awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Jazmariah Miranda.

The Outcalt Foundation awarded a workforce scholarship of $5,000 to Megan Small.

The presentation of diplomas followed the presentation of scholarships. One by one the graduates were called in alphabetical order to receive their diplomas. The class president Dahle then addressed the class for the changing of the tassels.

“Senior Class of 2022, you have received your diplomas from the Board of Education. It is my pleasure to instruct you to change your tassels,” she said.

Dahle then joined her class, and the graduates threw their hats in the air, concluding the ceremony.

Photos by Marie Mccolm The Upper Rio Grande School District gymnasium was filled with people for the Del Norte High School commencement ceremony on Friday, May 27.

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